Digital Innovation Leader, PwC Singapore
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Carolyn has been a digital inclusion champion. With one third of ASEAN’s population without access to digital, Carolyn works tirelessly to ensure that under represented communities gain access to digital skills through pro bono digital upskilling initiatives for the non-profit sector, running the APAC digital upskilling initiative for PwC’s 84,000 employees to future-ready their careers (including rank and file staff), and reaching out to MNCs, Gov and Media to raise the importance on the growing digital divide. She is passionate about this because the lack of digital skills and access means lack of job opportunities, generational immobility for lesser privileged families, economic loss for countries and lack of social cohesion. Additionally, Carolyn reaches out to girls schools to get more females interested in IT and STEM to help inspire more young ladies into STEM.
Carolyn promotes meaningful initiatives and is selfless in her journey. She is keen to ensure that no one gets left behind in the digital era and to encourage better D&I in STEM. She passionately encourages under represented communities to live more meaningful lives through imparting digital skills so they can have more purposeful careers and improve generational mobility. She also organises private sector partnerships with non-profits such as Edutech advisory for Dyslexia Association, improving Volunteer data for Red Cross and upskilling 230+ Charity workers. She was recently featured by CNA for raising awareness that 150million people in ASEAN are at risk for falling behind in the 4th Industrial Revolution, bringing about higher unemployment rates with mostly women being affected and widening socio-economic impact.
In her words:
It is playing a part in helping to address the anxiety that people have about the Future of Work and if they will have the right skills to be relevant in the years to come. In addition to my Digital Innovation role at PwC Singapore, I have provided pro bono Digital Upskilling Masterclasses to the non-profit sector where over 230+ charity and non-profit professionals/volunteers attended and I helped to guide them on how best to manage the challenges of the Covid-19 situation and how to utilise digital to enhance their business models. This included showing the possibility of how digital can be used to obtain micro-donations from a wider donor base from around the world. I also helped run the digital upskilling initiative at PwC in Asia Pacific where I played an active role in helping 84,000 employees with gaining digital skills in data analytics, data visualisation, robotics process automation and AI/ML. This was not just for client-facing consultants but also for rank and file staff such as personal/admin assistants to ensure that they have new skills to prepare them for the Future of Work. I have been very proactive on the public speaking front, from Channel News Asia to webinars to podcasts to schools. I raise awareness to help people understand how to gain a growth mindset to future-ready their skills and raise awareness about the growing digital divide, such as how one third of ASEAN's population (150m people) has no access to Digital, and what we can all do as organisations and individuals to address this digital divide to create a more inclusive and equitable world.
Biggest challenge thus far
For 4 years, I served on a Board for a charity that rescues race horses and trains these horses to aid in animal therapy for special needs kids, elderly with clinical depression and dementia, as well as Youths-At-Risk. During the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker period, our charity was hit by Malaysian staff being stuck at borders and had nowhere to stay in SG, As HR Committee Chair for our charity, I was able to initially provide support on accommodation through affordable hotels (by liaising with our Finance committee) and eventually gained special permission from the government on alternate housing. I rallied our Board and management to provide any donations in kind to these employees such as new mattresses, blankets, food, pillows, water bottles etc, so that these Malaysians could feel more comfortable with their lodging and not have to worry about finances (since charity salaries are often modest).
what judges say
Upskilling of non-profit sector, raising awareness of digital divide and building a more inclusive world! Well done!