Our People Stories Kay Yi

Former Managing Director
Watsons Taiwan
Kay Yi
Empowering Women to Scale the Career Ladder

Boasting an almost three-decade career at A.S. Watson, Kay is best described as a mover and shaker in the company. With humble beginnings starting off as a Buyer Assistant at PARknSHOP in 1993, she was later transferred to Watsons and moved through the ranks to Manager, Controller, Director, then taking over as Chief Operating Officer of Watsons Taiwan in 2016 and eventually becoming Managing Director of Watsons Taiwan in 2018.

Kay was the first local, female executive at Watsons Taiwan to head such a role. During her service, she had helped accelerate Watsons’s digital transformation, grow the O+O platforms as well as build up the brand’s proposition to Go Green.

In her career, Kay achieved plenty of successes and she credits a lot of that to her own curiosity. “Always be curious so that you are able to stay abreast of all the latest happenings and get a full picture of the whole business and make decisions precisely. Working in retail is always a challenge to keep things fresh, but I love to see customers happy with new products or when a new product trend comes to market and brings a smile to customers’ faces.” Kay said.

In fact, she thought that the best part of working at Watsons was that there were always new opportunities and challenges in retail, and there were always positions to fill up your growth so that you never felt tired. She had many memorable moments in her 29 years. One of them was some sage advice given to her during a performance evaluation which defined the way she approached her career. she added, “I learnt that it’s important to bring out the best in people, because when a team is stronger, you can do more important things which give you the opportunities to move up.”

“Thanks to A.S. Watson, it provides an open and equal workplace. Opportunities are given to those who are talented, regardless of gender. I only managed to get to the top because I was in a workplace that treated women fairly and empowered women to be the best that I could be." She said that such empowerment is real trademark of A.S. Watson’s culture, which helped her to smash the proverbial glass ceiling.

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