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CYNTHIA CHAN

A prominent workplace design maven turned advocate, championing equity and inclusion.

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Lead Coach + Director, Business Strategy

Catalyse

Hong Kong 🇭🇰

inspirational leader
Cynthia Chan
Cynthia Chan

ABOUT CYNTHIA

Cynthia Chan, a prominent leader in architecture, transitioned from designing inclusive workplaces to spearheading inclusive workplace cultures. With a career managing prestigious design firms worldwide, she now heads Catalyse, Singapore’s premier consultancy for workplace harassment prevention. Catalyse partners with government agencies to shape effective workplace policies, empowering organizations to foster RISE workplace cultures—Respectful, Inclusive, Safe & Equitable. Her work is grounded in the belief that everyone deserves to thrive in their professional environment, reflecting her commitment to equity and community development.

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NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE. STAY TRUE—IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE PROUD OF THE REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR.

Cynthia Chan

CYNTHIA IN A NUTSHELL

Lead Coach + Director, Business Strategy

Catalyse

area of expertise

Coaching Consulting Hong Kong 🇭🇰

companies Cynthia has worked for

leadership

CYNTHIA AS A LEADER

Never forget who you are. Stay true—it's the only way to be proud of the reflection in the mirror.

Leadership is not a role, it is mindset.

Great Leaders should think less about themselves and more about how to help others lead.

The future of leadership is to nurture the next generation.

When I think of a leader, I think of my husband and Barack Obama.

Cynthia Chan
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EVERY SPACE SHOULD BE A PLACE OF BELONGING.

Cynthia Chan

CYNTHIA ON NAVIGATING CAREER CHALLENGES

In the face of the daunting bankruptcy left by her previous partner, Cynthia confronted the challenge head-on in her early career. She courageously embraced a role entirely new to her: business development. This shift demanded the rapid acquisition of essential skills, but through resilience and determination, she not only navigated through uncertainty but thrived. Her journey epitomizes resilience, turning potential setbacks into opportunities for growth and emerging as a leader in international design firms.

CYNTHIA ON HER CAREER PIVOT

In a career spanning three decades, she led Fortune 500 companies and prestigious international design houses. From national to regional, she later oversaw operations across 16 branches in seven countries. The pinnacle of this journey, however, was not marked by further scaling these heights but by a purposeful career pivot at the age of 50. Leaving behind a legacy of growth in the design industry, she chose to empower organizations to foster RISE workplace cultures centered around respect, inclusion, safety, and equity. This shift, driven by a quest for a deeper purpose, humbled her as she embraced unfamiliar terrain, learning valuable lessons about humility, support, and the courage to admit uncertainty. Learning to navigate a new industry from the ground up, she was reminded of the value of true friendships from those who supported her decision and the strength found in vulnerability. Navigating this new path enriched her leadership ethos, emphasizing purpose, humility, and respect. Now at Catalyse, she leads efforts against harassment and discrimination with impactful strides.

Cynthia Chan
Cynthia Chan
Cynthia Chan
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AS LEADERS, IT'S ESSENTIAL TO FOSTER AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE GIVING "GRACE" BECOMES A NORM, ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS THE FREEDOM TO DISCOVER AND REFINE THEIR APPROACH TO WORK.

Cynthia on becoming a better leader

INTERVIEW

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