Lily Wang has been in honestbee since August 2015. She’s a passionate advocate of the power of social work and tirelessly applies herself to being a change-maker, providing positive social impact upon all the lives she touches.
When it comes to diversity in tech, #TheStruggleIsReal. In an industry dominated by males spotting a couple of stereotypes, industry-leading organisations are calling for a larger focus on diversity and multiculturalism. Where recruiting any top talent has proved to be a major challenge any start-up founders would face, diversity has proved to be needful.
Facebook hired Maxine Williams as its global director of diversity in 2013. One of her most notable efforts was overhauling the Managing Bias training course to help individuals understand their possible biasness. Through real-world examples, employees were taught to work on pre-emptive solutions. Google, the first tech giant to publicly release its diversity numbers, has also pledged to “unite this dialogue around diversity in the tech industry”, its director of diversity and inclusion Yolanda Mangolini said.
You might be thinking, “Why the hoo-hah over diversity and multiculturalism? We are a small team and not all tech companies have access to resources like Facebook and Google.” You might also be thinking, “How can a small startup foster an environment conducive for minorities?” For us at honestbee, it starts with respect. Our experience in having a diverse team also bought about a positive impact on our business and the culture we are building. Here are some tips on how you can build a team that is diverse and multicultural based on our experience.
Respect Different Perspectives Diversity Brings
Working with a team of individuals from different backgrounds, culture and education is great. This means that a broader range of insights and ideas will be brought to the table. For the team to work efficiently together though, mutual respect is key.
It is important that team members keep an open mind and open communication channel. Remember, different departments have to work together quite closely. It’s best that the working relationship is kept at optimum to be able to solve things more creatively as a team.
Integrating People from Different Backgrounds into the Local Culture
Starting a new job is difficult enough, let alone starting a new job in a new city and a new culture. You can imagine how nerve-wrecking or frustrating it must be when you step into an office where no one understands you. Think about this: no one knows what you’re saying and what you’re trying to achieve.
Here at honestbee, our social committee ensures that team members integrate well with each other. We encourage informal engagement sessions during lunch or after work so as to learn more about each other. We also take them out during the weekends for them to experience the fun side of Singapore, such as cycling, paintball and soccer sessions. Just a few weekends ago, we even had a little tour at Gardens by the Bay for the new joiners!
Talent Scouting in Different Places
Instead of going to the same universities for new talents, honestbee works with different colleges. We strive for gender balance and having a global team. We also hold culture interviews to ensure that potential employees have aligned cultural beliefs.
To date, we have dedicated employees from 29 countries across the globe, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France, Germany, Romania. Close to half of our employees are females.
Diversity and multiculturalism in tech is not a new conversation. It’s been talked about, and some companies have even been working on it for years. As a young company that’s barely a year old, we are definitely proud of our small gains. But at the same time, we are committed to improving and fostering a better work environment. Diversity brings so much more to our products and services. It adds so much colour, passion and nuances, which in return, benefits our customers.
We‘d be happy to engage in a diversity discussion. Hit us up if you want to speak!
Ralph is young, outgoing, and enjoys an active lifestyle. He was looking for an exciting job that keeps him on his feet when his brother, an honestbee coordinator, suggested joining honestbee.
After completing National Service, Ralph applied for a job at honestbee as a Shopper Bee and Delivery Bee. Today, Ralph is a Supervisor and all-round Superbee. He’s best known around the honestbee headquarters for riding his kitted out e-bike to the office, and for his energetic and positive vibes, which we all adore.
We caught up with Ralph to find out more about his honestbee experience.
Tell us about your honestbee experience
Joining honestbee has given me the opportunity to learn, progress and contribute to the organisation. I love working in an ever-changing and dynamic environment. It’s challenging and there’s a constant stream of work to be done.
“In a startup, you’re a part of something much greater. Your contribution makes a real difference. The excitement is wonderfully overwhelming.”
Being a part of honestbee is just like creating a community and making new friends along the way. We are a growing family that is making something out of nothing, working with people who are here for the same reasons as you are.
And that’s a great thing to be a part of.
Why did you become a Superbee?
Well, I was curious about the logistics business and I wanted to learn more about it. In order to do that, I tried my hand at several roles, which form the honestbee logistics network. My nickname is Superbee because I’ve experienced being a Shopper, e-bike Deliverer, and Supervisor.
I’m the only Bee who uses an e-bike to deliver orders to customers (for now), and I enjoy it as it keeps the wind in my hair while I work. And I feel super satisfied when I see the smile on a customer’s face when they receive their order.
What is your typical day like?
9am – 1pm… I collect the e-bike from the office and cycle to the stores and fetch orders. I also check on the concierge shoppers to see if they need any help with shopping, checking out of items, and packing.
1pm – 2pm... Thanks to the flexibility of the job, I can visit my mother at lunchtime and bring her something interesting to eat and spend some time with her.
2pm – 3pm… In the afternoon, I usually ride my e-bike and hand out flyers. Or spend time with shoppers and supervisors and guide them through any challenges they are facing.
3pm – 5pm… This is the busiest time of the day after the late morning rush. When a live order pops up on my phone, I’ll ride my e-bike to visit the respective stores and collect the items to be delivered to customers. How fast can I get from store to customer’s door? I’m very fast *puts helmet on*.
Interested in joining Ralph and the honestbee shopper and delivery squad? Apply to become a Bee now.
Every fruit and vegetable has its own signature of freshness. Choosing the freshest and tastiest produce is a combination of seasonal knowledge, and using one’s senses.
As a housewife and part-time Shopper Bee, Geok Lian Ng makes it her duty to select the finest produce for her family and honestbee customers.
“Whether I’m shopping for my family or honestbee customers, I will take the time to choose the best fruits and veggies on offer.”
We caught up with Geok Lian as she shared some of her tips and tricks for identifying ripe fruits and ready-to-eat vegetables at the supermarket.
Tips for Choosing Fresh Vegetables
We keep things in the family at honestbee, and for special family celebrations – the team keeps things in the neighborhood.
Our Partnerships executive, Justin had a birthday recently and a few team members hopped across the street to our neighbor, Le Café to buy some old school cakes.
He may be one year closer to the big 3-0, but Justin, don’t you worry child.
Our job descriptions may reflect a 9am to 6pm working day, but we often stay on much later.
Why do we bother staying after 6pm? Honestly, we enjoy each other’s company too much. Behold, a hazard of working at a start-up with colleagues who have great taste in food and beverages.
Below, an enjoyable evening diet for our hive. Dried mangoes and chocolate are exceptional staff favorites.
Most of the time, you can find Yusry standing very still in front of his laptop.
But early in the morning or in the early evenings, he takes off. Running, that is. From tutor, bus inspector and now software engineer who builds and implements our Product Hub, this is a guy who lives a colorfully coded lifestyle.
“I enjoy running, cycling, swimming and working out in the gym as well as fitness corners. I also enjoy other physical activities such as hiking/trekking and taking long walks. These are great for clearing the mind after busy week at work.”
Which is why he pioneered honestbee‘s Workout Wednesdays, where staff get together and attempt a light jog to places like Fort Canning Park. This usually ends in a walk – or a sprint when jaywalking.
Honestly, most of the team may be more game for Yusry’s favorite indoor activities like playing Settlers of Catan, Saboteur and Bridge.
Apart from having very diverse interests, he’s a die-hard fan of the east and proudly calls himself an “Easty.”
“I grew up in a kampong house in Geylang Serai. Moved to an HDB flat in 1984 about 200 meters away and have been living there ever since!”