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Champions of corporate gender equality

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(Front row, L-R) Pearlyn Phau, Jeanette Wong, Lee Yan Hong. (Back row, L-R) Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Tan Su Shan, Chng Sok Hui, Karen Ngui.

SINGAPORE-listed companies DBS Group Holdings and City Developments Limited have made it to the 2018 edition of Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index.

The index measures gender equality across internal company statistics, employee policies, external community engagement and gender-conscious product offerings.

At DBS, women also make up 30 per cent of the group's management committee (GMC), which sets the strategy and direction of the bank. The GMC's seven female members share their thoughts on working in an organisation that prizes diversity.

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Head of DBS' Capital Markets Group: Knowing that everyone is on a level playing field, that it's an inclusive environment, helps us all to be open and generous in our views.

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It's given us the confidence to harness our creativity and to venture into areas which we would not have ventured into. I believe that diversity brings excellence to DBS.

Pearlyn Phau, Deputy Group Head of DBS' Consumer Banking & Wealth Management: I feel empowered knowing that there is no glass ceiling in DBS and that everyone is given equal opportunities to excel.

The fact that we all got here based on performance and meritocracy, without needing a quota, makes it clear that women can and will rise to the top when empowered.

Tan Su Shan, Group Head of DBS' Consumer Banking & Wealth Management: I'm very grateful that DBS has given women like me several opportunities to grow our career.

Whether it's an expansion of our current role or a chance to rotate to new roles in the region, DBS doesn't discriminate on gender or race and actively helps us develop with coaching and mentorship programmes - even encouraging reverse mentors!

Jeanette Wong, Group Executive, Head of DBS' Institutional Banking Group: When our younger women colleagues see women heading DBS' businesses and departments, it opens up the belief that they too can achieve senior roles. As women, we should consciously include women in our talent pipeline and succession plans. I'd like to see more women running businesses, and in time, for us to be gender blind.

Chng Sok Hui, DBS' Chief Financial Officer: DBS took many chances on me in my 35-year career: I moved to new roles every few years, built functions from scratch, and joined the Management Committee at 41. DBS facilitated my progression while I was raising four kids, and continues to support women in flexi-work arrangements. It's very fulfilling to work in such an empowering culture.

Lee Yan Hong, Head of DBS' Group Human Resources: DBS believes in meritocracy and embraces diversity. I'm proud to be part of creating an environment that empowers people to be the best they can be. We thrive because of the diversity of experiences and knowledge brought to the table by our colleagues, which helps to drive change and deliver impact.

Karen Ngui, Head of DBS' Group Strategic Marketing and Communications: It's great being in an organisation that recognises and rewards performance while providing exciting learning and development opportunities. This has enabled me to focus on doing my best and given me the privilege of working with like-minded individuals from varied backgrounds, who thrive on doing well and doing good.

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