International Women’s Day Event in Singapore

This year, the One Microsoft Singapore Diversity & Inclusion Council partnered with UPS and Thomson Reuters to host a networking lunch and panel discussion, in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2013.  It was a full house event at the auditorium, with approximately 170 attendees, with participants from Microsoft, UPS, Thomson Reuters, and other companies in Singapore. Participants got to connect with employees from outside their companies over the networking lunch.

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Singapore. 

The panel discussion centered on “Leading in the 21st century”, and featured a dynamic panel of four remarkable leaders from Microsoft, UPS and Thomson Reuters.

  • Gwen Houston, General Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Microsoft
  • Astrid Tuminez, Regional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Southeast Asia
  • K. K. Leung, President, South Asia District, UPS Asia Pacific Region
  • Linsey Simpson, Managing Director (Thomson Reuters India Services Private Limited), Head of HR for Global Operational Centres (Thomson Reuters)

Abi Sekimitsu, General Manager, South East Asia and Pacific, was the moderator for the discussion.

The panelists gave insights on their unique experiences of forging new paths in their personal and professional lives, what makes leaders effective in the 21st century, and how they reaped the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace of today.

Some key points shared by the leaders were:

“Know what your values are, and don’t lose sight of them.”

“Don’t stop imagining and believe that you can shoot for the stars.”

“Be authentic to yourself – don’t try to be someone else.”


Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Singapore. 

These industry leaders also shared strategies that men and women at all levels can use to leverage diversity and inclusion to drive business results during a brief Q&A session. A participant from the event commented that the advice was inspiring and down to earth. In addition, she noted that “the simple suggestions to make our workplace more inclusive and respectful of different cultures.” Others found the panelists’ advice genuine and motivating.

The event was not limited to participation from the hosting organizations but also included audience from other organizations and corporations in an effort to collaborate on promoting diversity and inclusion in Singapore and the Asia region.