A sense of belonging and purpose
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and this year’s theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.” Hear from two Boston Scientific employees about how their involvement in the Pacific East Asian Resources in Leadership (PEARL) employee resource group has enriched their work lives, and how their experiences as both mentor and mentee have helped shape their careers.
“I am truly accepted for who I am as a person”
Born to Japanese and Chinese parents, Yixuan Yuki Ji possessed drive, ambition and a deep appreciation for culture and differing perspectives at a young age. This would lead her to excel professionally within multiple industries and across several continents, before eventually becoming a senior manager of Medical Affairs and Education at Boston Scientific.
As a young adult, Yixuan moved from Beijing to Germany with her parents. She worked in foreign affairs for a few years before she started working at a global automotive company. There, a mentor gave her some sage advice: “He told me to diversify my understanding as much as possible,” she says. “He stressed the value of learning many aspects of business — everything that happens from development to the product making its way into the hands of the customer.” So that is what she did, spending her early professional years in product distribution, marketing, sales and account management.
After marrying her husband, a U.S. Army veteran, Yixuan now lives in Houston, Texas. In her role at Boston Scientific, she partners with physicians to raise awareness of potentially life-saving treatments. She is also the global lead for the Pacific East Asian Resources in Leadership, or PEARL, employee resource group (ERG). “Through PEARL, I’ve had an opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and form lasting connections with others who share my Asian heritage, and the allies who support us,” she says.
Another major benefit has been the mentorship opportunities. “When I came to the company 12 years ago, I joined the formal mentoring program offered by EmpowHER, the ERG dedicated to the advancement of women,” says Yixuan. “It was such a positive experience and I formed so many invaluable relationships.” She now has three mentees she works with regularly. “Every conversation is an opportunity to learn on both sides,” she says, noting that mentorship is a two-way street.
In addition to the personal fulfillment she gains from coaching colleagues and helping patients live healthier lives, there is one other, key reason Yixuan stays at Boston Scientific: “Culture is everything,” she says. “When I officially became a citizen in 2017, my colleagues surprised me with a cake with a U.S. flag on it. This is one of many instances during my time here that I felt a strong sense of caring and belonging — that I am truly accepted for who I am as a person. It’s a special feeling.”
“It opened a door for me I didn’t know existed”
Like Yixuan, Corporate Accounts manager Katie Liao took advantage of the learning opportunities that come with belonging to an ERG. She moved from Taiwan to the U.S. as a teenager, and her personal experiences adapting to a new culture and business environment inspired her to join PEARL as a way to support others who are facing similar challenges.
Katie came to Boston Scientific in 2004. “From the moment I arrived, I experienced the inclusive culture firsthand,” she says. “There is no sense of hierarchy here; we are not bound by title or division. I always received the support I needed from leadership to try something new.”
In addition to deepening her relationships with colleagues, PEARL helped Katie learn more about the business and career advancement opportunities. “I recently stepped into a Corporate Accounts role that touches many parts of the Boston Scientific portfolio, whereas previously I focused on one area” she says. “Hearing about how other divisions are helping patients from my colleagues in PEARL piqued my interest and compelled me to make this transition, and I couldn’t be happier in my decision. It opened a door for me I didn’t know existed.”
Similar to Yixuan, Katie is paying it forward with the mentorship she’s received. She works with several professionals through the company’s formal mentorship program, and is always willing to lend a listening ear to anyone who is seeking advice, whether career-related or personal.
Katie’s best piece of advice for those looking to advance at the company? “Be your own advocate, and don’t wait until your next role to do your best work,” she says.
She also stresses the importance of owning your career and finding mentors and sponsors across the company who will support your growth — a piece of advice she received from Mary Beth Moynihan, senior vice president of Market Access and Chief Marketing Officer. “I’ve been fortunate to have so many mentors, allies and sponsors who built ladders for my career at Boston Scientific,” says Katie. “They played such an important role in where I am today.”
Boston Scientific is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where all of our employees can bring their authentic selves to work and thrive personally and professionally. See our objectives and progress to date in our recently released 2022 Performance Report.