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The missing link: Male allies step up

Men are increasingly championing the issue of diversity in banking and helping more women get a seat at the table. But their work is only just beginning.

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Diversity and inclusion, or D&I, has become a buzzword in the finance industry: banks, asset managers, private equity firms and fintech companies all emphasize the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce in order to succeed.

But when it comes to gender diversity, the push for more female representation at banks has been slow and not universally embraced.

A lot of times, women are not at the table
Siew Choo Soh, DBS Bank
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“Some of the men have felt that women representation is an agenda to be championed by women,” says Siew Choo Soh, group head of big data/AI and consumer banking technology at DBS Bank in Singapore: Or else “they don’t see gender playing a part in their decision making”, she adds.

Soh also encountered some resistance from both men and women who were concerned that focusing on female hiring and representation in the bank could potentially isolate some male staff.

However, senior bankers told Asiamoney that men can play an important role in helping to foster an inclusive environment for women.

Soh, who has advocated hiring more women in the technology sector in banking at DBS, goes so far as to say that male allyship is a moral obligation.


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