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How-To: 10 ideas you can adopt to help #BalanceForBetter

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A ‘blind recruitment’ strategy, coaching and mentorship programmes to develop female talent, and treating gender equality like any other business initiative are just some of the ways in which organisations are forging gender equality at the workplace.

In this ninth part of our series, we showcase the call-to-action of 10 organisations in ensuring gender equality at the workplace.

Organisations featured include: Commvault, Deloitte Singapore, HSBC Singapore, P&G, Sanofi, Shopee, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Visa, World Wide Technology and YSC.

Read on to see how these organisations are helping to #BalanceForBetter.


Brenda Leong, HR Director, Asia Pacific, Commvault

Our organisational culture is built around the Commvault’s People Promise – a commitment to our employees that empowers them with the freedom to make an impact, together. Commvault’s gender equality efforts are largely focused on driving awareness, encouraging dialogue and building an environment where everyone has a voice and feels free to speak their mind.

We extended our equality efforts in talent acquisition as well, ensuring that we build diverse slates for all roles and reduce unconscious bias. This is achieved through our ‘blind recruitment’ strategy, taking a fair, structured approach during interviews and by having diverse panels.

We have Women in Technology chapters established in multiple locations across the globe, fostering a strong community that supports the exchange of diverse perspectives and ideas through networking, mentoring, and education.

At Commvault, our goal is to enable and empower women to thrive in their careers and contribute towards the success of the business as one team.


Seah Gek Choo, Talent Partner and Board-ready Women Programme Leader at Deloitte Singapore

At Deloitte, we believe that an inclusive mindset and diverse workforce are two of our greatest competitive strengths. Our global ALL IN strategy communicates our commitment to diversity, inclusion and gender representation, and highlights the responsibility of every individual in the Deloitte global network to come together in building and sustaining an organisational culture that allows individuals to be their truest self.

Here in Singapore, we have several initiatives to encourage diversity in the workplace, such as our Deloitte Female Mentoring Programme, which provides female undergraduates with a personalised approach to discovering career insights within the professional services industry by pairing each student with an experienced female mentor, and Work@Deloitte that allows flexible work arrangements to fit different schedules and family situations, particularly for working mothers.

We also believe that increasing the representation of women in leadership roles will give any organisation a winning advantage in the marketplace. To this end, our Board-ready Women programme is one example of an initiative that we have to empower talented women executives with the necessary skillsets and experiences required to be future-ready leaders today.


Tammarika Tricarico, Acting Head of Human Resources, HSBC Singapore

In HSBC, we strongly believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce will help us be at our best. Some of our HR policies include developing female talent to strengthen the leadership pipeline, and gender-diverse recruitment pools especially for executive leadership positions Group-wide.

Another key initiative is our employee resource group, Balance, which promotes gender equality as one of its focus areas. This year, our Balance committee has adopted IWD’s ‘Balance for Better’ as a theme, sparking conversation about how collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world can make for a better and more stable work environment. We hold regular events centred around the topic – the most recent example is our upcoming partnership with the Financial Women’s Association of Singapore on a gender parity discussion panel for members that fell on IWD.

Within the organisation, we encourage employees to adopt flexible work arrangements if required, to help them balance work and personal commitments. By supporting families and flexibility, we aim to provide an environment where all of our employees can thrive at home and in the workplace.


Jamal Berradia, Vice President, Human Resources, P&G Asia Pacific and Indian Sub-Continent, Middle East and Africa

At P&G, gender diversity and promoting an inclusive environment are ingrained in our DNA. P&G Asia Pacific champions gender equality through our #WeSeeEqual program, our flagship initiative to promote an equal world inside and outside P&G. Through #WeSeeEqual we nurture and support women across all levels of our organisation and empower them to unleash their best.

We treat gender equality like any other business initiative with defined KPIs, regularly reviewed by passionate leaders with unwavering support, vertically and horizontally, to accelerate the progress in gender equality.

We are proud to have achieved 50-50 representation at the manager level, achieving an equal representation at leadership level is also in progress. We have a coaching and mentoring program called Top 100 Women Accelerator which gives women leaders strong mentors and robust capability building plans to support their long term career success. Every member of the executive board is involved in this accelerator program.

Additionally, we have activities to inspire and encourage of our male and female leaders to be advocates of change in their respective organisations and we have P&G’s “Lean In Circles” – an initiative to create support networks for women to learn from their peers and encourage each other to succeed as women leaders.

We’re proud of the progress we have made but there is still much to do as we pursue our goal – gender equal work force at all levels and across geographies.


Annie Lim, Global Head of D&I, Sanofi

Gender Parity is a positive force for society, for the success of companies, and for the growth of global economy. Today it is an imperative for all companies and collectively we most move from words to actions. At Sanofi, Gender Balance: it’s more than a women issue. It is strategic priority to unleash Sanofi’s full potential in the future.

We strongly believe gender balance generate growth opportunities and ensure sustainability. It is business imperative and an innovation driver to spiral new ideas and innovation.

With diversity of thought and ideas, it is an enabler to better understand our stakeholders and anticipate their needs to better serve patients worldwide. Gender Balance, diversity and inclusion generate competitive advantage to better attract, develop and retain the best talents as part of employee value proposition and being an employer of choice.


Lim Teck Yong, Head of Regional Operations & People Team, Shopee

Shopee’s talent base is highly diverse in many dimensions. At a high-growth, fast-paced environment like ours, we focus on performance and driving impact above anything else. We are grateful to have key women leaders across various departments, such as marketing, operations and tech. Some of our largest teams, are also led by women.

Beyond the workplace, we also believe in empowering more women to take interest and pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

For example, we recently collaborated with several organisations such as Girls in Tech, Coding Girls, Tech Ladies, She Loves Data, and Women who Code, to empower more women to code and achieve their ambitions in today’s digital economy. Through these partnerships, we hope to establish an avenue for future professionals to connect with women leaders as well as to learn from their experiences and perspectives.


Ai Hua Ong, Company Group Chairman, Asia Pacific, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (champions the diversity and inclusion corporate initiatives)

Gender equality is not just about what you do, but about who you are as a company.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been championing women and giving us the tools, resources and opportunities to succeed since our founding more than 130 years ago. Today, we continue to work to ensure all employees feel a deep sense of belonging and have equal opportunity to excel.

A key to that is our effort to mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace, because even with best intentions, our biases may result in closing the door on people and ideas that carry significant potential.

While diversity and inclusion at J&J means much more than gender equality, we are proud of our initiatives that create inclusive environments enabling women to thrive. From our shared parental leave policy to mentoring and peer-to-peer support programs, we are committed to drive gender balance both within our walls, and outside them.


Bianca Stringuini, Senior Director, Inclusion & Community, Asia Pacific, Visa

At Visa, acceptance is part of our business and also defines who we are – and acceptance drives inclusion. Through Visa University, which has a D&I College, we provide inclusive leadership and unconscious bias training programs, and have tied these trainings to our managers’ yearly development goals.

In 2018 we established a Global Gender Inclusion Council of female senior leaders from different markets and functions to lead gender balance initiatives and improvements in our processes.

We also have representation targets for all of our senior leaders as part of their business scorecards, again tying them to leaders’ annual goals as part of a holistic approach to recruitment, retention and promotion of female talent across the organisation.


Ann Marr, Vice President, Global Human Resources at World Wide Technology (WWT)

At WWT, our employees are our greatest asset. To create an environment that empowers employees to perform to their fullest, organisations should focus not only on numbers and KPIs, but invest in programmes that help employees grow and realise their potential.

We launched the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) in 2015 as a mentorship programme to empower more women to take leadership positions in the company. The success of WLF was then amplified through a number of subgroups such as Women in IT, Cable or Supply Chain to extend these mentorships organisation-wide.

Through a combination of regular meetings, TED talks and awareness programmes, we are putting women in all levels of the company in better positions for leadership roles when the opportunity arises. It is initiatives like these that help us bridge the gender gap and be regularly recognised as one of the top workplaces for women.


Carmel Pelunsky, Managing Director and Chief People Officer, Head of YSC APAC

YSC Consulting is guided by an approach of ‘Conscious Inclusion’: an approach that creates a culture of inclusive leadership in our organisation.

The inherent risk with most interventions aimed at creating gender balance is that they are implicitly or explicitly intending to ‘fix the women’. In contrast, we believe in an approach that encourages all leaders to demonstrate curiosity, courage and the ability to connect with their team members in meaningful ways. Developing this capability, and adopting a systemic approach that ensures that all processes and structures support gender equality create sustainable change.


We still have seven more parts to our series focusing on women leadership, and bridging the gap in gender diversity in organisations. Stay tuned for more!

Part 1: Pearls of wisdom: Career advice from women leaders to their younger selves

Part 2: IWD2019 special: How CDL, Mars Inc, Standard Chartered Bank, and more are building balanced workplaces

Part 3: How leaders across Asia are taking responsibility to advocate a gender-balanced society

Part 4: Advice from 12 women leaders on overcoming career challenges

Part 5: 10 D&I initiatives that some of Asia’s most successful employers do

Part 6: If you could meet your younger self, what career advice would you give?

Part 7: ‘Don’t be afraid to be different’: Career advice from leaders across Asia

Part 8: 13 ways leaders like yourself can make an impact on gender equality

Part 10: Take a leaf out of these 10 women leaders’ career diary

Part 11: Action for change: How leaders from BASF, Emirates, Henkel, and more are taking responsibility for D&I

Part 12: Interviews with AXA Insurance, Cisco, HP, Roland Berger, and more on D&I issues

Part 13: #BalanceForBetter: Equal pay for equal work, meritocracy approach, and more

Part 14: Building diversity isn’t an HR role: How leaders across the board invest time into it

Part 15: [Watch] Nuggets of wisdom: 10 women leaders share career advice to their younger selves

Part 16: Be fearless and fight for your right: Tips for overcoming career challenges



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