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Covid and diversity: Pandemic paves the way for flexible work at banks

For all the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis, it could bring some unexpected benefits for women in the banking industry, encouraging a better work-life balance.

Photo: Getty

Singapore’s two-month lockdown last year took its toll. In April 2020, the government ordered workers to stay at home in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19: the number of unemployed rose from about 96,000 in April to 117,100 in July, numerous industries stopped growing and for the period April to June, Singapore’s economy contracted 13.1%, quarter on quarter.

In banking, the pandemic presented an opportunity for firms to adapt and think of different – and better – ways of working during the upheaval.

[Covid] brought flexible working to the forefront
Diana Lim, Credit Suisse

Take Diana Lim, head of corporate finance for southeast Asia and frontier markets in Credit Suisse’s investment banking and capital markets team, who is based in Singapore.

Lim describes the lockdown in 2020 as “one of the toughest moments” she has faced. At the time, she was going through a high-risk pregnancy, plus she had to juggle the care of her three-year-old daughter, who was at home because Singapore’s schools had closed.