By Rebecca Clifford-Cruz
Las Vegas Sun
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Louisa Choi is the General Manager of “Lyft Nevada.” In this terrific Q&A with the Las Vegas Sun, she shares some great lessons she has learned along the way including,”Women should not minimize their talents and the great work they do by not speaking up. Input, creativity and achievements are valuable, so take ownership of them and don’t be afraid to share them.”
Las Vegas Sun
Louisa Choi, general manager of Lyft Nevada, was born in Macau and moved to the United States after graduating from college. As a child, she was always intrigued by different cultures and wanted to live in another country.
“Coming from a country of a very different culture, my personal experiences have led me to further value cultural differences and the importance of inclusivity,” she said.
Her respect for multiculturalism has benefited her in several stages of her professional career.
Do you have any recent news you’d like to share?
While we have multiple programs in the works to address our city’s growth, we recently announced two new initiatives that we hope have a positive impact on our community. Our Job Access Program focuses on closing short-term transportation gaps related to employment access and job training by offering free rides to those in low-income areas to and from job training programs, job interviews, and the first three weeks of employment.
We’ve also rolled out our local grants program, which awards ride credits to nonprofits, and are honored to support the Shade Tree and the Salvation Army Southern Nevada as our first recipients. We look forward to supporting these hard-working organizations that want to take their efforts even further. Nonprofits will be awarded grants on a quarterly basis, and we encourage organizations to visit lyftwheelsforall.com for more information and to apply for the grants.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I was born in Macau and moved to the United States after graduating from college. As a child, I was always intrigued by different cultures and wanted to live in another country, so I was fortunate enough that my career brought me to the U.S.
Coming from a country of a very different culture, my personal experiences have led me to further value cultural differences and the importance of inclusivity.
How has your experience in the gaming/resort industry aided your position at Lyft?
My background has granted me insight into how we can customize and elevate the experience for our Las Vegas driver and rider community.
We are always thinking of new ways to provide exceptional service to our riders. In 2018, we launched the Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities, which is comprised of community leaders who are dedicated to eliminating impaired driving fatalities. In partnership with these organizations, we’ve been able to conceptualize and execute a variety of campaigns and programs that have increased the visibility and accessibility of smart ride alternatives. We encourage everyone to make smart decisions when heading out by making us their designated driver.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Gender bias. I’m fortunate to work in a company that highly values equality and is committed to preventing discrimination in the workplace. We need more companies to acknowledge the presence of gender bias and commit to eliminating discrimination in the workplace.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
My mom is a fierce female entrepreneur and the most loving and selfless mother of three. I am still amazed at how she juggles it all. She managed to start and grow a business while making me and my siblings feel that we were the luckiest kids on earth. My mom has never stopped learning — she taught herself finance, how to work a computer, and how to run a successful business. She does this all while still treating everyone around her with respect.
Another female leader I admire is Malala Yousafzai, the author of “I Am Malala” and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate for her human rights advocacy. I admire her so much for being a fearless and unstoppable force. Her fight for education and equality inspires me to continue to think of ways to close the gender gap in tech and in the workplace.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Being a new mom, prioritization and setting boundaries are key for me. I love spending time with my son and husband, and it’s important for me to take time to be with them and enjoy their company. I set a cutoff time every evening when I disconnect from work and focus on my family, but before I do, I reflect on the day and prioritize my work projects for the next day. I also love meditation. Taking some time out to sit in silence and refocus prepares me for what the next day will bring.
What is your dream job outside of your current field?
They say that motherhood is the most important job of all, and my dream came true this year with my newborn baby boy. However, my two dream jobs in a sense have collided. I am known by my team as “Mama Bear.” When I asked them why they called me that, they told me that it’s because I care for each of them on a personal level beyond the workplace bond. I’ve always been a big believer in a work-life balance and I’m happy to be there for my team in a way that promotes a healthy work environment.
If you could spend a day in anybody’s shoes, who would you choose and why?
Jessica Meir, one of the female astronauts who just did the first-ever all-female spacewalk. Not only was she able to complete necessary tasks with her partner Christina Koch, but she also inspired a generation of women looking to get into the space industry. It’s incredible to see someone who looks like you accomplish something so amazing. And how amazing would it be to look down and see Earth below your feet.
What advice can you offer women who are working their way up the career ladder?
Women need to support women. We are stronger together. Whether they are a C-level executive or just starting out, it’s imperative that women help each other along the way. I also encourage women to be fearless in the workplace and make your voices heard. Women should not minimize their talents and the great work they do by not speaking up. Input, creativity and achievements are valuable, so take ownership of them and don’t be afraid to share them. Finally, make the great work done known and visible to others, especially those in higher-level positions.
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