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Women in Finance Asia Advisory Board Q&A

Traders Magazine Online News, March 26, 2019

Staff Reports


Markets Media Group Women in Finance Asia advisory board members discuss the upcoming WIF Awards Asia, planned for May 3rd in Hong Kong. They talk about their experiences mentoring, giving back and keys to success.

What have been the keys to success in your career?

Carrie Cheung, BNP Paribas: One of the most important factors has been to be passionate about what I do, which has driven me to keep learning and developing. The other has been to be collaborative, both internally within my organisation and externally with the broader industry; I believe more can be achieved when we work together.

Azila A Aziz, Kenanga: I have had a career built on the long game Ė I play chess, not checkers. I relate to the game of chess where each piece has a unique role, unique abilities, and unique limitations, just like the ecosystem of the workplace. My technical expertise, functional skills and industry experience were the elements that had elevated me to a Management role. I have progressively improved on my approach and today, I embrace and practice mindfulness and authenticity in my leadership style.

Jacqueline Loh, AIA: Iíve never ever thought hard about the keys to success. Iím a natural optimist, I really like people and I have a technical mind. The rest just happened.

What has been your experience as a woman in finance, historically a male-dominated field?

CC: While finance is still a male-dominated field, it is encouraging to see more and more women in the industry and in senior leadership roles. There is increasing momentum behind the push to create a more gender balanced world; certainly in our firm there have been many steps taken over the years, not least signing the Women in Finance Charter, which showcases our commitment to increasing representation of senior women in the bank. In my experience, it is about leadership Ė inclusive leadership Ė that values the benefits of a diverse workforce, as we build a common purpose and focus on delivering results.

AAA: So much has been written about why women are under-represented in the financial world let alone in senior leadership positions Ė from poor childcare provisions to institutional bias. But what can be agreed upon are the common traits of great leaders, and that women tend to have a high level of emotional intelligence and that has a profound impact on the way they run companies. Being able to thrive in the face of adversity is necessary to be successful long-term. I am always motivated by opportunities to grow and improve. I continuously improve on being emotionally smart, reminding myself to be self-aware and to have an executive presence before I dive into developing others.

JL: Itís been a very positive and enriching journey. Iím a trader, which is historically male dominated. Over the past few years, the interest in trading analytics, liquidity and impact costs management has made trading more transparent to the outside world. As tradersí performances could be measured quantitatively, it became easier to demonstrate good performances in numbers. This benefitted women who, in the past, might not have as vocal in communicating their capabilities.

Have you had any especially notable mentors/role models who have helped you along your career path?

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