Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
10 leaders tell us how they inspire inclusion in their roles

10 leaders tell us how they inspire inclusion in their roles


Besides ensuring a diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace, leaders from Yahoo, foodpanda Malaysia, Hitachi Asia, and more hare how they cultivate innovative practices to ensure a well-balanced, safe, and bias-free working environment.

Leaders are expected to create an inclusive working environment where all employees feel valued and respected. 

When it comes to the inclusion of women, International Women's Day (IWD) is a day that serves as a powerful reminder of the progress made towards gender equality and highlights the work that still needs to be done. 

In lieu of IWD 2024 (8 March), HRO speaks to 10 leaders who share how they #InspireInclusion in their organisation and some of the initiatives that encourage employees to recognise the contributions of women from all walks of life.

In this feature, we speak to leaders from foodpanda Malaysia, Hitachi Asia, Yahoo and more. 

Keep your eyes peeled for our special IWD series encapsulating the theme of #InspireInclusion, where we will be sharing more articles on the thoughts of more leaders from different industries across the region, in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Pichaya Thongthua, Interim CEO, foodpanda Malaysia

It is important to foster a culture where diversity, equality and inclusion are at the core of how we treat people. I believe in engaging everyone equally, regardless of their background or role within the company.  Our hiring and performance review process is based on merit and capability regardless of their gender. Specifically for this month, we are looking at various activities to show our support for women, including a special edition newsletter. 

Francine Tan, Regional Learning & Development Manager, APAC, Fugro

Fugro is dedicated to cultivating an inclusive work environment that attracts, develops, and retains talent from diverse backgrounds. Our Women in Leadership programme identifies and supports women employees in their professional growth. We have also made investments in multiple health, safety, security, and environment implementations to enhance the wellbeing of our female colleagues whether they are out at sea, or at our onshore facilities. 

Florence Chow, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hitachi Asia

I strive to inspire inclusion by identifying and nurturing the unique strengths of every employee and fostering a culture of knowledge sharing. Active listening and having empathy are also central to my approach. With these values, I aim to empower our people managers at Hitachi Asia in cultivating a workplace where our employees feel valued and encouraged to share their perspectives.

I wholeheartedly believe that these efforts can drive better decisions, generate innovative ideas, and help achieve sustainable business growth for the organisation. 

Narmeen Khan, Managing Director for Malaysia & Singapore, Mondelēz International

Creating an inclusive workplace culture starts with personal dedication, but the support of a nurturing work environment makes all the difference. Being part of an organisation whose values resonate deeply with me has been a highlight of my nearly 20-year career at Mondelēz International. It enables me to rise above the challenges as a female leader and serve as an inspiration for women afraid to break gender stereotypes to achieve their dreams.  

At Mondelēz International, we celebrate employees’ contributions and offer opportunities for their career advancement. This, in turn, has enabled us to retain some of the industry’s most exceptional talents who are dedicated to embodying cultural diversity in their respective capacities. 

Tammy Tan, Country Manager, Red Hat Malaysia

Leading Red Hat Malaysia as the first female Country Manager, I strongly believe in walking the talk. Within the tech industry where women are often underrepresented, I inspire inclusion through performance-driven evaluation, ensuring that we are providing the right channels to nurture diverse talent, and fostering open communication. We empower Red Hatters to achieve their aspirations, regardless of background, and cultivate trust through transparency and fair treatment. After all, the open-source way applies to both technology and our culture!

Clare Lin, Senior Director HRBP & TA APAC, Yahoo

At Yahoo, inclusion isn't just a buzzword—it's woven into the very fabric of our culture. With 11 employee resource groups and tailored support, we actively listen to the diverse voices within our workforce. Our 'Journey to Inclusion' educational initiatives engage us in interactive sessions, empowering us with actionable strategies to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into our daily work and lives. We prioritise a flexible workplace, particularly recognising its significance for our women employees.

Moreover, our progressive leave policies, including caregiver leave, prenatal nesting care and reproductive wellness leave for employees at different stages of life, underscore our commitment to tangible support and fostering a truly inclusive environment for all. 

Olivia Chua, Chief Human Resources Officer, Jebsen & Jessen Group

At Jebsen & Jessen, we value diversity, celebrate teamwork, and recognise the unique value that each employee brings to the table; and we seek to foster an inclusive workplace where everyone feels respected and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives. This is one of our core values of the organisation, and we have incorporated this as part of our annual employee review session. Led by the senior management team, we conscientiously pursue diversity in recruitment and internal development, to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity. 

Jocelyne Loh, Chief People Officer, Trust Bank

We’ve spent a lot of time and effort at Trust to create a unique culture where we listen, show each other respect and recognise everyone’s genius spark. I’m particularly proud that we have cultivated an open and constructive working environment where everyone is encouraged to freely contribute their ideas without fear. We’ve also embraced a diverse and inclusive workforce with a gender balance of around 50-50 which is unusual for a technology-based company. At C-suite level, we have close to 40% female representation.

Maria Zhang, Senior Director of HR, APAC & India, Juniper Networks

At Juniper Networks, we are dedicated to nurturing an environment where every voice is heard and valued, driving tangible change. One example is our APAC women leadership program which has been supporting and enabling women leaders across the region over the past few years, a testament to our unwavering commitment for more female leadership representation. By prioritizing diverse needs, we are not just shaping a more inclusive workplace, we are also future proofing the technology industry and ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to thrive. 

Francesca Peters, Chief Talent Officer, IWG

As IWG’s Chief Talent Officer, one of my core responsibilities is shaping our company culture for a global talent pool of more than 10,000 people, operating in more than 120 countries. I believe in creating opportunities, around a diverse and passionate workforce, spearheading policies to attract and retain talent and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to advance and develop their careers with IWG. With complex and large organizations, it is particularly important to be aware of the unique and diverse needs of a workforce that spans a multitude of generations, genders, backgrounds and locations, in order to give HR leaders an opportunity to both unify teams with varying perspectives while also catering solutions to individual needs.

READ MORE: International Women's Day 2024: It's time to #InspireInclusion | Human Resources Online 

Photos / Provided

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