Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Catherine Vu – Work Hard, Laugh Harder: A Vietnamese Woman’s Rise in the IT Industry

April 02, 2019 Marie Gervais Season 1 Episode 8
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Catherine Vu – Work Hard, Laugh Harder: A Vietnamese Woman’s Rise in the IT Industry
Show Notes

Bio for Catherine Vu

Catherine Vu manages Pro-Active IT Management Inc., and supports many social causes.

Episode highlight

As a Vietnamese woman in IT, Catherine Vu has crossed many barriers to be a successful entrepreneur. In this podcast, she shares how the Vietnamese and Canadian cultures have shaped her. 



Twitter: @itCatherine

Instagram: CatherineVy 



 “What’s important is how connected we can be as a community and how we can grow and help each other.”

“The worst thing that can happen is I fail. If I fail, I start again from Day 1.”

 “If they don’t know me, they can’t judge me.”

“Treat others how you want to be treated.”


Childhood incidents:

Catherine learned by watching her parents, the importance of responsibility and hard work. 

Her mother always told them, “You have my trust until you break it. Once you break it, good luck getting it back!” She trusts her employees on their IT expertise, and even trusts her competitors.

Groups you were born into: 

As a Vietnamese, Catherine imbibed her need for predictability, security and control. As an entrepreneur and leader, she works to push past those limitations and surpass her personal boundaries for growth. 

Groups you chose to belong to:

When Catherine’s family first found out her brother had Down’s syndrome, she suggested that they join support groups. She became involved in volunteering out of her curiosity to learn more about her brother’s condition. 

She is also an active part of women’s entrepreneur groups. 

Temperament and personality influences

Catherine describes herself happy, punctual, impatient and direct in communication - a Vietnamese trait. 

She continually works to better herself - both personally and professionally. She hopes to make an impact by walking the talk and leading by example.

A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experience

She notices certain aspects of her Vietnamese culture makes her stand out from other people: she doesn’t mind having soup for breakfast and sometimes gets into other people’s personal space, but does mind when children hit each other on their heads – a body part considered sacred in her culture.

Advice to an employer to work with me

Catherine prefers to be given the freedom to work and find her way to the desired outcome. As long as the employer is forthright and direct about expectations, she will ensure that she delivers the results. 

More great insights from our guest! 

 Catherine has learned that to be a good leader, you need to be involved with people who are not like you. She keeps reminding herself as a leader to learn from people, things and experiences and be a more compassionate and empathetic person by recognizing those differences.

If you know someone who needs IT support, especially a non-profit, contact Catherine’s on-demand outsourced IT Company today!

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