Empowering Women at Work

Published on : 8/8/22
Reading time : 3 min
  • It’s not every day that you will see a team fully made up of only women, to support the operations behind the women’s ward at KK Women’s and Children Hospital (KKH) – we talked to Donna Ho to find out how she’s breaking barriers in the workplace.


    With Sodexo as the food services partner of KKH, Donna takes care of everything linked to food, both in and out of the kitchen. The kitchen acts as the central area for the preparation of meals for the entire block’s wards – and holds up to 3 mini segmented kitchens that caters to different cuisines and requirements to meet the varying needs of the patients at KKH! 

    people serving food

    Besides overseeing the entire food production process and checking in each day to see if the kitchen staff members are facing any challenges, Donna also works with the rest of the Sodexo team to ensure that the food served are of tiptop quality for the patients. This can include discussions with the dieticians and nutrition teams to work out new recipes to elevate the dishes’ overall nutritional value while ensuring the same great taste or taking a step back to coordinate the administrative processes with the control room’s operations assistants. These admin tasks include keeping a regular system that sends in the patients’ orders to the kitchen, correctly matching each meal set to each ward, and managing our stakeholders’ requests. 

    Taking care of such a huge site consisting of so many different departments and staff members is not easy, and there are certain pre-requisites to managing both the site, and the people well.

    I think being a women leader in the entire KKH unit especially brings out the compassion aspect in me, not forgetting when you have so many people under your care. It’s pivotal for them to know that we care for them. At the end of the day, it’s not just about working and producing the right results of what we want, but it is also to ensure that our staff well-being is truly well taken care of. Each person is unique, and we need to understand their perspectives and respect their opinions.


    Before the start of every shift, Donna takes the lead to gather the team for a roll call, followed by a quick briefing and scenario playing session. Although each briefing is short, it allows the team to gather their thoughts and also review the patients’ comments from previous shifts, to drive each and everyone to perform their best this round. Through the simulated scenarios, Donna trains the team to act on their toes and stay flexible should changes arise and adaptation is required. 

    At times, we even head down to wards to serve the patients together with them – such hands-on experiences allow us to gain a deeper understanding on the job and it’s really fulfilling. Although the team is fully women led due to the nature of the site, we try to engage a good mix of different personalities and diversities in the team to achieve a balance.

    As more exciting projects are building up in the pipeline for Donna as well as the team at KKH, Donna aspires to grasp every opportunity she can to elevate the experiences for KKH’s patients. She hopes that she can bring food services to another level, such that hospital food isn’t just “bland healthy food” – but food good for both the body and soul. 

    At Sodexo, we aim to encourage the consumption of sustainable and healthy food options, everywhere we go. To find out how we do so,  click here for more information.   

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