One of the best ways to show what Life is like at SAP is to share our employee stories. To present honest moments, authentic scenarios that celebrate our experiences and what being successful means to us at the company. I have had the privilege to find, engage, and share some amazing stories of my fellow colleagues working at SAP to tell how we all ‘bring everything we are to become everything we want’ at SAP.
A recent story of Irene – a cancer survivor, touched me a bit more than others before. I have had close family members and friends who have battled cancer. I am in awe by their bravery. But, Irene is probably one of the bravest.
Allow me to share her story…Irene Chui who leads Employee Engagement in Singapore (the fact that we have a department focused on employee engagement and work life programs speaks volumes to the type of company SAP is) and, battled cancer in addition to being a caregiver to her husband who survived cancer as well. Irene speaks poignantly from her heart how much she truly believes in living life to the fullest. How working together and motivating each other is so important and how she loves working at SAP – the company that is her second family. It isn’t a cliché, but her true belief.
“The last 14 years has been really challenging for me”, said Irene.
At 35, a working mom of two young children, aged 9 and 11, Irene Chui found a lump in her breast.
“When I brought this up to my family doctor, he said I was ‘too young to have cancer’. Six months later, I decided to seek another doctor’s advice. This time, he wasn’t so optimistic and sent me for an ultrasound and biopsy.”
The results confirmed her greatest fear. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments. She was in remission, however, a few years later, she was required to undergo another round of surgery to remove the other breast and ovaries. One month after returning to the office after her operation, her husband was diagnosed with adenoid cystic cancer and had to undergo a major operation to remove part of his jaw area, lower cheek and parts of the thyroid.
Even with adversary, Irene is so strong. As a mom, myself, I sometimes struggle to balance work, family, and personal life. I cannot imagine how she has had to juggle home, work, hospital, and so much more. Irene is an active volunteer with the Breast Cancer Foundation as well as the Captain of BCF Paddlers in Pink dragon boat team, she has trekked to Mount Everest Base Camp, scaled Island peak and Kota Kinabalu. In her role at SAP, she leads, develops, and organizes SAP programs and initiatives such as Ufit where employees work out once a week, champagne Fridays, special interest groups for runners, tennis and other groups. She has an incredible level of energy and ambition to engage her colleagues to live their life to the fullest and motivate them to come together, work together and connect. Irene personifies SAP’s employee engagement with her passion, drive, and ambition for the company culture. She delivers on “Bring Everything You Are. Become Everything You Want,” at SAP.
Irene shared how she took her current position to make a difference in people’s lives. “Having a balanced life is key to individual and organizational health and we strive to create a holistic experience for all employees. Healthy employees are happy employees and just as they are contributing to the business growth of the company, the company allows us to create opportunities so our employees can take care of their personal and career growth,” said Irene.
“SAP is my second family. I would not have survived in another company because of the flexible time and support they have given me. And that is the wonderful culture of SAP.”