Diversity — a Result of Conquering

Gender equality is a topic that I’m extremely passionate about. I am a strong advocate of women being granted the same rights and respect as their male counterparts. As women living in the modern world, surely we have earned the rights to have access to the same education and employment opportunities as men?

Over the two and a half years that I’ve spent with Carat APAC, I’ve been fortunate enough to work across the region. However, what I’ve come to realise is that in some of the emerging markets I’ve visited (e.g. India, Indonesia and Vietnam), it is apparent that girls are pigeonholed by their gender rather than their preferences or aptitude. In some countries young girls have little to no education, instead they’re fated to be young homemakers with marriage and children inevitable.

Working on the #HearHerVoice research project, one of the biggest insights was the importance of eradicating unconscious bias (when men and women are treated according to unwritten gender rules), especially amongst the teachers and parents of young girls. Encouragingly, our research identified a burgeoning group of go-getting and gutsy women across Southeast Asia, who serve as strong role models for their children and communities. These women have been breaking away from the traditional roles expected of them, and are setting up their own businesses with some making more as business owners than they did as employees.

However, to address bigger issues of gender imbalance, in particular the wage gap and rate of career progression, women need to be encouraged and educated the same as men, and moreover in the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. The reality is that as more girls enter into these necessary and pioneering fields, the quicker the wage gap between men and women will be bridged.

I hope to see the day we talk about professions in terms of the skill set a person has, rather than the gender of the person performing the role, i.e. women in tech, spacewomen, male nurses and female politicians, because this needs to be a thing of the past. My hope for future generations is that there will be gender neutral roles being paid a salary that reflects their experience rather than their gender.

For myself, I am very happy to be working for an organisation that shares my beliefs and wants to invest in people’s individual talents and differences. I have been privileged and immensely proud to be part of the team spearheading a female-championed and female-focused research project and the resulting launch of Dentsu Aegis Network’s inaugural Female Foundry. Furthermore, I feel very privileged to work in an organisation that encourages and nurtures the next generation of female leaders.

As a company operating across global communities we thrive by embracing diversity in gender, age, culture, and capabilities. This is how we all learn and grow as people. As a company this allows us to remain agile and offer better and different solutions to our clients based on all our personal and professional experiences.

Thankfully our differences are both appreciated and celebrated.