Episode 29

East vs West Working Culture and the Bamboo Ceiling with Jason Demetillo

Published on: 5th October, 2021

In this episode of Technically Speaking, our host Harrison Wheeler talks to Jay Demetillo, lead designer at Grab in the Singapore team. Jay tells us about the differences he’s found since moving to South East Asia almost four years ago, both in the social aspect of life as well as in the design scene and the workflow within companies. What can we learn about Asian design and what has Jay been bringing to the table? Join in and listen to how to navigate cultural differences and contribute to growing the UX community abroad.

Jump straight into:

(01:35) - Who is Jay Demetillo? His journey through the design world and his transition into the design scene in Singapore. 

(05:35) - Cultivating a bigger design scene in SouthEast Asia through events, podcasts, and clubs.

(07:49) - Clubhouse vs. Spaces: The pros and cons of different audio platforms and how they’ve helped people connect during the pandemic.

(13:30) - Working in South East Asia: The cultural differences in the product design process.

(16:30) - Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: The participation of Asian Americans in high-level positions in the U.S. and managing a team on an Asian multicultural company.

(24:59) - Working from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week: How to find balance and wellness in a super hard-working culture.

(27:30) - Jay’s side hustle: Building a sustainable eco-friendly shoe company and the story behind it.

(30:38) - A piece of advice for young designers: “There's always been a seat at the table. We just haven't sat down yet.” 

Episode Resources:

Connect with Jay Demetillo through LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Jason Demetillo

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling by Jane Hyun

Traces | Apple Podcast | Spotify

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About the Podcast

Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler
A podcast about the human experience.
Technically Speaking is a podcast by Harrison Wheeler about BIPOC designers, entrepreneurs & technologists sharing their unique stories of triumph and resilience at the intersection of product design.
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About your host

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TJ Bonaventura

I began my podcasting journey in 2016. A friend and I tried to launch a podcast and I couldn't believe how much went into creating a show...crazy right?!? For the last 4 years, I've jumped headfirst in podcasting and have made it my passion and livelihood. Since opening StudioPod in 2018 I've helped companies, writers, professional athletes, doctors, and many others produce their podcasts.