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Choosing to Challenge – International Women's Day Special

Every year, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women… and acknowledges how much further we have to go. This year’s campaign theme, #ChoosetoChallenge, is a pledge to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.

We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. BrightSparks is joining in as well – by putting the spotlight on scholars who have called out old traditions and made a mark for themselves regardless of gender and inequality.

Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.





A Military Career - LTC Nichola Goh, SAF Merit Scholar

Nichola Goh

“Back in Junior College, I already knew that I did not want a corporate desk-bound job. My interest in a military career started after I attended a sharing session by a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) officer in Junior College. I wanted a career that would be dynamic, exciting and different. I also knew that I wanted a job where I could contribute to the nation. I felt that a career in the SAF would allow me to do exactly that.”

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Nichola Goh, 32 years old, did not let anything stop her on her path to her current role as a Senior Force Transformation Officer at the Force Transformation Office. “The RSAF is a professional organisation where everyone takes great pride in the work they do, regardless of their vocation. We undergo tough and rigorous training to ensure that we are well-qualified to do our jobs. It is not always easy, but this ensures that we are always up to the task when called upon.”

Today, she is proud to be where she is, conducting long-term planning for the SAF to make sure manpower, budgetary and capability development plans put the SAF in good stead to face future challenges.

“The RSAF safeguards Singapore's skies, which allows our citizens to sleep soundly and the nation to function effectively. Serving the country is a high calling, and this is what makes a career in the RSAF meaningful,” she said.

Read her story here.


Engineer of Change - Lam Ka Ying, SgIS Scholar

Lam Ka Ying

Engineering has moved from being a male-dominated field to one that embraces change and looks toward future developments. One of those taking on the challenge is Lam Ka Ying, SgIS Scholar, who is involved in the capture and pursuit of defence export programmes as part of the Business Development Office of ST Engineering.

The fact that ST Engineering had something for everyone – no matter their gender, age or anything else – was especially important to Ka Ying, as her degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering was of a niche field of engineering. “I'm involved in the capture and pursuit of some of the defence export programmes that we are choosing, and my focus is in the Europe market as well as the Terrex platforms,” she said.

She, a fresh graduate, was trusted to participate in extensive negotiations, a task normally granted only to the senior management. She swelled with pride as she remembered how she was supported and encouraged to voice her opinions.

Read about how she challenged herself here.


Cleaning up Singpore – Angeline Loh, Singapore Sustainability Scholar

Angeline Loh

Managing the sewer network may sound like a dirty job, and women never liked dirty jobs, right? Angeline Loh, Singapore Sustainability Scholar, proved everyone wrong on so many levels.

One might have expected an engineer like her to head for the manufacturing or technology sector. Instead, Angeline bucked the trend, choosing to manage the sewer network in the central area of Singapore and plan for future upcoming developments as a Catchment Planning Engineer in the Planning and Design Division of the Water Reclamation Network Department, PUB.

Far from disgusted, she is proud of her work: “My role looks into Singapore's future, where the everyday work I do is for a Singapore in 50 to 100 years to come. What we do supports Singapore's future development plans – properly planned sewerage systems are integral to every livable city!”

Read on about her choices here.

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