Gender equality is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The UN SDG are a call to action for people worldwide to address the five critical areas of importance by 2030: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, progress in gender equality has been slow. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the gap has widened further. The UN found that the coronavirus could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality. Increased care burdens because of lock-downs have taken women out of the workforce as women remain primary caregivers for the young and old. Unpaid care work widens the savings gap between men and women. The ripple effect of being out of the workforce is that women face greater risk of inadequate savings at retirement, which also impacts their mental well-being, economic progress and financial independence.
How do we help women stay in the workplace as Covid-19 continues to rage on? And if women are able to stay in the workforce, how do we ensure that workplaces are fair and transparent and support women to thrive?
More can be done to progress gender equality. In this panel featuring FWA Champions, we focus on championing gender equality in the workplace and the importance of harnessing diverse talent for business success. Questions we pose to our panellists include:
What can companies do more to help women balance work and life, especially in a Covid environment?
Do you think workplace practices and policies are effective in facilitating women's progress in the workplace?
What more should be done to meaningfully accelerate gender equality in the workplace?
How important is measuring, tracking and reporting to advance gender equality in the workplace?
What needs to be measured? Pay? Representation? Effectiveness of policies & practices?
How important is gender diversity and inclusion in the success of your organization
Julia Raiskin, Managing Director Head of Equities, Asia Citi Markets & Securities Services, Citi
Julia Raiskin is the Asia Head of Equities at Citi following the separation of Equities & Securities Services into two distinct businesses.
In her current role, Julia is in charge of delivering on Citi’s ambitious growth agenda in Equities across all aspects of trading, sales and content provision in collaboration with her global peers. She brings 20 years of global experience across all asset classes to her seat as well as 14 years with Citi in Asia.
Prior to this role, Julia was the Head of Institutional Sales and Relationship Management for Asia. She was responsible for achieving and maintaining a market-leading position across all Citi capital markets products in the region. She managed a diverse, regional network of sales teams, with a strong focus on both flow and structured transactions for institutional and retail clients. She also partnered with Citi’s Private Bank to offer bespoke capital markets solutions to ultra-high-net-worth clients. Julia was previously Citi’s G10 Rates Sales Head for Asia. She joined Citi in 2007 as Head of Retail Structured Products Distribution in Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining Citi, she worked at Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan in London. In her various sales and structuring roles, she covered both the investor and corporate sides, serving retail and institutional clients.
Julia holds a doctorate in Law from Oxford University. She was a Rhodes Scholar and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University.
She is currently a permanent resident of Singapore where she has lives with her husband and three children since 2007.
Sheela Parakkal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Prudential Singapore
Sheela Parakkal is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Prudential Singapore where she leads People Strategy.
Her key focus is driving the culture transformation of the organisation alongside the senior leadership team to grow a values-based culture centred on Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Empowerment and Trust.
A strong supporter of workplace diversity and inclusion, Sheela has spearheaded several industry-first initiatives such as removing the retirement age at Prudential and raising the CPF contribution rate for employees above 55 to be on par with younger colleagues. These ground-breaking changes mean that Prudential employees can work at the company for as long as they can perform, and are rewarded based on performance.
Sheela also believes in supporting employees in balancing their work and personal priorities through flexible work arrangements and best-in-class benefits such as six-month maternity leave.
In recognition of her progressive workforce vision, Sheela was named Best HR Leader at the HR Fest Awards 2019. Under her leadership, Prudential was awarded the Bronze for Best Workplace Culture in HR Excellence in 2018 and the SkillsFuture Employer Award in 2019.
Sheela’s 24-year career spans across a spectrum of industries, specialisations, and geographies. It includes 17 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore where she moved from being an auditor to an HR professional. Married with three daughters, she loves spending time with her family and volunteering to give back to society.
Anshul Sidher, Global Head of Trading & Markets Asia, ANZ
Anshul is the Managing Director, Global Head of Trading and Markets Asia at ANZ Banking Group Limited since 2018. He is based in Singapore and in this senior leadership role, he has the responsibility for the Trading activities across 28 dealing rooms in 26 countries as well as all Financial Markets activities for Sales and Capital Markets, across 13 countries in Asia. Under his leadership, the bank experienced a period of significant growth.
Since joining ANZ in 2012, Anshul has held a number of senior positions such as Head of Trading & Balance Sheet, Head of Rates & Local markets, Head of Rates in addition to regional roles such as Head of Markets Singapore, Head of Markets South-East Asia.
Most recently, Anshul has been actively involved as a key business sponsor for ANZ’s Markets “Women In Leadership” (WIL) global initiative which aims to move the dial on women in leadership roles and promote gender diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace.
In a career spanning close to two decades, Mr. Sidher has worked in various global investment banks such as Barclays Capital, Dresdner Kleinwort, ABN Amro and Citigroup. He was first made Managing Director whilst at Dresdner in 2007.
Anshul holds a Master of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, a Master of Technology in Biochemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology as well as a certificate in Quantitative Finance from the University of London. Anshul has also completed an executive program at MIT on “Digitisation and Industrialisation: Unlocking the Potential of Digitisation”.
Bruno Guilloton, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific, AXA Investment Managers
Bruno Guilloton was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific at AXA Investment Managers, effective May 2015.
Prior to this he spent 7 years as the Shareholder Representative for Asia focusing on business development and more specifically AXA IM’s relationship with its JVs in Shanghai, Seoul and Mumbai.
Bruno joined AXA IM in 1999 as a Head of Equities managing a team of 21 people. From 2000 to 2002 he was CEO of AXA IM Tokyo leading the merger with AXA Rosenberg Japan and in 2002 became Asian Regional Director for AXA Rosenberg and AXA IM. From 2005 to 2008 Bruno was Global Head of Internal Audit.
Prior to joining AXA IM, Bruno was Head of Equity Fund Management at Credit Mutual Finance for 5 years and before this worked for 10 years for Banque Indosuez as a financial analyst and portfolio manager, before being appointed joint Head of Equity Management in France at Indosuez Asset Management.
Bruno is a member of the Societe Françoise des Analystes Financiers (French Association of Financial Analysts) and graduated from the Centre de Formation a l’Analyse Financiere in 1989.
After studying at the University of Law Paris V, Bruno graduated from Institute Technique de Banque, CNAM (Coservatoire National des Arts et Métiers).
Moderated by Chin Loo Low, FWA & EDGE Certification
Chin Loo is a passionate advocate and respected leader of gender diversity and inclusion. She has worked in the gender space for 20 years, serving as President of Financial Women’s Association of Singapore, executive committee member of BoardAgender and as the founding chairperson of BNP Paribas’ MixCity SEA. As Head of APAC for Edge Certification, she brings her deep insights and years of gender experience and network to expand EDGE Certification into the APAC region.
Chin Loo is a seasoned finance professional with more than 20+ years of experience in foreign exchange and capital market products. She has worked at BNP Paribas, DBS Bank and Wealth Management Institute, as a trader, senior foreign exchange and interest rate strategist and programme director.
Chin Loo is a legislative assistant with the Government of Singapore. In this role, she researches and writes on community issues and helps to make an impact through policy recommendations and transformation.
Chin Loo is equally passionate about education and technology and advises several start-ups on strategy and sales channels. She is an active mentor in the financial services industry. Chin Loo holds an Advanced Certificate in Sustainability and Sustainable Business from SMU /GNCS and a Masters of Science in Applied Finance from the National University of Singapore. Based in Singapore, she is married and a mother to two grown-up children and numerous pets at home.
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