Up close and personal with StashAway's Head of People

Bay Siew Yee, Head of People and Culture, shares what she loves most about her job, and how she lets her hair down after a long day at work.

  Bay Siew Yee

  Head, People and Culture


Who is Bay Siew Yee? How would you describe yourself?

I have an outgoing personality, and I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life to gather fresh perspectives and learn more from them. Sometimes, I’m described as “crazy” (which I perceive as a compliment); I effusively share stories and often catch myself getting more excited the more I talk. 

Complete this sentence. HR is…

About growing every individual of the team, on a personal and professional level and over the long run, while concurrently aligning the needs of the business and employees.

What’s the best part of your job?

Constantly getting to meet new people, while forging relationships with existing connections both within and outside of the organisation. Also, working for a company like StashAway that truly appreciates the value of its people.

What’s the worst part?

I have yet to truly experience this firsthand, but I would imagine it being a challenge having to deliver termination messages for cost-reduction or restructuring purposes. This is especially so if it involves high-performing colleagues, or those who are losing their jobs through no fault of their own.

What has been the highlight of your career?

It is a privilege working at fast-growing financial technology start-up StashAway, with initiatives, processes and policies having to be built from the ground up to complement the team’s culture and comply with industry regulations.

What would you be doing if you were not in HR?

Optimising operational processes or being in the hospitality industry are of interest to me. Anything that taps on my love for organising – I find it difficult to function when my environment is in a mess.

What are you most passionate about?

I actively discuss personal finance with people I know and care about, to have them consider the importance of financial planning for their future. Through these small acts, I hope to contribute to a reduction in income inequality, starting from the social circle and communities closest to me.

How do you unwind after work?

There are several things I enjoy doing after work on weekdays: catching up with friends over dinner, going for a run, whipping up a hearty meal to indulge in, or reading books on my to-read list.

What is your favourite dish?

I ask myself this a lot, and it’s difficult to choose. But if I really have to, it would be duck porridge because it was something my grandma used to cook. 

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Happiness is a choice, not a result.” I truly believe happiness is about gratitude and a positive attitude towards life”

The legal face of the contingent workforce
Yamini Chinnuswamy - 14 May 2018
As project-based, freelance, and gig work become increasingly de rigueur, the laws surrounding such arrangements have come under increasing scrutiny.
Serviced stays in the heart of Asian business
HRM Asia - 30 Apr 2018
Business in Asia-Pacific has become a regional exercise, with plenty of mobility for key staff between each market. Serviced apartments are an important enabling tool for all of that travel.
United Airlines' employee bonus debacle
HRM Asia - 26 Apr 2018
There are a few HR lessons from a recent United Airlines staff bonus lottery scheme that was subsequently rescinded.
Ninja Van CEO Lai Chang Wen's surprising take on the gig economy
Kelvin Ong - 18 Apr 2018
The founder of one of Southeast Asia's most widely-used delivery service is certainly not one to bite his tongue.
Workplace wellness worries
HRM Asia - 18 Apr 2018
A new study finds that wellness programmes in the US may not actually yield any company savings or produce healthier employees.
The vacation-deprived: Who these people are, and why they matter
HRM Asia - 22 Mar 2018
Asia-Pacific is the most vacation-deprived region in the world. Are companies here ensuring that their people are taking some much-needed time off?