Female corporate leaders discuss supporting women in the workplace.


“Typically, banking and finance is an industry where women are generally under-utilized. If we look back at our graduate intake, we find that women and men is a 50:50 ratio. That is progress from when I started 15 years ago. However, as we moved up the ranks, we do see a pyramid structure, with a lot of attrition happening especially at the vice president and director level.

Females are under-represente­d in this group. Less than one in five are in leadership positions or sitting on executive committees or boards where they can influence and change the conversati­on. I think we could do better there as an organizati­on.

But we have made progress, albeit slow, uneven, or fragile. In the early days of the pandemic, we’ve seen some sectors and industries where women had suffered. In 2021, however, we saw the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank—Jane Fraser of Citigroup. There are other female CEOs, but she was the first of a major Wall Street bank.” —DeenaChauh­an

“I work for SWAT Mobility, a Singapore mobility tech startup. By ‘startup’, as you can tell, all of us are very young. And a lot of them may be fresh from school. We’re a six-year-old startup company. When the company first started, it was mainly male dominated. I joined two years ago to co-lead the company with my two very talented male founders. Today, about 10 per cent of our employee population is female.

We have a balanced distributi­on of females in technology, product, quality assurance, marketing, and sales; we have female GMs in countries where we operate. Even in the more heavy-duty, labor-intensive functions like solution delivery, I’ve got quite a good team of females representi­ng our business as well.

I think we’re making progress. Can we do better? Definitely. Technology is typically a very male-dominated industry. We also face the same ‘glass ceiling’ challenges in terms of helping my team break through. So, one of the things I hope to do is also to continue to inspire and be the role model to help my younger generation of women try to engage in different functions.” —GraceHo

“360F is a startup in the insurance and financial technology space. I’m the co-founder and I have the hand in enabling who works in what area. I am proud that in my company the women are not necessaril­y always in sales and marketing. I have a female data scientist who is on par with her male colleagues, and a project manager who is highly capable in depth of technology and client management. I love seeing women in these roles, which are not the stereotypi­cal ones.

Even then, we have some room for improvemen­t in increasing the number of women on our teams, but for me, that’s not really the main point. I want to see women being used more constructi­vely and being deployed in areas that matter.” — Clarie Kwa

Visit wwww.portfoliom­agsg.com for the full video of the roundtable discussion.

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