Kerry Consulting's IWD 2022 Q&A Series with Vivien Jong | Kerry Consulting

    Kerry Consulting's IWD 2022 Q&A Series

    Vivien Jong, Managing Director, Asia Chief Digital Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management

    Patricia Teo
    Patricia Teo

    To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History month in 2022, Kerry Consulting is conducting a series of question-and-answer sessions with strong female leaders across a variety of sectors and functions.

    In this feature, Patricia Teo, Technology Practice Director, sits down with Vivien Jong, Managing Director, Asia Chief Digital Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

    Read the full interview below:

    Vivien Jong, Managing Director, Asia Chief Digital Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management

    “You want to hire people who offer something you don’t have, and who can complement what you do have. If you start thinking like that, you begin to hire differently.”

    Q: What progress have you seen on gender equality in your lifetime?

    A: In the late 1990s, I was just starting out as a software engineer on video games – that was my first introduction to tech being a male-dominated industry and I stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I never saw it as a hurdle though, but instead as a challenge – an opportunity to leverage my position and challenge the gender stereotypes, because that’s what it is, just myths and misconceptions.

    I’m very fortunate that throughout my career in banking, especially in digital banking, my bosses have also taken the same approach, and I think we’ve come a long way since when I was the lone female software engineer.

    Gender equality is much more prevalent in the workplace, but of course we still need to progress to make it a point of focus across all levels of the industry

    It is heartening that women in the workforce are well-regarded in their own right.

    Q: Why is diversity in the workplace important?

    A: To me, the importance of having different voices and perspectives is quite clear; there are blind spots if you do not have a diverse team.

    You want to hire people who offer something you don’t have, and who can complement what you do have. If you start thinking like that, you begin to hire differently. Diversity by itself is not enough— it’s what you do with the unique perspectives and ideas that come forth in a diverse workplace. It’s about different profiles, different types of thinking, and if you look for that, then the idea of D&I will come naturally.

    “We should not be looking to hire ‘diversity candidates’, but rather hiring for skills and value add.”

    Q: What can men do to help achieve gender parity in the workplace?

    A: Men play an important role, as they still hold a majority of management roles across the industry.

    They have a valuable opportunity to be champions of gender parity, to support female colleagues and pave the way for women to be viewed as equals in the workplace.

    Q: What is the most effective way to counteract negative stereotypes of feminism, especially in the workplace?

    A: I believe that seeing really is believing. As I mentioned earlier, diversity will come naturally when you start to look at it from different lenses, and that’s the driver behind high performing teams.

    Different profiles, different types of thinking – that is what we’re aiming for. We should not be looking to hire “diversity candidates”, but rather hiring for skills and value add. This will help drive the message home that people aren’t hired based on their gender.

    I also believe that women leaders ought to set ourselves up to be good role models for the generations to come – through sincerity, diligence, empathy. It will also be wonderful to see the community of gender-equality advocates grow across male-dominated industries.

    Kerry Consulting’s Technology Practice provides Search & Selection services to our clients throughout Asia-Pacific. Get in touch with a specialist consultant today.

    Patricia Teo

    Technology Leadership, Digital & Innovation
    Singapore

    Technology Leadership, Digital & Innovation

    Sherry Zerh

    Technology Leadership, Data
    Singapore

    Technology Leadership, Data

    Axer Goh

    Technology Leadership, Digital & Innovation
    Singapore

    Technology Leadership, Digital & Innovation

    Chen Yi Ooi

    Cybersecurity, IT Security & Risk

    Grace Lim

    Infrastructure & Cloud
    Singapore

    Infrastructure & Cloud

    Kieran McKenna

    Digital & Innovation, PMO and Project Management

    Digital & Innovation, PMO and Project Management

    Ren Kelsey

    PMO and Project Management

    PMO and Project Management

    Samantha Ding

    PMO and Project Management

    PMO and Project Management

    Wan Ting Tan

    Cybersecurity, IT Security & Risk

    Cybersecurity, IT Security & Risk

    Yaxi Fan

    Application and Software Development
    Singapore

    Application and Software Development

    Yien Quek

    Application and Software Development

    Application and Software Development