International Women’s Day is a global day honoring the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Each year the anniversary is used to accelerate the conversation around gender parity which is essential to our organization.
To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked BNY Mellon senior leaders from around the world what this year’s theme #BeBoldForChange means to them.
Neil Atkinson, Head of Depositary Receipts, Asia Pacific:
It’s often reported that men are the missing ingredient in achieving equality for women in the workplace. The Women’s Foundation’s Male Allies is a cohort of inspiring and influential male leaders who are prepared to commit to, and are capable of influencing institutional changes in their own organizations and taking personal actions to advance gender equality. As a Male Ally, I’ve made a commitment to supporting a gender diverse culture at BNY Mellon. I encourage more male role models to #BeBoldForChange and support gender parity.
Tom Casteleyn, Head of Product Management for Custody, Cash and Foreign Exchange, Belgium:
Being bold and driving change is a simple problem solving equation. Through passion you identify an issue, add it to your commitment to change and the result is an action which can have a transformative effect. Across my personal and professional life this approach has had many successes. One of the areas I’m dedicated to change is gender balance in the workplace and, whilst I have already seen some great strides made, there is still work to do before this bold goal is cracked.
Sammi Cho, Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific & Chief Executive, Hong Kong branch:
One of the boldest changes we can make is shifting the way we approach change – it is not so much about the change but changing how we look at our many roles and ourselves. As a working mother, I have been conditioned to take care of others and put aside my feelings and dreams. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said “A meaningful life is living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” It prompted me to re-condition myself and #BeBoldForChange. Being passionate, having conviction, and putting others’ needs before our own is not rationalizing, but a thoughtful way to achieve what we want in life.
Christine Gill, Head of Investor Solutions Group, United States:
For me #BeBoldForChange is coupling the power of one person and the collective action of many to create a more inclusive world for all. One of my proudest achievements has been working with the BNY Mellon team to support the local savings network (Oregon ABLE Savings Plan) to enable women and men with disabilities and their families to build savings to improve their life experiences. Through our shared passion and skills we engineered something impactful and this lesson is one that lives with me each day.
Mitchell Harris, CEO of Investment Management and Executive Sponsor of PRISM (the BNY Mellon LGBTQA network), United States:
You can’t sit on your hands and expect change to happen on its own. Go out and do something about it. Be bold. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Champion the ideas you believe in, and tell others why they should believe in you. That’s what this year’s theme means to me. And the best part is that it can be applied to so many different issues that face our industry. Through my role in PRISM—BNY Mellon’s LGBTQA employee advocacy group—I’ve seen first-hand how a small group can help to influence the culture of a company and the mind-set of an industry.
Monique Herena, Chief Human Resources Officer, United States:
When I consider how we can all #BeBoldForChange in 2017 and beyond, a great place to start is to focus on being a positive force for change in the workplace. Meeting new challenges head-on can uncover interests and new talents you may have never explored, and demonstrating a willingness to tackle projects outside your comfort zone or to boldly take an idea to the next level will give you a chance to prove the breadth and value of your capabilities. Setting ambitious goals for yourself as a change agent and seeking out real-time feedback on your impact will accelerate bold changes in your career, and will inspire those around you to do the same.
Connie Leung, Global Head of Service Delivery, Collateral Management & Segregation, Markets, Singapore:
#BeBoldForChange is about breaking the barrier of “groupthink” in the decision making process – following the majority. To do this, we need to give constructive feedback, challenge conformity bias and be brave to think differently. Anyone can be a change agent and a role model in promoting diversity. Be bold in taking the first step and promote a more inclusive discussion in your next meeting.
Adriana Pierelli, Regional Executive Southern Europe, Italy:
To be bold is to recognize that change isn’t easy or risk free. Change is a conscious effort that requires cultural evolution, environmental understanding, network expansion and a pragmatic approach to action. I believe genuine innovation exists because curious, passionate people create environments to contribute and share. A lesson I learnt during my early years as a ballet student was that focus on objectives as well as exposure to different teaching methods and mentors provided stronger results. Today I stand by that lesson. Continual growth drives commerce and organizations require diverse skills and ideas, to fuel future momentum.
Susan Revell, EMEA General Counsel and Chief Controls Officer, UK:
To engineer bold action you have to truly embrace what has led you to the crossroads for change. In my role I operate across many legal jurisdictions and support colleagues who regularly encounter change but the people who reap the rewards and make a difference are those who are ready to learn and progress in the newly defined operating environment. To me #BeBoldForChange encourages action and I believe when you embrace change in a calm, confident, strong and open manner the results are plentiful both for the individual and stakeholders.
Belinda Yu, Chief Administrative Officer, China:
#BeBoldForChange means being willing to step out of “comfort zones” and to take actions to make the change happen from where you are. It is also about challenging both conscious and unconscious biases in support of gender-balanced leadership. This extends to inviting more male advocates and helping women achieve their ambitions as well as realize their dreams. To be bold for change means we can advance, and unleash, the limitless potential offered by women to the economy.
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