Podcast Episode

Bouncing Back from Discrimination as a Young Female Architect w Jean Cheong | S3E1

In the first ever episode of the Architecture Siol! podcast, I chat with Jean Cheong, Technical Director Head, Architecture & Planning of WSP and Co-Chair of the Young Architect's League Singapore and discuss on her architecture story, the issues she faced and learnings she had along the way.

Apr 13, 2024

In this episode, we discussed the following:

  • Jean's experience with discrimination at the workplace as a young female Architect

  • Jean's career journey and background in Real Estate (being headhunted)

  • Importance of getting QP early

  • What her role is as Technical Director of WSP

  • What she is looking for in potential new hires at WSP (She's hiring!)

  • Why she made an executive decision to raise salaries for deserving hires

  • Her views on salaries for architects and designers

  • Her role in the Singapore Institute of Architects Young Architect's League (SIA-YAL)

  • Whether she feels Architects are united?

  • "Don't throw things at people. Be composed"

  • Why she joined SIA-YAL (hint: it's the same reason I joined as well)

  • Her views on recent trends such as emphasis on sustainability and digitalisation in the architectural industry

  • Her advice for young architects and fresh graduates.

About Jean

Jean is the Technical Director and the Head of Department in the Architecture and Planning division of WSP.

Prior to joining WSP, Jean was the Project Director and Architectural Qualified Person (QP) of Monetary Authority of Singapore Future of Workplace Transformation and Project Lead of JTC Bulim Infrastructure Phase 1, Infrastructure Phase 2, District Logistic Network (DLN Ramp) and Bahar Tunnel Part 1 of a larger Jurong Innovation District (JID) Masterplan. Concurrently she was also a key member of the team working on Changi Airport Terminal 5, while being involved in the rejuvenation of Choa Chu Kang Sports Centre. She has also contributed substantially to various feasibility studies for developers’ land bids and competitions.

Jean is also certified Green Mark Professional and is passionate about upholding the highest standard of sustainability in her projects. Outside of work, she is a member of the Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC), a platform chaired by Minister Grace Fu for aspiring female leaders and a network that aims to empower and connect young female leaders. She was privileged to be selected as mentee under YWLC Mentorship, a prestigious programme offering an exclusive opportunity to be mentored by some of Singapore's most accomplished women leaders across various industries.

Jean is also a Co-chair of SIA Young Architects League (SIA YAL) for the term 2022 to 2024, a public outreach platform under SIA to engage and serve the architectural community, aspiring architects as well as architectural students in Singapore and is currently serving as a mentor for selected students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

You can connect with Jean on Linkedin.

About the show

Architecture Siol! is a podcast from Gabriel Chek featuring Stories, Issues, Opportunities, Learnings within Architecture.

Tune in as Gabriel chats with fellow architects, designers and students to discover more about them and their ‘badass’ work in the architectural industry in Singapore and beyond.

siol - Singaporean slang (Singlish). Commonly used at the end of a sentence to emphasize the 'badass' qualities of someone/something.

If you would like to join me as a podcast guest, feel free to contact me.

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