WPLA marks International Women’s Day 2015

This year to mark the International Women’s Day, WPLA in collaboration with the LKYSPP Bridging Gender and Policy Group partnered with the leading tech companies to host a panel discussion. The event was widely attended by the students, staff and members of the public.

Photo Courtesy of Bridging GAP Group

The panel discussion focused on “Women Leaders in Technology: Why We Do What We Do?” and featured a panel of four remarkable women leaders from such tech companies as Microsoft, HP, Twitter and ConneXionsAsia.

  • Amelia Agrawal, Regional Director of OEM Marketing, Microsoft
  • Elizabeth Hernandez, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP
  • Frederique Covington, International Marketing Director, Twitter
  • Rosaline Chow Koo, Founder and CEO, ConneXionsAsia

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez was the moderator of the discussion.

The panelists shared their unique personal stories of how they achieved career success in the technology sector and the challenges they encountered along the way, whether the work-life balance is a myth, and how they contributed to the success of their companies.

One of the takeaways of the event relates to the risk women associate with the career in tech: “Are women less risk-taking, therefore less attracted to high-stakes tech industry? There is a steep learning curve that requires some confidence to take, not just in tech. Mentors need to convey to girls that it’s important to take risks.”


Photo Courtesy of Bridging GAP Group


Microsoft Taiwan Empowers the Next Generation of Female Entrepreneurs

One of the goals of the Women’s Pathways to Leadership in Asia (WPLA) project is to highlight successful initiatives promoting the advancement of women in the Asia Region. Microsoft is an industry leader in promoting diversity in the workplace and fostering female talent.

In Taiwan, Microsoft has launched a GIRLS Power Up internship programme. The goal of this leading internship program is to partnership with academic institutions to help young and aspiring businesswomen to become entrepreneurs. GIRLS Power Up was first initiated at the Taipei Chengshih University of Science and Technology (TPCU), National Chung Hsing University and WuFeng University.

Taipei Chengshih University of Science and Technology (TPCU) students Liao Yu-Syuan and Hsieh You-Qi shared their experiences at the Microsoft GIRLS Power Up press conference

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific

According to a recent publication by Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific,  approximately “180 female students have participated in the programme and were successfully matched to 36 ‘micro-internship’ teams to experience running a business venture and hone their entrepreneurial interests.” Throughout the course of the program, participants receive valuable skills training including social networking and online marketing skills needed for young women to succeed in their future ‘micro business venture.’

In a recent press conference highlighting the progress of GIRLS Power Up Programme, Sally Wang, a successful female entrepreneur told the audience how her company gained from offering these internship opportunities by stating, “The students that I’ve worked with are fully dedicated to this programme, and I am really thankful to have this chance to interact with this group of students. I am most impressed by their positive attitude and creative marketing ideas.”

Young female entrepreneurs benefit from the practical experience they gain through the program. Hsieh You-Qi, a business administration degree student at TPCU and current participant of the program, expressed the value of this experience by saying that “Thanks to GIRLS Power Up, I now have a deeper understanding of many aspects of entrepreneurship. I hope to use what I’ve learned to fulfill my dreams of setting up my own business in the future.” In particular, the program has provided her the skills to differentiate her product offerings and leverage social media to effectively market new products.

According to Vincent Shih, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director at Microsoft Taiwan, “The main purpose of the GIRLS Power Up programme is to provide a platform for young Taiwanese women to take the first step in digital learning through small-scale business ventures, which entail less risk and help them develop their entrepreneurial potential. This internship programme is designed to enable them to pick up the critical skills and knowledge to cope with the challenges of operating a business venture.” Thanks to these innovative initiatives, Microsoft is empowering the next generation of female entrepreneurs and empowering women in the Asia Region.
For more information
For more information on the GIRLS Power Up programme please visit the following link: Taiwan’s GIRLS Power Up programme 



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.