Vu Thi Cam Uyen is the Head of Trade Marketing at Sanofi Consumer Health Care (CHC). She is passionate about driving commercial lead with 18+ years of experience in sales management, brand building and trade marketing working in different MNCs. She inspires others with her strong resilience, agility and commitment to developing people.
Can you tell us about your career progression to date?
It has been an incredible and rewarding journey with 18 years of learning, growing, finding the best version of myself in different roles & situations and making a meaningful impact at organisations I worked with. This journey has taken me to a wide range of roles and wonderful choices in a few leading MNCs. Whenever I look back, I feel deeply grateful for serving purposeful companies like P&G, Mead Johnson, and Sanofi; for working in empowered and inclusive working environments; for learning from talented colleagues and leaders; and for having many precious opportunities to develop myself and others. I’ve always felt uncomfortable about being too comfortable, which is why I’m always passionate about pursuing different challenges through the different milestones of my career.
What are some moments that helped you to get where you are today?
I would say the countless number of times where I’ve been given opportunities to stretch and go beyond my comfort zone. I never say no to challenges and is always quick to take on new roles, which has kept me going and see my progress.
What are the things that have helped you the most throughout your career?
Two things. The first is my fire and motivation to learn and enrich my values over time in becoming a valuable partner to others, the second is the practice of giving while never asking or expecting any return.
Do you have a mentor or role model in your career?
I’ve worked with two great female leaders who left behind legacies that have impacted both my personal and professional lives significantly. One thing in particular that I’ve learnt from them is the way they build strong supporting networks which enabled them to have a good work-life balance.
Looking back at your career, can you pinpoint when you first noticed an emphasis on diversity and inclusion around you?
I first noticed it when I joined a management trainee program as the first female sales manager they ever had, where my male counterparts were always very vocal whenever I made the wrong decision. People thought that females were limited to certain type of jobs or roles and thus were less inclined to offer the same opportunities to females.
Do you think that your gender has ever hindered you or blocked any personal progression?
I don’t think so, I think it comes down to your perception and your will, so don’t let anyone label you or stop you from doing what you want.
What advice would you give to your mentees?
Find a mentor
Be authentic and confident in yourself
Don’t hesitate to ask for help and help others
Be open and seek feedback regularly
Stay hungry and continue to learn and unlearn
Do you have any advice for working moms on how to progress and succeed?
Make sure you set clear priorities and goals for both your professional and personal lives, and share them with your support network, whether it is your partner, children, parents, or other relatives. You’ll also have to manage your time effectively, setting aside time for yourself and your family, and openly communicating it with your line managers and don’t be shy in requesting support.
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