In honour of International Women’s Day 2020, we are featuring a selection of our female managers who have enabled K2’s continued growth. Each of them offers a great contribution to not only our business development but also to our diverse and dynamic culture. 

In this blog in the series, we meet Momo Yamada, Regional Director of Learning and Development (APAC):

1. What is your professional background?

I started my career as a recruiter straight after graduating from university. After a few years of working in recruitment and education sales, I decided to change my career and get started in Learning and Development. I took this step after realising that there was a great opportunity within recruitment and sales to train individuals, helping them to develop their skills in this industry

2. What challenges have you encountered during your career and how did you tackle/overcome them?

Recruitment, sales and learning and development are all full of challenges. 

In the past few years, I’ve developed my mindset to embrace each of these challenges. I now know that instead of thinking of challenges as problems, it’s better to think of them as good opportunities to learn and grow. 

Learning to overcome challenges prepares us to tackle future difficult situations more efficiently and effectively. Gaining this problem-solving experience also means that we’re able to help others tackle similar situations.

3. What achievement are you most proud of in your career? 

I started my K2 career as a Junior Recruiter and I was promoted to Director of Learning and DEvelopment on my fifth work anniversary, so I’m really proud of that. It’s not been easy but all the hard work has definitely paid off! 

4. Who is your greatest inspiration or role model?

I can honestly say that my role model is my manager. 

I’ve worked with her since 2013, and she’s always supported me through my career and helped me step out of my comfort zone. I now know that you can’t develop (both professionally and personally) if you don’t push yourself to try something new. 

Also, I made a big decision in my personal life last year and my manager helped me make that decision. It really helped me grow as a person.

5. What traits have served you best in your career?

A positive mindset! 

I find that when you have a negative thought, it’s best to avoid focusing on the problem itself. Try to be productive and concentrate on finding a solution. 

6. What are the three main traits that make a manager successful in your opinion?

  • Encouragement- it’s important to support the team so that they can perform to the best of their ability.
  • Self-awareness- knowing yourself and considering how you come across to others is the best way to modify your behaviour when necessary.
  • Adaptability: successful managers adapt to the needs of others 

7. What do you do to ensure a good work/life balance? How do you unwind?

I found it very helpful to have a personal goal that allowed me to be active outside of work, offering some ‘me time’. 

Last year, I set a goal to run a full marathon, which meant I had to put time aside for training outside of work hours. I’ll be running a half marathon again this year (aiming to complete the race within 2 hours)! 

8. What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?

Find an opportunity to learn in any situation. This goes hand in hand with positive thinking. When faced with a difficult situation, try to view it as an opportunity to learn how to overcome the challenge. That way you’ll know how to handle a similar situation better next time. 

9. What’s a fun fact about you?

My passion for food – I’m a real foodie! I love sweets and greasy/cheesy junk food. 

10. What advice would you give to your younger self

Try more things! I only recently started to be more active – I wish I’d done it earlier!

To find out more about what it’s like working for K2 and our latest opportunities, visit our website or get in touch with us at

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