Switch! Cambodia

In 2020 the SWITCH SEA project launched with four economies, including Cambodia. The project aimed to support the career development goals of women and gender diverse people working in the technical sector.

In 2022, SWITCH SEA wrapped up, and the Switch! project took its place. Switch! not only had two additional economies, it also had annual National Events in which the participants from that economy could network and share knowledge.

Morokot Cheat: Elevating Confidence, Skills, and Life Balance: The Impact of the Switch! Project

“The Switch! project has been a transformative journey for me, enhancing my confidence, technical skills, and work-life balance. Thanks to the Switch! project for offering me this invaluable opportunity, enabling me toward positive change to be recognized within my workplace and the tech community. ”

– Morokot Cheat, 2023 Switch! participant

Discovering the project

I became involved in the APNIC Foundation’s Switch! – South East Asia Gender and Diversity Project because I had been a participant in the SWITCH SEA program the previous year. The project support mechanisms that proved to be most beneficial for my professional growth were the enriching training courses and the invaluable research support. These mechanisms provided me the chance to enhance my skills and expertise, enabling me to thrive in my current role and paving the way for future career advancements.  

The training courses offered through the project were aligned with my goal for professional development and covered a wide range of topics, from technical know-how to soft skills, language improvement, and leadership development. I had the freedom to select the course subjects and schools where they were expertly delivered by professionals in their respective fields. Participating in these training sessions not only strengthened my knowledge but also refined my problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. Moreover, the language improvement aspect of the training proved to be especially beneficial. As communication is the backbone of any successful professional, sharpening my language skills helped me express my ideas with clarity and confidence, both in written and spoken forms.   

The research support provided me with invaluable opportunities to explore into practical implementations within my area of expertise. The project facilitated collaborations, allowing me to work on real-world challenges and contribute meaningfully to cutting-edge projects. These hands-on experiences not only enhanced my problem-solving abilities but also provided me with unique insights and perspectives that I could apply directly to my daily responsibilities. The research support enabled me to explore innovative solutions and implement them in a supportive environment, free from the fear of failure.  

As a result of the training courses and research support, I not only thrived in my current role but also assumed additional responsibilities and leadership opportunities within the organization. The recognition of my contributions and the significant value I brought to the projects caught the attention of my superiors, leading to a well-deserved promotion.  

Career impacts

Since receiving confirmation of my participation in the Switch! project, my life has undergone significant positive changes, both professionally and personally. The support provided by the project has been crucial in boosting my confidence and refining my technical skills, opening up new and exciting opportunities for growth.  

The first major change revolves around transforming fear into confidence. Being invited by the Switch! Project to be a panelist at APRICOT 55, where I discussed Diversity & Inclusivity in Tech in the Philippines, was a transformative experience. The opportunity to present on an international stage alongside experts from diverse countries expanded my network and enriched my understanding of the global tech community. This not only built my confidence as a public speaker but also allowed me to share my insights and ideas on a broader platform.

Equipped with the knowledge and skills developed through the project’s training, I felt prepared to become a guest speaker at the Workshop to Strengthen the Capacity of the Provincial Department of Post and Telecommunications in Palin and Siem Reap province. Contributing my expertise to this workshop initiative was incredibly fulfilling and reinforced my commitment to making a positive impact in the tech industry.  

The project’s emphasis on research and support boosted my passion for driving positive change in the field. I became more conscious of the significance of my work and its potential to positively influence the industry. This motivation led me to pursue further research and publish my findings, ensuring that my voice and knowledge reached a broader audience. This also directly improved my work productivity and time-management skills. Now, I work more efficiently, accomplishing tasks that used to take days in just a single day. This newfound productivity not only allows me to take on additional responsibilities but also empowers me to succeed in my role.  

Improved habits

Of the changes mentioned above, the two most important changes to me personally were (1) increased Confidence and Public Speaking and (2) Balanced Work-Life Habits.  

These changes are highly significant both personally and professionally.   

Firstly, overcoming my fear of public speaking and participating on an international stage as a panelist have boosted my self-esteem and removed my barriers. Confidently sharing insights has enhanced my credibility in the tech community. As a panelist and guest speaker, I’ve contributed significantly, broadening my professional network and establishing myself as a trusted voice in my field. This transformation has led to collaborations, partnerships, and leadership roles.

Prioritizing health and leisure activities has enriched my life quality and strengthened relationships. Professionally, improved time management has increased my productivity and work quality, gaining recognition from colleagues and superiors. A healthier work-life balance has fostered clarity and creativity, leading to innovative solutions.   

In summary, these changes shape my personal growth and professional journey significantly. They’ve driven me out of my comfort zone, empowering me to embrace new opportunities. 

In essence, the Switch! project’s diverse approach—financial support, research funding, networking, mentoring, and memberships—has empowered me to change toward positive growth personally and professionally.  

It’s highly unlikely that these changes would have occurred without involvement in the Switch! project. The project’s unique combination of financial support, networking opportunities, mentoring, and resources created a supportive environment that was conducive to my personal and professional growth. The project’s activities enable these changes.  

This change has significantly impacted my life, boosting credibility, expanding my network, and leading while maintaining a balance with my personal life.  Looking ahead, I am sure that these changes will drive further positive growth with continued support from the Switch! project. 

Project participants are encouraged to share stories of their progress. This account has been lightly edited.