With flaming red hair, a cheerful smile and eyes shining with determination, Yvon Bock looks like a dragon-slaying, prejudice-busting protagonist straight out of an illustrated children’s book. If she was writing the series herself, Astrid Lindgren would be in good company.
In real life, the business owner and mother of four already has a lot on her plate. Hegen, the innovative breastfeeding brand she founded in 2015 to support women on their motherhood journey, is the Singaporean brand tenth fastest growing company (from January 2022). Already a success in China, the brand is now focused on growing its global footprint in 35 markets over the next five years.
In the last year alone, it has also evolved to offer physical and virtual prenatal consultations and preparatory workshops through its Hegen lactation centre, which has an in-house team of specialists. “To see how we have made a difference to the community of breastfeeding mothers around the world despite the pandemic and to hear how Hegen products have helped and supported them is truly an achievement I am proud of,” she says,
As a champion of inclusivity, diversity and women in the workforce, Bock is also proud that 75% of Hegen’s staff are women, many of whom hold key roles and leadership roles. “We don’t decide roles based on gender, rather we focus on finding the best candidate for the job requirements,” she said. The top.
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What is your purpose?
I created Hegen with a clear goal: to help and support breastfeeding mothers around the world, regardless of race, language or religion. Hegen was created based on my own personal pain points with breastfeeding my 4 children for a decade. I deeply understand the challenge of women juggling the demands of work and modern lifestyles with an intense eating routine and this has inspired me to develop a support system to enable women to continue the invaluable experience of breastfeeding for as long as they want. .
A positive affirmation that every girl/woman should say to herself.
Be Kind to Yourself – Since today’s world can be full of criticism and harsh words, I believe it’s important that every woman speaks kindly to herself. Being kind to yourself and celebrating yourself promotes happiness and confidence.
The theme for JIF 2022 is Break the Bias. How did you do it?
I break down prejudice by pursuing my dreams and doing what I want to do as a female entrepreneur. I took the courage to jump into the unknown and walk in the dark with a glimmer of an idea to start Hegen that I firmly believed in. Women entrepreneurs have often been rated as less skilled in decision-making because we tend to be more empathetic. . For me, I always turn a perceived feminine weakness into a strength. I believe it’s not about proving your worth as a woman in business, but rather using our unique traits (like empathy) to lead and grow the business.
As a mother creating a maternity brand, I break the bias of juggling work and family. Women entrepreneurs often face the challenge of wearing many hats and juggling family and work. For me, I choose to see that these additional roles allow me to demonstrate a level of tenacity and confidence in my ability to lead in all facets of life. Between work and family, there will always be an opportunity cost, whichever way you choose. The best way to cope is to set your priorities. For me, when several things happen at the same time, I remind myself that family duties take precedence. I then prioritize and anticipate to better juggle each role.
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Your pet peeve in the gender debate?
One of my biggest pet peeves in the gender debate is that motherhood is seen as a bump in a woman’s career. I believe it’s not about everything being equal, but more about pushing for equal opportunities and ranking. For example, women should be empowered and allowed to pursue their personal dreams and goals even after marriage or after having children. To break the stigma, I strongly believe we should applaud working women for taking the leap of juggling kids, family, and work. They should not be penalized in their career development. Working mothers should not be deprived of opportunities and stereotyped by expectations of being the primary carer. It also means that there should be a sharing of the responsibilities of raising children and there should be an equal contribution to the love of a child.
What’s a surefire way to boost morale?
Dance to club music! I like to dance like nobody’s watching, just close your eyes and be me.
What is your personal superpower?
Bursting with positivity and always seeing the good in people.
A lesson/value that you hope your own children will pick up on.
My children are growing up in a society heavily focused on social media. One value I want my children to learn is not to compare themselves to beauty standards set by the media, people, and culture. We constantly measure ourselves against others and feel judged by our physical appearance. As a parent, I want to lead by example and guide my children so that they don’t criticize body image, including their own, and reject negative stereotypes of unrealistic body standards. By fostering a body-positive lifestyle at home, I hope to show them that they are not defined by their appearance, but by their values and behavior.