In our Women of WeChat series, we take a look at some of the women whose lives and careers have been shaped by WeChat. They are all successfully pursuing careers in the tech industry; not an easy feat by any means. Find them at CHat Shanghai, a two-day conference designed to educate and inspire use of the WeChat ecosystem on September 1 and 2 at The Place near Xintiandi.
Tingyi Chen is the Marketing Manager at WalktheChat, a marketing and IT company that helps foreign businesses enter the Chinese market. Chen started as an accountant in a Fortune 500 company in the United States. After transferring back to Beijing, she was influenced by the active startup community and decided to start her own company. During the process, she met her current business partner, Thomas Graziani, and together they have built WalktheChat.
What aspects of WeChat appeal to you the most and have inspired you to make it such an instrumental part of your career?
WeChat is a very Chinese social platform. Everyone in China uses it, but people in the rest of the world don’t know much about it. Foreign companies can’t even apply for a China-visible WeChat official account without special approval.
How has WeChat affected your career?
At WalktheChat, we serve as the bridge between the West and China. WeChat affects us a lot, since our e-commerce platform is based on WeChat. I try to stay on top of all WeChat updates, Tencent regulation changes and popular WeChat campaign trends. I am learning new things about social media everyday.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in an industry typically dominated by males?
I work mostly with software engineers and there is definitely some gender imbalance in the work place. I think woman have different taste in UI design, and it’s important to consider both gender’s preferences. Sometimes we do campaigns with two different versions for both genders to better target users.
Is it important for you to be a role model to other females looking to enter the tech industry?
Yes, the tech industry needs more women. I hope talented women will not be too afraid to become an engineer or work in the tech field.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
WalktheChat is looking for talented women and men to join our team!
Read more interviews in our Women of WeChat series here.