In line with International Women’s Day 2021, the team at Human Resources Online has put together a series of 22 stories under two distinct concepts with the overarching theme of #ChooseToChallenge to inspire organisations and leaders to push for a gender-equal society, by showcasing what their peers are doing in this area. 

For the first concept, we recognise that as guardians of employee wellbeing and a key stakeholder in company policy creation, HR leaders are in a unique position to challenge stereotypes, fight bias and inequity in the workplaces to bring about positive change.

In that line, we seek to highlight key HR interventions that promote gender equity, seek out and celebrate women's achievements, and create an inclusive workplace; by asking more than 60 HR leaders to share their organisation's call-to-action in shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity. 

For the second concept, we believe that as individuals, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – at work and at home. As people leaders at work and role models at home, the impacts of our actions are amplified through our influence on others.

From challenge comes change. Individually, we can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. So, how are leaders choosing to challenge?

We've asked more than 60 leaders (women and men - because we believe men play a part too) "What is one action you are taking at work, and at home, to challenge the existing gender stereotypes?"


Part 1: #ChooseToChallenge: How DBS Bank, Maybank, P&G, and more are shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity

In this first part of our series, leaders from DBS Bank, Maybank, Mondelēz International (Malaysia), Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Societe Generale, share their call-to-action, including running internal programmes to help employees be more aware of unintentional discrimination, offering additional parental leave, and having a monthly diversity review.

[Read more]


Part 2: #ChooseToChallenge: 6 leaders share how they are challenging existing gender stereotypes

In the second part, leaders from Citi, Henkel Malaysia, Lenovo Singapore, MSD, Procter & Gamble, and Singapore Sports Hub, share the actions they are taking against gender stereotypes. This includes cultivating a workplace culture that inspires diversity and inclusion, embracing a mindset of engagement, mutual understanding, and acceptance, and more.

[Read more]


Part 3: #ChooseToChallenge: Citi, Diageo, Shopee, Unilever, and more on driving gender equality

In this third part of our series, HR leaders from Citi, Cigna International Markets, Diageo, Shopee, Unilever Asia, and Zendesk, tell us what their organisation is doing, including disclosing pay equity data and leveraging data-driven insights to track progress, fostering an inclusive culture, as well as providing progressive parental leave packages.

[Read more]


Part 4: How leaders from Align Technology, Dell, Mutant, SGInnovate, and more #ChooseToChallenge gender stereotypes

The fourth part of our series had leaders from Align Technology, Amazon Web Services, Dell Technologies, Micron Semiconductor Asia Operations, Mutant, SGInnovate, and VP Bank share how they are challenging gender stereotypes at work, and at home.

For instance, these leaders are being bold, thinking bigger and speaking their mind, as well as focusing on a growth mindset instead of perfection and proactively bringing onboard new talent.

[Read more]


Part 5: How AdNovum, Datasite, Syngenta, and more are pushing for gender equality

In this fifth part of our series, HR leaders from AdNovum Singapore, AppsFlyer, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Datasite, Deliveroo, and Syngenta, tell us about their organisation's call-to-action.

From fostering a transparent culture and approaching work through a lens of equity, diversity & inclusion, to embracing diverse cultures, perspectives, skills, and experiences, here’s what these six organisations are doing.

[Read more]


Part 6: Henkel, Integral Ad Science, Johnson Controls, and more share how they #ChooseToChallenge

Part six saw HR leaders from AIA, AXA Insurance, Henkel, Integral Ad Science, Johnson Controls, and Micron Technology, sharing about how their organisations are cultivating a culture of inclusion, providing unconscious bias training, and using AI for job descriptions to reduce bias.

[Read more]


Part 7: #ChooseToChallenge gender stereotypes: What leaders from 3M, DBS, Maybank, Societe Generale, and more are doing

For the seventh part of our series, we got eight leaders from 3M, Accelerating Asia, DBS Bank, Maybank, PersonEdge, Siemens Thailand, Societe Generale, Thrive HR Exchange to share how they are challenging gender stereotypes at work, and at home.

From consistently reinforcing a gender-blind, merit-based culture to leading by example, here's what these eight leaders are doing to challenge existing stereotypes at work and at home.

[Read more]


Part 8: BT Group, HP, Lazada, SGInnovate and more on their call to action for gender equality

In this eighth part of our series, HR leaders from BT Group, Hershey India, HP Inc., Lazada Group, SGInnovate, VP Bank, tell us about their organisation's call-to-action.

This includes increasing opportunities for women at senior levels, fostering an inclusive environment, and driving progress from the top through leadership programmes.

[Read more]


Part 9: Challenging stereotypes: Steps taken by leaders at AppsFlyer, Edelman Malaysia, HEINEKEN Malaysia, and more

The ninth part had six leaders from AppsFlyer, Edelman Malaysia, HEINEKEN Malaysia, Integral Ad Science, Tata Communications, and UnaBiz Singapore share how they are challenging gender stereotypes at work, and at home.

From starting with themselves and keeping a mindset of individuals and individuality, to addressing the confidence gap, here's what these six leaders are doing.

[Read more]


Part 10: Leaders from Carsome, Equinix, StashAway, and more share how they are challenging gender stereotypes

The tenth part of our series saw six leaders from ADA, Carsome, Commvault, Equinix in South Asia, Shopee, and Stasway sharing how they are challenging gender stereotypes at work, and at home

From challenging unconscious bias, to improving the recruitment funnel and promotion track of women, as well as being unafraid of sharing a different point of view, here’s what these six leaders are doing.

[Read more]


Part 11: HR leaders from Criteo, REDHILL, WWT, and more on pushing for gender equality

From challenging unconscious bias, to improving the recruitment funnel and promotion track of women, as well as being unafraid of sharing a different point of view, here’s how these six leaders from ADA, Carsome, Commvault, Equinix in South Asia, Shopee, and StashAway share are challenging gender stereotypes at work, and at home.

[Read more]


Part 12: Meet champions of gender equality from Marriott, Trehaus, VF Corp., and more

In this 12th story in our series, leaders from Barco, True Group, AdNovum, and more share the following:

  • Organisations should continue to promote gender equality in the workplace.
  • Role model the importance of having passion and confidence in all that we do.
  • Encourage your team to strike a balance in genders when it comes to hires and workplace support.
  • The onus is on us to not stay silent and #ChooseToChallenge when faced with gender biasness.
  • Gender role development has to be inculcated since young.
  • Created a space to make work-life integration and work-family balance a possibility.

[Read more]


Part 13: How F5, Equinix, Singapore Sports Hub, and more are advocating gender equality

This 13th part of our series had HR leaders from Cover-More Group, Equinix Asia Pacific, F5, LeapVista, Singapore Sports Hub, and StashAway, share the following: 

  • It’s all about people. Not gender. Not nationalities. Not generations. Not sexual orientation.
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging being a strategic priority where all employees feel safe, that they belong, and they matter.
  • Only by prioritising a culture of inclusion and taking tangible actions can we strengthen women representation and in turn, enable equal opportunities for all.
  • Hiring by company values and competency fit.
  • Having the management team lead by example.
  • Being cognizant of biases while hiring to reduce them.

[Read more]


Part 14: How leaders from Criteo, Johnson Controls, REDHILL, and more are voicing their support for women leaders

In this part of our series, leaders from Criteo, edotco Group, ESET APAC, Johnson Controls, Localsearch, London Stock Exchange Group, and REDHILL share how they are challenging the existing gender stereotypes.

This includes: 

  • Striving to be an example that women can excel in what were once male-dominated roles.
  • Leaving gender out of the equation when it comes to hiring, training and work opportunities for the team.
  • Mentoring women who are trying to return to the workplace after a gap from the workforce.

[Read more]


Part 15: How Jabil Green Point, Lenovo Singapore, MSD, and more are backing gender equality

In this 15th part of our series, HR leaders from ELMO Software, Jabil Green Point, Lemi, Lenovo Singapore, MSD, and Revolut, share the following: 

  • Removing the grey areas where unconscious bias can develop.
  • Recognising that each individual has different strengths and one size does not fit all.
  • Fostering a workplace culture of positivity and equality.
  • Providing a supportive environment to our employees that is inclusive and safe.
  • Focusing on allyship and serving as active and vocal allies towards building an equitable workforce.
  • Actively investing in the women in the organisation and attracting more women to apply to the organisation.

[Read more]


Part 16: What leaders from Lemi, Procore, Telstra, and more are doing to challenge gender stereotypes

In this 16th story in our series, leaders from Jabil, Lemi, Procore, Software AG, Telstra, and Tookitaki Holdings share the following:

  • It’s an issue of abilities, everyone should be provided equal opportunities.
  • Raising kids makes female entrepreneurs better leaders. It forces them to develop strong teams who can operate seamlessly in their occasional absence.
  • Hiring women at work and speaking openly about gender equity at home.
  • Leading by example and paying it forward by coaching aspiring women in tech.
  • Creating safe spaces for people to voice their opinions.
  • Creating a motivating work environment built on authenticity, trust, and empathy.

[Read more]


Part 17: How 6 firms including KONE Corporation, TIBCO, and Verizon are fighting gender bias

In this part of our series, HR leaders from Citrix, Eaton East Asia, KONE Corporation, SAS, TIBCO, Verizon Asia Pacific, share the following: 

  • Tying diversity metrics to bonus pay. 
  • Discussions around removing barriers and bridging confidence gaps for the women in their careers.
  • Nurturing an equal opportunities environment. 
  • Being committed to gender equality in every part of the company.
  • Focusing on the Women, Inclusion, Success, and Equity employee resource group. 
  • Involving men in the conversation through a “Men as Allies” network.

[Read more]


Part 18: How leaders from DSM, Eaton, Micro Focus, and more are tackling underlying cognitive biases and societal expectations

This 18th part saw leaders from DSM, Eaton, Micro Focus, Poly, Quincus, and Rackspace Technology share the following:

  • Choosing to challenge certain norms and actively embracing the value of being courageous to have difficult conversations.
  • Tackling the underlying cognitive biases and societal expectations.
  • Empowerment is fundamental in overturning these deeply entrenched stereotypes.
  • Asking and expecting to get a positive response.
  • Fostering an environment of teamwork, growth and work-life balance.
  • Internal advocacy groups to promote unity, support, and growth in an environment of trust, freedom, and accountability.

[Read more]


Part 19: What six firms, including Digi, Nium, and Zalora are doing to empower and inspire women

In this part of our series, HR leaders from Digi, Juniper Networks Asia Pacific, Nium, Reed Smith, Symphony Communication Services, and Zalora, share the following: 

  • Being deliberate in their efforts to inspire and empower women in the workforce.
  • Introducing programmes to equip employees with the tools to navigate difficult conversations and actively mitigate unconscious bias.
  • Ensuring that both genders are equally considered for every position, project, progression and promotion.
  • Removing barriers to progression to ensure that everyone can reach their full potential and access the most senior roles in the firm.
  • Focusing on equity of talent outcomes.
  • Making a commitment to gender equality and wider diversity that starts from the talent identification process, and extends through the end-to-end employee experience.

[Read more]


Part 20: Leaders at Adjust, AWWA, FIS, and more are celebrating diversity

The 20th part of our series had eight leaders from Adjust, AWWA, FIS, ICAEW, Jebsen & Jessen Ingredients, Lark, Uniphore, and Verizon Media, share the following: 

  • Fostering a harmonious work environment, providing open and safe spaces for everyone.
  • Celebrating how differences make us strong individually.
  • Challenging the use of gendered language.
  • Creating platforms and opportunities for different stakeholders to come together for open and honest dialogues.
  • How the way leaders lead and manage teams have a ripple effect in the company culture.
  • Offering equal opportunity for all and empowering other women to take on leadership roles.
  • Mentoring and contributing to a trusted network of mentors.
  • Being aware of implicit bias that has been ingrained with socialisation and life experiences.

[Read more]


Part 21: How organisations including Alstom, CFS, Mars, and more are achieving equality across their business

In this penultimate part of our series, HR leaders from Alstom Asia-Pacific, Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), Mars Wrigley Global Emerging Markets, SABIC, ThoughtWorks, and VF Corporation, share the following:

  • Encouraging women to study STEM and recruiting women to the company at every level.
  • Emphasising a strengths culture, while encouraging a balance between collaboration and autonomy.
  • Driving a #HereToBeHeard movement to gather women’s voices to help identify concrete actions to close the gender opportunity gap.
  • Ensuring everyone is treated fairly, with dignity, and respect.
  • Building awareness on topics like building equitable tech, unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, and more.
  • Partnering with organisations to increase the number of women and achieve equality across the global business.

[Read more]


Part 22: How eight leaders from Epson, Foursquare, HP, and more are dispelling gender misconceptions

This last story in our series saw leaders from Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), Epson Singapore, Foursquare APAC, HP, SABIC, Schneider Electric, Singapore Maritime Foundation, and VIRTUE, share the following:

  • Recognising the strengths of multitaskers, at home and at work.
  • Vocalising and raising awareness for the equality of abilities in the workplace.
  • Creating opportunities for the next generation of women leaders to challenge the gender stereotypes in the tech industry.
  • Actively mentoring younger women colleagues to approach everything with a growth mindset.
  • Offering jobs and tasks based on competencies and 'best fit' and not by gender.
  • Ensuring all team members get opportunities for growth and development.
  • Leading initiatives aimed at dispelling misconceptions relating to the industry and providing support to the workforce through mentoring.
  • Shifting to a genderless mindset to approach work without preconceived notions or bias.

[Read more]


Bonus: Power Profilers: Singapore’s established woman leaders share pearls of wisdom to their younger selves

This year, Human Resources Online has partnered up with ManpowerGroup Singapore to launch a monthly social media thought leadership series, focused on being a spark of inspiration for local women who aspire to be in leadership roles in the future.

This is an ongoing series and the article will continue to be updated as we feature more woman leaders. Bookmark this and check back every month!

[Read more]


Photo / 123RF

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