Biz Sch News 23 February 2017

The journey to senior management for women

The 4th Influential Women in Banking & Investments Forum was held at Pan Pacific Singapore on 16 February.

Some 60 faculty, students, staff and industry experts attended the panel discussion organised by the Centre for Asset Management Research & Investments (CAMRI). The theme of the event was “The Golden Touch: Gender Diversity and Firm Performance”.

“A diverse team is a powerful combination that leads to better discussions and consequently better decisions,” said Practice Professor and CAMRI board member Veronica Eng in her opening address.

She added that diverse boardrooms would help guide organisations through today’s dynamic business landscape. “A diverse board is in a better position to bring different perspectives to the table to deal with complexities,” she said.

The panel discussion was moderated by Cheong Choy Mei, Senior Vice President & Head, Security and Fraud Risk, HSBC.

The panellists are Rachel Eng, Deputy Chairman, WongPartnership, Datuk Shireen Muhiudeen, Founder, Managing Director & Principal Fund Manager, Corston-Smith Asset Management, Wong Chien Chien, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer – Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse, Jeanette Wong, Group Executive, Institutional Banking Group, DBS. The latter two are NUS Business School alumna.

The panellists talked about how women can transition from middle-level to senior positions. One advice from the group was for women to take up P&L (profit & losses) job functions. Such a role would enable a better understanding of overall business performance and strategy, and thus a stronger position to lead large business segments and even organisations.

They also shared the personal challenges they faced in their careers including bringing up children while competing with their male counterparts to climb the promotion ladder.

Ms Wong of DBS said she would make sure that her children can reach her on her phone as much as possible when she is in her office – her way of showing she is there for them.

The panellists also talked about their observations on how female talent tend to not seize work opportunities that could lead to a promotion. “Very often bosses may give them a chance to be posted overseas or promoted, instead of wavering or doubting themselves, they should really just jump on it,” said Ms Eng.