As part of our series of 22 stories under the overarching theme of #ChooseToChallenge, the team at Human Resources Online has asked more than 60 HR leaders about their organisation's call-to-action in shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity.

In this sixth part of our series, HR leaders from AIA, AXA Insurance, Henkel, Integral Ad Science, Johnson Controls, and Micron Technology, tell us more.


Aileen Tan, Chief Human Resources Officer, AIA

At AIA Singapore, we aim to be a catalyst for positive change for our people. We #ChooseToChallenge the status quo to make sure that everyone can enjoy equal opportunities, regardless of gender, so that we’re always progressing together.

To truly make a difference in shaping a more inclusive workforce, we can’t just stop at structural policies and programmes. What drives real change and keeps biases at bay is our culture and beliefs.

Over the years, we’ve built a strong and diverse community of people to lead a purpose-led work environment that is always improving, and single-minded in our focus of enabling more people to live healthier, longer, better lives.

I have this community to thank for cultivating the culture of inclusion that we enjoy at AIA today, and inspiring each other to see the beauty of diverse backgrounds and ideas so we can shake things up within Singapore’s life insurance industry.


Hayley Yap, Chief People Officer, AXA Insurance

At AXA, we are focused on building an inclusive culture where diversity shapes our practices and helps us thrive. At the core, we are committed to cultivating diverse talent across the company, starting with setting gender diversity targets for leadership roles, and sponsorship and mentoring programs for female talent to empower them to reach their greatest potential.

Helping all our employees to contribute in the best way they can and supporting them in balancing the demands of their professional and private lives are important too.

Besides having flexible working policies that are open to everyone, our parental leave policy entitles parents (women or men) to 16 weeks of primary parent leave, and 4 weeks of co-parent leave which is above the statutory requirement.

We also believe in encouraging conversations and driving positive change in mindsets an attitudes towards gender equality, an effort led by our employee resource group, Wo+Men@AXA.


Jarrod Patterson, Human Resource Director for Southeast Asia and Human Resource Business Partner for Adhesive Operations & Supply Chain, Asia Pacific, Henkel

Henkel actively promotes diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace and, specific to gender equity, we run many global and local initiatives.

Our recruitment processes focus on eliminating bias so that we have a diverse group of shortlisted candidates. We also provide unconscious bias training for all employees to have everyone on the same page.

Furthermore, we have #HenkelWomen mentoring sessions, networking events, and monthly diversity panel talks. In line with this, we will again hold internal events around the globe on International Women’s Day on 8 March. Along with promoting gender diversity and equity, we are a strong advocate of work-life flexibility.

As a father of three young girls, I have a keen interest in gender equality and, working at Henkel, allows me to drive the topic in a holistic approach that embraces all aspects of diversity.


Lisa Nadler, CHRO, Integral Ad Science

Gender equity means equivalent and fair treatment for women and men in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.

At the dawn of the 2020s, building fairer and more inclusive economies must be the goal of global, national, and industry leaders. To get there, instilling gender parity across education, health, politics, and all forms of economic participation will be critical.

Gender bias and equity continue to be a focus for IAS. We have a robust set of programs and initiatives to highlight our talented Women leaders throughout the organisation.

But, programs and initiatives are not enough - our actions are what really counts. We have a population of 56% men and 44% women at all levels. We have challenged ourselves at IAS to reach a 50/50 ratio by the end of 2021.


Diane Poo, Head of HR Solutions – Singapore & South East Asia, Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls has certainly upped the ante to shape a workforce that celebrates gender equity.

We have set a goal for the entire company to increase the representation of women leaders. To drive accountability, executive compensation is linked to diversity goals. Senior leaders and women leaders at Johnson Controls have been actively fostering inclusion and empowering their teams.

Over webinars organised by the Women’s Global Networks, these leaders have shared their insights on topics such as career progression in a field that traditionally has more male representation as well as thriving at work and at home. All these efforts build on our existing recruitment, talent management and human resources practices.

Recognising a wider need for more women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, we are also sharing inspiring stories of women in technical roles in Johnson Controls on our social media, and actively speaking in forums encouraging more women to join the industry.


Cher Whee Sim, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Talent Mobility, Micron Technology

We are passionate about building a culture of inclusion where all team members are seen, heard, valued, and respected. To ensure that Micron is at the forefront of the industry for diversity and inclusion, we are increasing hiring—and therefore, representation—from a diverse slate of candidates through inclusive hiring practices.

These include using AI for job descriptions to reduce bias, ensuring interview panels are diverse, and anonymising resume data for screening. Volunteers from our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have also been trained to participate in interview panels as inclusion advocates in our efforts to reduce potential bias.

We believe that collaboration across our diverse workforce is the key to unlocking strength and innovation, hence we partner with institutions globally to encourage young women from technical and engineering programs to establish their careers in STEM. One institution that we are working closely with is Nanyang Technological University (NTU).


Photo / Provided [First row, L-R: Aileen Tan, Hayley Yap, Jarrod Patterson. Second row, L-R: Lisa Nadler, Diane Poo, Cher Whee Sim]

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