In 2020 the SWITCH SEA project launched with four economies, including Thailand. 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.
- Read about the 2023 National Event – Thailand
- Read about the 2022 National Event – Thailand
- Accounts from Thai SWITCH SEA participants (2020-2022 phase)
Thanaporn Lapjarean: Switching my mindset
“Before joining Switch!, I thought that I didn’t have enough knowledge about my career, which made me refrain from expressing my views or giving others advice. But after joining, I gained more knowledge in many different aspects of cyber security, making me feel more confident in expressing opinions or giving advice. Specifically, receiving certificates in cyber security helped me gain more recognition from other teams. “
– Thanaporn Lapjarean, 2023 Switch! participant
Starting with cybersecurity
Switch! gave me support in training courses and certifications, allowing me to become more knowledgeable in cyber security. After attending courses in CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+, and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator, I was able to use the skills I had learned and apply them in the assignments I have presently.
After joining the project, I learned more about many concepts of cyber security and practiced them in workshops. I learned different techniques, how-tos, and steps from the workshops. When I encounter the same or similar scenarios at work, I am confident in handling such situations and can solve them more quickly.
The major changes after I received the support are 1. I became more confident in my career 2. I became more accepted and trusted from other teams.
Building on skills to gain confidence
Before joining Switch!, I thought that I didn’t have enough knowledge about my career, which made me refrain from expressing my views or giving others advice. But after joining, I gained more knowledge in many different aspects of cyber security, making me feel more confident in expressing opinions or giving advice. I can now answer questions more confidently and accurately. Specifically, receiving certificates in cyber security helped me gain more recognition from other teams.
First of all, the project helped me to thrive and be more enthusiastic because the training course and certification are quite expensive, so it is difficult for me to attend. However, when I received the opportunity, I had a strong determination to see it through. Secondly, it helped me become more accepted from other organizations. In the past, when I gave advice to them regarding cyber security, they didn’t trust me as they should have. I then had to prove that I do have the knowledge and skills. After participating in the program, I could prove to others that I have the ability. I thank APNIC and the Switch project for giving me such a good opportunity.
Had I not joined Switch program, all the changes couldn’t have happened or would have been less likely to happen to me. Not long after I joined the program, I noticed many changes, whether it was the willingness to learn, the confidence to talk, express opinions, give advice or exchange with others. All these changes boosted my career opportunities. I am more accepted. Many people in my company trust me and listen to my advice with no bias, not judging my ability from my gender or age, despite me being younger than them.
Kanokwan Aimsumang: How Switch! Catalyzed My Growth and Leadership
“‘Empowered Through Engagement’ would be my quote to capture my experience with the Switch! project. It signifies how actively participating in the program has bolstered my capabilities. As for others noticing the change, my colleagues have commented on my enhanced leadership and decision-making skills. They’ve mentioned that I seem more confident and focused, which positively impacts the team’s overall performance.”– Kanokwan Aimsumang, 2023 Switch! participant
An intriguing opportunity
As the Head of IT Security at my organization, I found the Switch! project particularly intriguing because it supports women and LGBTQI+ people in advancing their careers. I discussed its potential with my manager. Once I registered and was accepted into the program, I decided to enroll in courses that would significantly enhance my professional skills. I focused on security specialist and soft skill courses.
Participating in the project proved to be highly beneficial for me. The program sponsored the training fees for various online courses, including advanced English classes at the British Council, as well as certifications like CISSP and ISO 27001 Lead Implementer. Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in complimentary courses and webinars provided by APNIC, which included Introduction to Cyber Security, and Policy Development Process.
I also benefitted from mentoring opportunities. Through these mentoring sessions, I received feedback, recommendations, and shared experiences pertaining to both knowledge and personal development. These sessions were incredibly valuable in honing my management skills. In total, I participated in around seven mentoring sessions.
Improved management skills
Since joining the Switch! project, I’ve noticed several positive changes. At work, my skills have improved, and I’m more confident. Personally, I feel more engaged and have a broader network. I’m also more aware of my career growth, and I’ve been able to access valuable information and resources.
Out of the changes I listed, the most important to me personally is the enhancement of my management skills, especially in team management. This has been crucial for effectively leading my team and contributing positively to the organization.
This change is important to me both personally and professionally because effective management skills are the backbone of successful leadership. On a personal level, it has increased my confidence and allowed me to build stronger relationships with my team members. It has also helped in personal growth as I learn to manage different personalities and work styles. Professionally, improved management skills have a direct impact on the team’s productivity and morale. Being able to effectively delegate, communicate, and support my team has led to a more efficient work environment. The team is more motivated, and this reflects in the quality of work, which ultimately contributes to the overall success of the organization. The impact has been substantial, as I’ve observed a positive shift in the work culture, and it’s rewarding to know that I have played a role in that through enhanced management skills.
The Switch! project fostered my growth through mentoring sessions and story-telling activities. Mentoring honed my management skills with personalized advice, while story-telling widened my perspectives on leadership challenges. These experiences enriched my toolkit and boosted my confidence for effective team management.
Without the Switch! project, this transformation may not have been as substantial or swift. The project’s structure and resources were key catalysts. I first noticed the change when my decision-making became more assertive and my team’s synergy improved. This evolution has already led to a more harmonious and productive work environment. I believe it will continue to amplify my leadership qualities and open new avenues for personal and professional development in the future.
Project participants are encouraged to share stories of their progress. These accounts have been lightly edited.