We sat down with Stefanie Wong, Assistant Director, Corporate, Hong Kong, to chat about her career journey at Edelman and how she adopts a new way of working as a working mom.

How long have you been with Edelman?
In fact, I’m reaching my 10th anniversary at Edelman at the end of this year. I actually joined Edelman as an intern way back in November 2011. After two and a half months, I was lucky to be quickly retained as a permanent staff member. It was interesting how I ended up in PR since my major during University was in Business Management. Not long after graduating, I had heard about Edelman’s internship program through a family friend who used to work here. And here I am today, proudly working with the world’s largest PR and marketing consultancy firm for almost a decade.

How would you describe what you do at Edelman to your friends and family?
This is such a tough question which I’ve spent the past 10 years trying to explain to my friends and family. The simplest answer that I have found is that I help organizations and corporations tell stories that communicate and promote their brands but also protect their brands from a reputation perspective. But many people, including my parents, still think working in PR means organizing events and hosting interviews with journalists from newspapers, magazines, plus getting appearances on TV and radio. Until a few years ago, my parents finally discovered more about my day-to-day work when they visited the Edelman Office on one of our Bring Your Parents To Work Day.

Describe the Edelman Culture?
We have a “no-hierarchy” culture at Edelman – which is the thing I like most about being at Edelman. The result is that everyone regardless of seniority or background, is equally valued. There is never a ‘stupid question’ to ask, and we are encouraged to learn through trial and error while under the close guidance of our managers. Edelman has many talented colleagues here who are willing to teach, share and give you advice. Even having worked at Edelman for nearly 10 years, I’m still learning new things from my team every day.

The people who work here at Edelman are genuinely like family. We are all very passionate about our jobs and share a common goal to deliver the best possible work to our clients. Outside of work, we are friends who hang out, get together, eat and drink together, share our personal life stories, and play hard. Believe it or not, many of my closest lifetime friends were made at Edelman!

How has you career changed during your time at Edelman?
I started off as a member of the Corporate team. As the Company evolved into a broader and more integrated business model, I was given the opportunity a few years ago to focus on my major passion of working on reputational work for consumer brand clients. Then, in 2020, I took my maternity leave to give birth to my first child. Upon my return from maternity leave in 2020, I then took up a more behind-the-scenes role on internal operations. This focused on operational excellence from capacity planning, new business management to brand building for Edelman where I could have better control of my work schedule and spend time with my family.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Internally, I think my biggest achievement has been to help different team members build their careers within Edelman, whether they are my direct reports or someone who I have worked with in a project. I am really proud to see each and every one of my team flourish and achieve their professional goals and ambitions.

Externally, my biggest achievement is to have worked with some of the most prestigious brands in the whole of Asia. It’s been exciting and rewarding to help these brands build their communication strategies and to make positive impact to the brand and the community.

Do you think it is possible to strike a balance between work and family?
Yes, I would say it’s more possible at Edelman than maybe most companies in Hong Kong. The one thing that Edelman is great for is flexibility. I remember before I went on maternity leave, my manager and practice head worked out a comprehensive transition plan for me. It included how much I wanted to be updated on business activity during my maternity leave and what role would I want to take on when I returned to the office. Since I wanted to spend more time with my son, I am now working 32 hours per week while I still continue to enjoy my full-time staff benefits such as full leave, plus health and wellness entitlements.

Many working moms, especially those who have returned from maternity leave, face huge stress and pressure to find the right balance between work and family. I am very grateful that Edelman provides such a high degree of attention and is committed to giving a high level of flexibility for working moms (and dads) which gives me more control of my time and allows me to slowly adopt a new way of working. I’m now able to be attentive to my son, bring him to playgroup during weekdays while I continue to give my best at work and develop a rewarding career at Edelman.

Inside Edelman is an ongoing series that spotlights our colleagues who are doing extraordinary work across our network.