Chinese Laundry’s Female President Reflects On Career Challenges & Advice For Her Younger Self

Each day in June, FN is highlighting female forces in the industry as part of our Women in Power series.

Today, Chinese Laundry’s group president, Tsering Namgyal, reflects on her career.

What was the biggest breakthrough moment in your career?
“One that sticks out is when I was promoted to a footwear buyer in a department store. That was the spark that propelled me to pursue a lifetime career in the footwear industry that I love. Before that, I was a buyer in the home store for the silver department. I bought sterling silver flatware and tea sets. A totally different industry!”

Anything you would have done differently?
“No, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Every step in my career path has helped me perform my current job better. Challenging circumstances in previous positions have helped me build resiliency and flexibility to navigate more deftly in my present position.”

Do you think women do enough to support other women in the workplace?
“I think today women do support and try to help women in the workplace. I can only speak authoritatively about the footwear industry since that has been most of my work experience. We felt a need for this a few years ago to acknowledge women [more], which is one of the reasons why we started Two Ten Footwear Foundation’s Women in the Footwear Industry organization. I am a strong supporter of this group’s effort to build support, network and mentor women in our industry.”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
“The biggest challenge for me has always been work/life balance. I am passionate about my work, and that leads me to push too hard. I can’t say I’ve overcome it — I’m just aware and am working on it.”

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?
“Don’t hesitate to ask for help. You don’t have to feel that you need to do all the heavy lifting.”

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