Increasing Boardroom Diversity to Improve Productivity: Singapore Example

An encouraging piece of news on a growing recognition of diversity as a driver of productivity. A great step forward towards ensuring gender inclusion in the boardroom. To read the article click here.

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


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.