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This 25 Year Old Was the First Asian Actress in Her Country, Now She’s Fighting for Diversity in Tech

The story behind a champion of diversity in tech

Born and raised in the predominately caucasian Czech Republic to Vietnamese parents, Anna Nguyenova knows what it’s like to break social and racial barriers.

Anna Nguyenova became the first Asian actress on Czech national television at the age of nine. Her parents had immigrated from Vietnam to Czechoslovakia, a country that was over 99.8% Caucasian, as part of a communist workers exchange program. She was one of the first Asians both born and raised in the Czech Republic, and as a result, one of the few who spoke fluent Czech.

Her ability to speak Czech allowed her to audition for a role on Czech television, which she won. She went on to film more than 150 episodes throughout her acting career, the majority of which were for the longest running and most award-winning show in the country. Her experience as a minority actress in a culturally and racially homogenous country gave her unique insight into what it means to be a champion for diversity. This particularly applies to her current role as VP of Operations at TubeScience.

TubeScience is the world’s fastest growing social video advertiser and is based in Santa Monica, California. Anna was hired by TubeScience immediately after graduating from USC, and was the company’s seventh employee. Her background in production, writing, and acting made her an ideal candidate, and she quickly became the VP of Operations.

Anna has a wide range of responsibilities at TubeScience. She is helping the company open new offices across the country, overseeing recruiting and optimizing the scaling process for maximum efficiency. She has played a critical role in the company’s 20% month over month growth. One of her main objectives at TubeScience is to make sure the company is representative of the populace at large.

“Achieving diversity is challenging. I receive hundreds of job applications a day and I don’t get an equal number of men and women applicants, let alone from a proportional number of ethnic backgrounds”, says Nguyenova. She quickly learned how to make job titles and descriptions more inclusive, as well as how to implement hiring practices that prevent unconscious discriminatory practices.

“With the right intention, you can ensure that every operational decision you make reflects the company’s openness to diversity. For example, when it comes to hiring, I’ve used a broad range of recruiting resources and used inclusive job descriptions that maximize the appeal to all types of candidates. For onboarding, I make sure we encourage shared values while also individualizing the training.” She believes that such nuances can be replicated across all areas of the company, from employee training to employee compensation.

Anna took the lead in implementing numerous company policies to guarantee employees are treated fairly, including pay scales and systemizing how promotions are handled. She believes that discrimination is rarely intentional and that systems can be put in place to negate unconscious biases.

Do these policies help grow the bottom line? She thinks so. The company has experienced explosive growth over the past year, signing numerous large and well-known companies both nationally and abroad. “Diversity isn’t just about meeting a quota, it’s about making sure our company can relate to our audiences which encompass a broad range of ethnicities, beliefs, and ages,” says Nguyenova. 

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