Every year, March is a busy month for WiFA as we celebrate International Womens Day (IWD) and communicate on the topic of D&I. This year, WiFA celebrated IWD with our "Spotlight Series", where we shone a spotlight on a series of outstanding female leaders that were put forward by our corporate members as "embodying the values of D&I" in their daily work. With this series, we want to say THANK YOU to each of these wonderful women for walking the talk of WiFA Further, Bonnie Ohri, Bonnie So and myself, in our capacity as the management of WiFA, spoke at a variety of events seeking to inspire women of all ages, ranging from students, to entrepreneurs, to employees in banks and start-ups. Further, I was honored to be cited by the IFLR in its IWD coverage on a series of topics related to D&I, including role-modelling, the importance of diversity on corporate boards (and of quotas to achieve it) and also the cycles women need to go through during their career lives, including pregnancy, pre-menopause and menopause – each of which a hormonal tsunami of sorts requiring heightened understanding.
Aside from speaking, I decided to “listen and learn” by attending the fully virtual "SCMP Women of Our Time Conference" at which a line-up of leading female politicians, entrepreneurs, and innovators made outstanding presentations.Trip.com Group CEO Jane Sun shared a series of very interesting policies at Trip-com in order to ensure female retention. She noted that there is no easy way for working mums and that "if you have children expect you are working double" - an experience the WiFA working mums no doubt share.
Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling also stood out. She embodied how women in leadership place a caring emphasis, especially important during this time of crisis. She noted how Grab was focused on giving access to CoVID vaccines for their drivers, on their "Digital to Equal" initiative, and on trainings to overcome bias and prevent sexual harassment, She observed that, in most countries women continue to bear the brunt of unpaid household tasks and that "parents have a disproportionate weight in influencing careers" - a view that I have emphasized in prior interviews: that to make global progress, parents need to actively fight discrimination against their daughters and raise them with equal opportunities to their sons.
Lucy Liu, co-founder of Airwallex, also shared several gold nuggets, particularly as to how young women like herself can make it to the very top - Airwallex is indeed a much coveted unicorn. She noted it's "important to be brave, be confident and look after yourself", that self motivation is key, that every change is a positive one, that "one should not be affected by failure, because even if you fail one way, there always is another way".
In the coming months WiFA will revisit many of these themes in our events. On April 22 we host our second flagship event of the year: the D&I Forum that focuses on “What's next for Diversity & Inclusion: The importance of D&I Sincerity and Belonging.”. On April 29 we look forward to the first MMP speaker event of the year where we will hear from David Day, Head of North Asia, London Stock Exchange Group and also one of our mentors on how you can be more visible at the workplace and make your opinions heard. On May 6 we will host a session on the Burden of Care. The aim of this workshop is to explore the implications, for employers and employees, of family and caring responsibilities in the East Asian context.
We look forward to seeing you at all these exciting events!
When I was given the opportunity to participate in the WiFA’s Spotlight Series for the month of March in honour of International Women’s Day, I was intrigued. I was excited to put faces to the names of women who were helping shape the future of the financial services industry for young women like me. I was impatient to hear their stories, learn about their pasts, and their future.
When I first started interviewing, what intrigued me the most was learning about the very diverse paths of how the interviewees found their careers in finance. From stories like Sharon Leung-Pliner, who graduated from university with a degree in Medical Biotechnology and started her career in product sales to Kristie Wong who had previously worked for companies like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal, who is now at BlackRock. Many of the paths that the interviewees have taken have been unexpected and surprising. But one thing is clear: this sector does attract the best and brightest.
Another common trait that I observed during my interviews was the innate curiosity and desire to learn by these women. Whether it be Bei Zhou, whose “motivation is always driven by opportunities to learn” or Garbo Cheung, who said she stays on top of her professional game by her “desire to constantly learn and improve”, the continuous desire for intellectual stimulation is a driving factor for many women.
In the interviewing process, many questions were posed, but a singularity that I saw throughout so many interviews was the desire for the interviewees to highlight their mentors, and the important role that they played in their career development. Rosalind Chin, discussed how she met her first mentor through WiFA. All interviewees agreed that creating a strong supportive network around you is paramount in your professional success. As Rebecca Sin asserted, “if you can trust and like the people you work with, it makes the job a lot more fun and worthwhile, especially since the hours in finance are very long”. What is clear, is that unlike preconceived notions I had about the industry, it is at its core, a people business.
Clearly, the future is bright for women in finance in Asia. As Maggy Chan stated, “there is no other industry which so consistently draws such intelligent, talented, and diverse people and perspectives together into one space”. These interviews have shown me what resilience, hard work, gumption and tenacity can bring, and I feel very fortunate now to be able to look at the world, finance related or not, through their perspectives.
Following the response we received from our WiFA network together with the input of D&I experts, the 2021 D&I Forum will focus on What's next for Diversity & Inclusion: The importance of D&I Sincerity and Belonging.
Our headline speaker and corporate panel will deepen the conversion around the future of work, leadership and how companies are evolving to stay ahead. During the forum you will hear more from leading organisations on how they are developing stronger company cultures and the lessons learned from the past 18-24 months.
Date: Thursday, 22 April 2021
Time: 12-2 pm
Format: Virtual Platform, On24
12pm - 12.15pm
Event Opening by WiFA and event host LSEG
12.15pm - 12.50pm
Expert Chat with Lale Kesebi, CEO of Human at Work moderated by Marie Swarbreck, Founder of FLEXimums
12.50pm - 1.50pm
Corporate panel representing 4 business leaders and D&I professionals:
- Deirdre Murphy, SVP HR at Schneider Electric
- Greg Thompson, Head of Equities Operations, Asia Pacific at Goldman Sachs
- Jessie Pak, Head of Asia Pacific, Investment Solutions at LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) and Managing Director, Asia Pacific FTSE Russell
- Olivia Wong, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Swire
Moderated by Philly Apthorpe, Managing Director, Head of Marketing and Events APAC, Brand & Communications at BNP Paribas
1.50pm - 2.00pm
Event Closing by WiFA
Lale Kesebi, Founder of Human At Work
An enlightening conversation with strategy and transformation expert, Lale Kesebi, focusing on the future of work, leadership and how companies are evolving.
Our corporate panel representing business leaders and D&I professionals from 4 leading organisations share on how they adapt to the new D&I landscape and rethink paradigms, the importance of aligning D&I goals and strategies as well as reflecting on particular situations in order to identify related room for improvement.
Since the launch of MMP 2021 in February, to keep the momentum going, WiFA is pleased to have David Day, Head of North Asia, LSEG, also one of our mentors, as our first MPP speaker on April 29. There will be seats available to hear this discussion in person or alternatively you can join us on Zoom. This event will be a valuable networking opportunity for mentors and mentees. However, due to restrictions, seats are limited, so please RSVP.
Hear from David Day, Head of North Asia, LSEG and also one of our mentors on how you can be more visible at workplace and make your opinions heard.
Date: Thursday, 29 April 2021
Time: 12:30 – 13:15 HKT
Format: Online : Zoom
In- person : LSEG
Champion Tower & ICBC Tower, 18/F, 3 Garden Road, Central
David Day, Head of North Asia at LSEG
Rebecca Sin, Co-head MMP WiFA
We urge all Mentor and Mentees to join!
for an interesting virtual seminar on May 6, 2021 on the Burden of Care
. This session will provide practical tools and strategies to support expectant and new parents with more empathy.
In the past year, we have seen reports from across the globe of an increase of the Burden Of Care (BOC) on women due to COVID-19, and the subsequent negative impact on female labour force participation. In most Western societies this increase in the BOC is predominantly caused by childcare and home schooling responsibilities. In many East Asian cultures, inter-generational households are a norm, and care for both children and the elderly is predominantly a matter for the individual and their family. This care is gendered, i.e. women account for a disproportionate number of those providing both paid and unpaid care.
The experience of the past 18 months in Hong Kong, and other parts of East Asia, has further increased the BOC. Consequences of this include heightened stress, lack of engagement, presenteeism, and/or more serious forms of mental illness. Due to a range of factors including the rapidly ageing population, the BOC on women is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future, and well beyond the pandemic.
The aim of this workshop is to explore the implications, for employers and employees, of family and caring responsibilities in the East Asian context.
Date : Thursday, May 6, 2021
Format: Interactive virtual workshop
Cost: HK$200/ticket (WiFA Sponsors receive complementary tickets).
Target audience: HR Managers and Senior Managers
FACILITATOR : NERICE GIETEL
Nerice is a certified Executive Coach with prior experience in HR and Legal. She supports individuals to better navigate their careers at various stages in life, including after becoming a parent. She has written extensively for the Hong Kong press, including China Daily, about how employers can support their employees to combine work and life commitments and, in return, to get the best from them.
In order to achieve the aim of this workshop, the facilitator will :
- Present data on the factors that affect the BOC on individuals in different East Asian societies
- Provide information on how an increase in BOC might show up at work and its effect on others in the workplace.
Together we will:
- Identify which parties in the workplace have a role to play in minimising the negative consequences of an increase of BOC on individuals at work
- Explore which actions can be taken to minimise the negative consequences of an increase of BOC on those individuals
|WiFA Book Club: Productive Accidents by Peter Williams: Late May|
WiFA’s Networking Committee is excited to introduce their choice for reading this month as Productive Accidents by Peter Williams.
This book is aimed at audiences who desire to live life like an adventure. Williams will join the Committee in a social event to speak about 11 actionable sights on how to introduce a steady stream of productive accidents into your life.
Join WiFA in late May to hear Williams relate his experiences and how he maintains a growth mindset, active network, and contributes and participates in a variety of interests.
More information on this event coming soon!
|To Vaccinate or Not: The Role of Employers on Employee Well-Being : March 25|
The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragic reminder of how unprepared the world is in responding to emerging infectious diseases. During our virtual event on March 25, moderator Catherine Chen, founder and managing partner at AvantFaire Investment Management, explored the mass of available information and facts, disinformation and fake news associated with COVID-19 vaccines with medical experts Dr. Myra, Medical Director, AIA Group and Dr. Donald Greig, Managing Partner, Hong Kong Surgical Specialists. Over 100 members registered for this timely event to listen to issues surrounding safety and efficacy, vaccine hesitancy, social (mis) trust, herd immunity, and how corporations can help prepare employees both mentally and physically.
Dr. Greig opened the webinar by providing an extensive presentation on vaccine research, development, production, distribution, and rollout plan in Hong Kong. Dr. Myra pointed out that employers' impact on helping employees navigate through the vaccination process will be crucial in the upcoming months. For more information regarding COVID-19, please visit Dr. Greig's website:https://www.hkss.info/blog
WiFA thanks our expert speakers for providing us with vital information to navigate through this difficult decision on whether to vaccinate or not. And special thanks to the WiFA Education Committee co-chair Catherine Chen, Gaile Hau, AvantFaire Investment Management, and Bonnie Ohri, WiFA Board Member for organizing the event.
Further to the success of the first edition of the ASIFMA Tech & Ops Conference in 2019, ASIFMA is taking this conference virtual in-light of the COVID-19 situation. The objective is to analyse the key operational issues firms are facing and discuss solutions to those problems. We do not just want to be another Fintech event. We aim to have industry participants from the old and new industries (sell-side, buy-side, fintech, regulators, law firms, consultants, technology utilities/platforms and media) to participate. The tentative details are attached on the draft program for your perusal.