When Yein Mei T. joined the company in August 2020 as a programs manager for Life@ in the Asia Pacific region, she found herself adapting to a new role during the middle of a global pandemic. Going through the hiring and onboarding processes remotely meant Yein Mei didn’t get to meet any of her colleagues in person—yet, she says she never felt lonely.
“I felt so supported. People were constantly sharing advice and encouraging me to meet virtually with other people at Meta who I don’t work with directly. I've never had anyone say they can’t meet with me. Everyone is very enthusiastic and generous with their time,” Yein Mei explains.
Adding to the challenge of joining a new company remotely was adjusting to working from home with her husband and two daughters home, as well. “It can be really noisy and chaotic,” Yein Mei says. “But Meta’s culture of care has helped me navigate the unique challenges of being a working parent during the pandemic.”
Yein Mei relaxing with her family during a vacation to Maine in 2015.
Discovering a culture of empowerment
Before she joined Meta, Yein Mei was focused on her consulting work. She had the flexibility in her day to pick up her daughters from school and spend time with them, which she cherished. At Meta, she’s discovered a similar work-life flexibility. “I’m empowered by leadership to make decisions that are best for my family. No one is micromanaging my day, and they trust that I’ll get my work done,” Yein Mei says.
While she’s enjoyed getting to spend more time with her family, Yein Mei says there are hard parts, too. “When the kids are close by, it feels like we’re spending time together. But it’s not really quality time,” she says. “And they don’t always understand why I might be stressed or that I need to focus. One of the biggest challenges has been learning to set boundaries. Not only for when I need some uninterrupted time, but also when I need time to decompress.”
Yein Mei says she’s also learned how to use her time carefully. “When you love your work, it’s easy to feel like you need to say yes to everything. But sometimes that can come at a cost, such as not fulfilling a promise you’ve made to your kids. Being a mom has taught me that time is precious and prioritization is key. It can be tough, but you have to make decisions throughout your day on where to focus your attention.”
She adds, “The way Meta empowers me to make the best decisions for my life has been so impactful to my career. I’m able to work with flexibility, manage my own time and be strategic and thoughtful about how to prioritize my work so that I can deliver the most impact.”
Providing support through challenging times
As a programs manager for Life@, Yein Mei is focused on Meta’s benefits programs for team members across APAC. These programs are designed to take care of people and meet the needs of a diverse workforce—both during a pandemic and in normal circumstances.
“We have phenomenal global teams that care deeply for our people. And as a company, if we believe something is the right thing to do, we’ll do it,” Yein Mei says. “During COVID, we put new leave policies in place that we hope people don’t need to use—but if they do, they’re there to support them when they need it.”
When it comes to the types of benefits Meta provides, Yein Mei says, “We don’t differentiate benefits based on someone’s level or role. And we strive to create benefits that represent and are meaningful to our diverse workforce, no matter what each person’s needs are. To do so, we’re constantly calibrating and looking ahead.”
She adds, “A lot of what we’re focused on now is thinking about the future of work. For example, we want to understand how certain policies we have in place will impact team members as more people work remotely.”
Just as Yein Mei found support from Meta as a working parent during the COVID-19 pandemic, she says her team’s goal is to support and empower people at Meta. “We want to continue to put programs in place that help our team members however best we can.”
Yein Mei celebrates the journey of motherhood throughout the year.
Celebrating the journey of motherhood
For Yein Mei, Mother’s Day is a special time with her family. “Usually, I don’t have to lift a finger. My family makes me breakfast and dinner, and I get to relax,” she explains. Beyond the holiday, Yein Mei’s family finds other opportunities to honor her journey throughout the year.
“We have a tradition in our family where in addition to celebrating my daughters’ birthdays, I celebrate myself, too. After all, I gave birth to them,” she laughs. “With all the challenges of being a working mom during the pandemic. It’s more important than ever to support and honor the moms in our lives.”
Yein Mei’s journey may be unique, but she’s not alone. In the video below, some of her colleagues in Singapore share how they navigated personal challenges during the pandemic—and why they felt cared for and supported at a time when they needed that support most.
Meta benefits in Singapore
This post, originally published on May 5, 2021, was updated on October 12, 2022, to reflect our shift to Meta and new details about team members, roles and responsibilities.