How these four organisations are encouraging gender equality

Business leaders from across Southeast Asia and beyond share the active steps that their organisations are taking towards gender equality.
By: | March 19, 2019


International Women’s Day (March 8) has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that the fight for a balanced workforce is over. Ensuring gender equality in the workplace isn’t about helping women at the neglect of men.

Rather, it’s about ensuring that everyone has the seen opportunities to excel and progress – for the better of the business.

Below, four business leaders — of multi-national corporations from across Southeast Asia and beyond — share the active steps that their organisations are taking to ensure that no employee is left behind.

Jasie Fon, General Manager of Workday in Southeast Asia

“Gender balance in the workplace is about giving women an equal chance as men in achieving their career ambitions. Women should be hired to serve a purpose and to bring value to the company instead of just for the sake of quotas or as a token of diversity.

I am always seeking opportunities to speak at events related to gender quality and diversity to educate and influence more business leaders to adopt technologies that can make monitoring and reviewing of diversity much easier.

WWomen should be hired to serve a purpose and to bring value to the company instead of just for the sake of quotas or as a token of diversity..

Workday recently hosted a panel discussion, Happy HR Hour, on the topic of Diversity & Inclusion and I was happy to be part of the panel to share my experience and some examples of how technologies can be leveraged to promote gender equality in the workplace.

We leverage on technologies to help promote gender parity within our workplace. Our Chief Talent Officer for example, uses Workday-powered diversity dashboard to help monitor pay equity, time-to-promotion and turnover rate in our company.

By turning employee data into insights, we are able to constantly evaluate our diversity efforts and provide better support for women to progress in their careers.

We also mask the bio data of interviewees during the hiring process so that we eliminate unconscious bias from the process and allow candidates to be hired based on their merits.

Yujin Evered, Regional President of Unit4 in Asia-Pacific

“It’s easy for gender equality and parity to just become boardroom buzzwords, added to the list of management tick boxes to be crossed off.

The key, I believe, is to make it grassroots – part of the core DNA that a company has from top to bottom and that it lives by daily – in order to build an environment that empowers and inspires, and create new values for the overall business.

A healthy DNA of diversity and conscious efforts to protect it can go a long way in improving employee experience, talent retention, and the overall prospects of the business.

This is why it is important to also ensure that women are properly represented in all levels of an organisation, for the unique set of experiences, perspectives, and skills they bring to the table are truly be a game-changer.

Ahealthy DNA of diversity and conscious efforts to protect it can go a long way in improving employee experience, talent retention, and the overall prospects of the business..

Gender equality and parity should not be led by female leaders and women employees alone – it is a cause that the entire organisation should rally behind.

At Unit4, we are creating change through a variety of initiatives that look to offer a holistic cultural shift to embrace diversity and gender equality.

These include providing flexible working arrangements for working mothers, driving networking opportunities across different levels, and setting up mentorship programmes to support employee growth.

As a company, we pride ourselves on promoting an inclusive working environment that not only takes into account each individual’s contributions but also looks at their responsibilities outside of the office and in the community.

It is my firm belief that this people-centric approach combined with a concerted effort to protect organisational diversity, goes a long way in advancing gender equality in the workplace.

Serene Sia, Managing Director and Vice-President of Cloud Platform, Oracle Singapore

“Oracle Women Leadership (OWL) is one [of the] women leadership activities within Oracle. This programme started in 2006 within the customer services organization and quickly grew into a corporate-wide programme.

It is a leadership and professional development programme for current and emerging women leaders at the company.

It also offers both male and female employees the opportunity to enhance their skills and develop their leadership potential through workshops, conferences, mentoring, networking events and more.

As a global initiative, the OWL’s mission is to develop, engage, and empower current and future generations of women leaders to foster an inclusive and innovative workforce. The OWL programme objectives are to:

  • Enhance leadership and professional development skills; strengthen and expand professional networks;
  • Improve organisational awareness;
  • Cultivate communities and foster environments to attract, grow and retain current and future women leaders.

[We believe] that OWL helps women achieve their career goals and present an opportunity for them to achieve their ambitions alongside capable and smart women who will support them in every step of the way.

 Through OWL, Oracle has engaged more than 7,000 employees in over 40 countries that represent over 90 OWL communities. Empowering women to reach their leadership potential is at the heart of OWL.

Employees were able to build a strong network and had the opportunity to learn from inspirational leaders – this further help shape their own experience as a confident leader.

It allows both men and women to contribute towards the empowerment of other women.

Sandra O’Sullivan, Chief People Officer, Carbon Black

“As Chief People Officer at Carbon Black, I firmly believe in #BalanceForBetter because gender balance is a business issue, not just a women’s issue.

I am working to spur on collective action and shared responsibility for gender equality in our company – increasing the number of women in leadership positions in the company and committing to the ParityPledge, where we are interviewing at least one female candidate for every leadership role in the company.

Additionally, I believe in the important and basic requirement of equal pay for equal work, and I measure this on a regular basis to ensure that we achieve this as an organisation.

At Carbon Black, we have targeted development programmes for our women, including a six-month leadership programme for high potentials, mentorship programmes and employee resource groups (ERG).

We also send our women to female-focused conferences and events to further expand their network.

From my first-hand experience at events like Grace Hopper and campus career fairs, I’ve noticed women steer away from our booth or feel discouraged when they learn that we are a cybersecurity tech company.

They say that they don’t believe they’re qualified for our roles because they don’t have experience in the security space.

I’ve also heard this statistic a lot, that “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them”.

I believe that this issue needs to be firmly addressed as a balance of genders will benefit any industry.

Until there is true gender equality across the world, it is important to have days that highlight that we haven’t achieved that, and to also highlight all the great work that is being done to undo lifetimes of gender discrimination and make this an equitable world for all genders.

International Women’s Day takes place every year on March 8. This year’s theme was #BalanceForBetter, because a gender-balanced world is a better world – for both organisations and individuals alike.

Check out our #IWD2019 coverage on our dedicated IWD tag!