Do Hoang Anh, Head of Legal and External Affairs, BAT Vietnam, has been promoted to a regional management position in the company. She now serves as Regional Head of Compliance, Asia Pacific & Middle East Region. She is grateful for the opportunity to prove that Vietnamese can occupy senior management positions, often held by foreigners.

BAT Vietnam attended Foreign Trade University Hanoi’s 2018 Career Fair.

Hoang Anh talks about her new position and how she balances work and life.

It’s not every day that a Vietnamese woman is entrusted with a regional management position in a multi-national company. How do you evaluate the opportunities and challenges in this new position?

It can’t be gainsaid that a new job always brings challenges and pressures, especially when you are used to living in your “comfort zone”. However, for me this position is about opportunities rather than pressures due to two reasons.

Firstly, as the first Vietnamese to be offered a top management position, I am responsible for doing the best job possible and proving that Vietnamese are knowledgeable and can occupy positions often held by foreigners so that in future, when there is a similar vacancy, BAT will consider Vietnamese as among the best candidates.

Besides, I set myself the task of inspiring and nurturing confidence in other Vietnamese colleagues. If the first one creates a good precedent, it will lay a firm foundation for the successors.

Besides, I set myself the task of inspiring and nurturing confidence in other Vietnamese colleagues. If the first one creates a good precedent, it will lay a firm foundation for the successors.

Secondly, our company has a policy of developing and promoting local talent, including Vietnamese. Local staff make up over 95 per cent of BAT in Vietnam. If more Vietnamese rise to leadership positions, it will prove that this policy is effective to deserve more investment in the future.

Do Hoang Anh, Regional Head of Compliance, Asia Pacific & Middle East Region of BAT

How will you describe your 10-year journey with BAT? How has the company supported you? Please share your secrets of success?

I remember as a newcomer when I joined BAT 10 years ago in May 2007, I was initially overwhelmed by the tonnes of new processes and knowledge. I am also a mother, meaning there are highly stressful moments when I have to both take care of a sick child at home and do my work in the office. Thankfully, the company has always been supportive, offering me the chance to balance work and home life.

One of the things I love about BAT is the encouragement and direction it provides employees to think thoroughly about their career development in the long term: “What do you want to do/become in the next 5-10 years?” This forces you to visualise your future path and improve your skills to be ready to face the obstacles.

BAT supports career development by offering a variety of tools such as a transparent assessment system to help employees spot and overcome their weaknesses to achieve desired outcomes. The fact is life is not a bed of roses. You have to earn your rewards. It is you who must play the key role in your career development.

You are a successful and busy woman. Do you find you do not have enough time for family? What are your principles with regard to work-life balance?

I leave office at 6.30pm every day like everyone else and have dinner with my family. Personally, I think work is just a part of life. Of course, sometimes we have to work day and night. However, I always try to limit such situations. My weekend is dedicated to my family. I consistently try to fulfil my role as a mother and a wife: helping my children with their homework, spending time with my children and husband, sometimes gossiping with friends, travelling… Laughing and a peaceful time with my family and friends helps me release stress, re-energise for work and balance my life.

With regard to this promotion, what do you think about the current status of women in management positions in Vietnam, especially BAT?

In recent years women’s empowerment campaigns have altered the status of many women, encouraging them to raise their voice and be heard. These campaigns have gradually changed the perception that women must stay behind men’s success besides bringing to the fore a number of woman leaders in many countries, including Vietnam, not only at BAT but also other corporations. More and more Vietnamese employees, especially women, are rising to management positions at BAT in Vietnam and the region.

In this era of technology, thanks to the rapid growth of social networks, women can get more attention in society. They are facilitated and treated fairly both at work and in life. Every woman has her own tale to inspire others, creating positive impacts on enterprises and the society.


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