Iris Tan joined Duetto in January 2020 as a Deployment Project Analyst for APAC. Her role means she is in charge of deployment project management in our Singapore office. Her main priority is to take new APAC customers through the initial onboarding process as efficiently as possible. A big part of her day-to-day work involves getting everybody - customers, Duetto’s integration partners, and other team members - on the same timeline and coordinating with each other.
As well as that, Iris also leads the web tracking/shopping data side of deployment, often fielding questions from colleagues or even being asked to step in on certain difficult cases. “This usually happens when we’re working with a smaller, less well-known booking engine or if the customer has built their own website,” Iris said. “I’ll usually conduct a brief investigation on their specs and report back to the vendor/customer on what needs to be added or changed and go from there.”
As part of our ‘Women in Tech’ series, celebrating Women's History Month, we caught up with Iris to find out more about her role, her experience, and what the future holds.
What makes a good day at work for you?
When I clear my inbox!
That aside, any time I’m able to get to the bottom of an issue that’s been plaguing me for days or even weeks - that gives me an extraordinary sense of accomplishment.
And then, of course, whenever I get to be part of getting a huge and/or particularly difficult project across the line.
What attracted you to Duetto?
My first encounter with Duetto was in my junior year of college (aka 3rd year of uni) when Marco and Duncan came to give a talk during one of our lectures. I don’t remember much about the lecture, unfortunately, but I did remember it was a super cool company (and that Marco was hilarious!).
In my limited experience, I’d stereotyped hospitality as more of a conservative and traditionalist industry. While I really loved the industry, I also wanted to work at a place that was innovative and game changing (pun intended!), and that really took advantage of all that technology had to offer. That lecture really upended my thinking and I realized it was possible to do both.
I also remember getting a unicorn USB (which I still have) and an XXL dark blue Duetto shirt (which I gave to my dad) for answering two questions right. So that was extra cool.
It was so cool, in fact, that I decided to drop my CV off at Duetto’s booth during my college’s career fair. Unfortunately I didn’t get the internship then, but here I am now!
Tell me a little about your background, your ‘pre-Duetto’ days!
Before Duetto, I was in a totally different field!
Right after graduating, I joined an education startup as an admissions consultant. In many ways, it’s similar to what I’m doing now. I talked to parents and students on a weekly basis, discussing their progress on academics, extracurriculars, and developing their writing skills, whether they were on track to gaining admission to their dream school, and if not, what they should be changing. I’ve had to have many tough conversations about being ambitious but also realistic - not every child can, or should, go to Harvard or Stanford.
Thinking so much about the ambitions of other people really helped me reflect on my own goals, which prompted me to go back to my original idea of working in hotel tech and try to make it a reality.
As a woman in tech, how do you feel the landscape lies in terms of opportunities for progression and advancement?
Short answer: more progress needs to be made, but I think it’s getting better.
I’ve recently been reading this book by Emily Chang called “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley”, which highlights the experiences of countless women, many of them very accomplished, in Silicon Valley. There is certainly a deep “boys’ club” culture in the larger tech world, and even now more stories are coming out every day.
However, I’m quite lucky in that my personal experience at Duetto has been positive. I’ve not been able to relate to most of the stories in the book (although I can empathize). I’ve been in many meetings where I was the most “technical” person in the room, without it really registering that I was the only woman.
This gives me hope that stereotypes about women and our tech skills will matter less and less as the industry matures. As more women reach positions of power, those blindspots in hiring and advancement decisions will (hopefully) get filled in and closed.
There’s also a big problem with women thinking they don’t “belong” in tech due to these cultural issues. I’m trying to talk to more students interested in tech and hospitality, especially girls, and just telling them my own experiences and being encouraging.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Honestly, as of right now, just seeing what I’ve been able to accomplish at Duetto so far has been one long highlight. To be fair I’ve only just started my career, so I guess we'll see what the future holds?
What does the future hold for you?
I’m not sure! Right now I’m still in the “sponge” phase and learning as much as I can about project management, networks, and hotel revenue.
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