Thear Sy

Thear Sy
Senior Executive, Accenture

Education: MS Biomedical Engineering, SMU
What I’m Reading: Making the Invisible Visible – Understanding Leadership Contributions of Asian Minorities in the Workplace by Tojo Joseph Thatchenkery
My Philosophy: Pay it forward
Interests: Time with family and friends, kids’ sports, photography, movies, leadership functions
Company Headquarters: New York, New York
Primary Business: Global management, consulting, technology services, outsourcing
Annual Revenues: $25.5 billion

What motivated you to choose your field/career path? How did you come by your current position?
I wanted the opportunity to work on different projects, with different companies, and with different people and personalities from all over the world. My college advisor suggested I work for a couple of years before going to medical school. Consulting turned out to be a great first job out of college and two years turned into more than 15.

“I would encourage the next generation of Asian/Pacific Americans to step into leadership and raise their hands for the big and visible jobs.”

Are there any stereotypes of Asian/Pacific Americans that should be refuted or are incorrect?
In the business world, Asian/Pacific Americans (APAs) are often perceived to be high achievers but not leaders. I believe we are as capable as any other group of leaders. In addition to strong technical and business capabilities, we have strong collaboration skills, a high degree of loyalty and commitment, and the ability to build strong relationships and communities.

Both companies and APAs have responsibilities for change. Companies greatly benefit from recognizing, valuing, and encouraging the leadership skills all their people bring to the table, especially in the global business environment. APAs need to stretch themselves by taking more risk, standing up and pursuing leadership opportunities.

What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the Asian/Pacific-American community today?
The Asian/Pacific American community would be stronger if more APA leaders joined forces. Not long ago, the Asian American IQ Executive Circle (now part of Upward Synergy, developed by Spectrum Knowledge and CREW at Cal State Fullerton) was created to bring together high level executives from major corporations to advance Asian American leadership. This focus is hugely important in helping a new generation of leaders.