TSMP Law Corporation Joint Managing Partner and Head of Corporate Stefanie Yuen Thio was interviewed by Asia Business Law Journal for a 20 May 2020 piece on challenges women face in the legal profession, which was sparked by a study by the World Bank titled “Women, Business and the Law 2020”.
She said: “COVID-19 has forced almost everyone, all over the world, to work from home. Both parents now have direct and very immediate experience of the mayhem that is bringing up a family. The virus can be a great leveller in the household by forcing couples to divide their responsibilities, and to understand the other person’s struggles.”
Yuen Thio adds that another issue women face is the expectations others have of them. “What’s been the real challenge are the unspoken expectations,” she says. “You have to be every inch a professional, and very much a lady. Stand up to your male counterpart, but don’t lose your femininity. You must be able to carry as many documents as they can, and walk as fast; but you must do it in 3-inch heels and a smart pencil-skirt suit, because that’s how women project professional credibility.”