Pearl Tan was born in Perth, Australia. She is a National Institute of Dramatic Art acting graduate, and holds a communications degree from Edith Cowan University and a master's degree in commerce from the University of Sydney. Tan is the director of Pearly Productions, which creates independent films, including The Casting Game, and the award-winning web series, Minority Box. In 2014, Tan co-founded the Equity Diversity Committee, and, in 2016, was included in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence. In 2017, she delivered a TEDx Talk on reimagining diversity.