Eu-Gene Sung, McCann NY CFO, on IPG's Year of the Fire Rooster Panel

Eu-Gene Sung, McCann NY CFO, on IPG's Year of the Fire Rooster Panel

McCann NY CFO Eu-Gene Sung participated in a panel discussion hosted by IPG’s Asian Heritage Group (AHG) and Verizon’s Asian Pacific Employees for Excellence (APEX) to celebrate the Year of the Fire Rooster. The event took place at IPG headquarters and featured a discussion around the factors that drive the unique career experiences of successful Asian executives and the history and cultural significance of the Lunar New Year.   

Joining Eu-Gene on the panel were Sanette Chao, Director, Marketing Communications & Branding, Verizon; Andre Chi, Director, Business Intelligence, Verizon; Andy Sung, SVP, Group Managing Director, R/GA; and moderator Bill Imada, Chairman & Chief Connectivity Officer, IW Group. 

Michael Roth, IPG Chairman and CEO, welcomed everyone to the Lunar New Year Festival Event and discussed IPG’s 2017 goals to further diversity and inclusion efforts and to infuse D&I it into the company’s DNA. 

Bill then introduced the panelists and kicked off the panel discussion with a startling stat: while Asians are the fastest growing minority population in the U.S., they only occupy 3% of the C-suite. It was a launchpad for the panelists to discuss their career paths and what helped and hurt them along their way to success. 

Major themes that emerged throughout the discussion included the importance of mentorship, being your own advocate and how hard work only gets you so far – in corporate America, you have to take that extra step to get to the next level.    

Eu-Gene talked about the importance of finding something that you really enjoy, which is the only way you’ll become invested in your work. She also stressed the importance of building relationships and making yourself accessible – to be a successful leader, people need to be able to see you know who you are.

Bill asked the speakers to address some of the stereotypes around Asian Americans, often referred to as a “model minority.” Sanette said Asians are often expected to be the quiet, reserved hard workers that don’t speak up. She said that more introverted employees need to find that comfort level to make themselves heard and to voice what they want out of their careers. A good way to manage introverts is with one-on-ones or in smaller groups rather than in large group discussions. 

The panel was followed by a spirited QA session with the audience who wanted to know everything from what the panelists do outside of the office to their approach to managing their employees to how they personally and culturally identify as “Asians.” 

After the panel wrapped, everyone was invited to network, take photos and enjoy some traditional cuisine. Another successful AHG event!

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