Chong Yi Mei, Lawyer and Deputy Managing Partner at Tito Isaac & Co LLP, has truly captivated us with her remarkable achievements and compassionate leadership. Her ability to maintain a harmonious balance between her career and personal life is nothing short of extraordinary.

Juggling the demanding hours of a lawyer's schedule while simultaneously fulfilling the role of a devoted mother to two young children is no small feat. Yet, Yi Mei handles these responsibilities with grace and resilience.

Yi Mei shares with us how her work and personal experiences have greatly impacted how she takes on her management role. She also shares with us how sticking to a routine helps her to squeeze in self-care.

Chong Yi Mei on Inclusion at Work wearing As Intended's workleisure for International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Inclusion at Work: 

In the course of my work, I do meet people, and clients, who are - because of being less outspoken, are bullied into positions that are detrimental to them legally. As I work closer with such clients and learn about their background and challenges, I gain a deeper understanding that part of my role as a lawyer is to lend a voice to such people who may not be able to speak up for themselves, because their background and challenges have made them conditioned not to stand up for themselves. 

This made me realise that inclusivity does play a part here, which goes beyond acknowledging diversity. As a lawyer, I need to amplify the voices of such people who are marginalised or overlooked because they are deemed by others as “easy to bully”. 

This experience has inspired me to be more proactive to always ensure that what drives me to remain in the legal profession is to make a difference to such people to be inclusive and lend them a voice. 

As the Deputy Managing Partner, I am always keen to hire people with varying and diverse backgrounds as I feel the experience these people bring to the table may outweigh their direct relevant legal experience. I’m happy to share that we have at least 5 – 6 new hires from late 2023 to early 2024 who have an unconventional legal career journey joining our team. These statistics help me keep track that we are going in the right direction and upholding our belief of being an inclusive workplace.

Chong Yi Mei on Motherhood and Back to Work wearing As Intended's workleisure for International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Early Motherhood & Back to Work:

I've been blessed to work in an inclusive environment with amenities like a mothercare room, yet the reality for breastfeeding can still present challenges. Upon returning to work when my daughter was four months old, I faced the dilemma of balancing back-to-back meetings with a demanding breast pumping schedule. 

Despite the availability of facilities, the rigidity of my schedule often forced me to prioritize either work commitments or breastfeeding. My breast pumping schedule was often sacrificed when it came to choosing one over the other.  

My personal experience profoundly influenced my approach to management, highlighting the importance of acknowledging the diverse personal needs and preferences of individuals within a workplace. Recognizing that each person brings a unique perspective and set of requirements, I have come to understand the value of flexibility in fostering an inclusive and vibrant work culture.

Chong Yi Mei on Challenges in As Intended's workleisure for International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Challenges in Walking the Talk:

Implementing inclusive policies isn’t always easy as it requires buy-in from all parties. There were definitely challenging moments having to cope with perspectives that were not inclusive, and having to accommodate those perspectives in the conversation.

Inclusivity goes beyond just simple acceptance of differences. It is important to value and celebrate the differences and diversity as it often grants us fresh perspectives which can lead to better performance. There is no one right way to achieve an objective so sharing of a different view is always welcome. This leads to a more informed decision which is always for the better.

To me, inspiring inclusion means being able to motivate and encourage a culture of respecting and valuing differences and diversity, through our actions and words. Never underestimate the value of inclusion and diversity. A little goes a long way.

Chong Yi Mei on Self-Care in As Intended's for International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Self-Care:

As a mother of two young children aged 3 and 1, my weekdays have to be meticulously scheduled to accommodate family responsibilities and work commitments. Rising at 5:30 AM allows me thirty minutes for exercise before helping my elder daughter get ready for school. After work, I pick her up around 5 PM, ensuring both children are settled by 8 PM. 

The brief window between 8 PM and 10:30 PM is typically devoted to either catching up on work or enjoying leisure time with my husband through shared shows. Weekends afford us precious family outings for grocery shopping or hanging out at the kids club. Also, most importantly, the luxury of napping when the kids do.

Having a fixed routine is very much my way of allocating time to ensure all the needs that need to be met are met, and it also helps with overall well-being. However, the sacrifice would then be spontaneity and flexibility to ignore all routine. As much as possible, I do strive for some degree of flexibility in the routine to allow for life to retain that bit of excitement within the present constraints. 

On help and support to be able to do what I do: I would not be in this position to be able to make such changes at work without the immense support from my husband who is my shoulder to cry on, and concurrently handles the house and household excellently (while holding his own job) that allows me to step outside to do more in my work environment. 

I would not dare to venture to call myself successful, but behind me, I do have a very supportive husband that makes all this possible.

Yi Mei’s Style

My go-to clothes for work must be comfortable, flattering, yet professional for long days in the office. As-Intended definitely checks those boxes.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Photos c/o Augustine Yuen


International Women's Month 2024 As Intended In Support Of Daughters Of Tomorrow

This series is part of our International Women’s Month where we talk to amazing women who tackle professional and personal life fearlessly while living, as intended. Aligning with this year's theme #inspireinclusion, we are thrilled to share the stories of women who have inspired inclusion in different aspects of their life to forge a better world for other women.

This year, As Intended is supporting Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT) to raise donations to enhance their impact towards social mobility for families of women in the DOT community. 

Daughters of Tomorrow is a registered charity organization with IPC status in Singapore whose mission is to facilitate livelihood opportunities for underprivileged women, and support them in achieving financial independence and social mobility for their families. 

The lack of childminding support can be one of the biggest factors preventing a woman from being gainfully employed. Singapore Tote Board will match dollar for dollar for donations made and Tax Deduction Receipts (TDR) will also be issued for donations above $10. You may like to learn more, and choose to donate directly to: