Writer Wing Sze Tang is in the business of smart storytelling. She talks to us about the pace of change, challenging illogical rules and why we need to connect more meaningfully.
What do you do and who do you work with?
I’m a writer/editor/journalist, primarily in the so-called lifestyle space. I hail from the traditional world of glossy print media and spent the majority of my career working in-house at some of Canada’s most week-known women’s magazines, including FASHION and FLARE. These days, I write about a wide range of topics, from health and beauty to environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship. What keeps journalism endlessly fascinating for me is the ability to dabble in different subjects. It gives me a licence to speak with, and learn from, brilliant people.
After working as a freelance journalist for many years, this past summer I launched my own email newsletter, called the Knowhow, created as a space for covering “ambitious women doing noteworthy things” (to quote my own tagline). That’s somewhat vague, which was intentional. I didn’t want to focus strictly on, say, the people snagging fancy titles in the business world. I wanted to highlight high achievers, boundary breakers and up-and-comers across industries, from arts and culture to science, politics and sports. This reflects the diversity of my own personal interests, and I hope readers are curious about what’s happening in other niches, too.
Last but not least, I recently launched my own boutique content agency, called Wayword Media. This is more of an evolution than a pivot; it just enables me to work on even bigger projects for my editorial and non-editorial clients.
“Content” is a funny word – it can mean such different things to different people, and it’s a bit soulless. I prefer to say I’m in the business of smart storytelling, which is true across all my endeavours, whether it’s my own email newsletter or a major client project. And what I’m most interested in are the stories that haven’t been told (enough) yet.
Where do you do it?
My home base is Toronto, Canada, but I can work anywhere I can bring a laptop and get good WiFi. I’m a bit nomadic at heart, so I’m looking forward to the days of freely travelling again.
“I prefer to say I’m in the business of smart storytelling, which is true across all my endeavours, whether it’s my own email newsletter or a major client project.”
What are the main challenges for businesses as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and what will businesses do differently?
The challenges and changes will depend on the kind of business, but what I hope to see more broadly is an understanding that the bottom line isn’t everything. The pandemic has highlighted inequities and the divide between people with certain privileges and those without – the wealth gap is a gulf.
The Washington Post just ran an article on how the pandemic has been “a boom time for America’s richest billionaires.” The collective wealth of the US’s top business titans, who are all in tech, went up by more than $360 billion in the past year. Meanwhile, millions are turning to food banks for the first time. These parallel trends speak to deep systemic problems that need attention.