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The Face of Leadership and Strength of Diversity: University of London hosts thought leadership panel debate in Singapore

Recent worldwide movements have brought attention to issues all too commonly faced in the workplace. But is growth in awareness enough to generate meaningful change across management?

Dr Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) and CEO of the University of London Worldwide, posed this question to four industry leaders based in Singapore, during UoL’s annual thought leadership debate on 5 April 2018. Now in its third year, these events bring together the University's network of alumni, staff and friends to debate topics pertinent to the working landscape of Singapore and the world at large.

This year’s panel event, The Face of Leadership and Strength of Diversity, was held at the iconic National Museum of Singapore, and welcomed varied opinions on topics ranging from unconscious bias and women on boards, to facilities and training offered to staff in line their gender identity. Focussing on how diversity is a key element of successful leadership, the panel debate tied in with the University’s Leading Women initiative, and asked how what role Higher Education has to play in achieving gender parity in the workplace. The evening commenced with welcome remarks from Roland Davies, Director of the British Council Singapore and Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.

The debate was lively, and demonstrated the range of views and opinions on diversity initiatives on the panel and amongst alumni and guests.

If you missed the event or would like to revisit some of the debates from the evening, you can watch the full panel discussion below. Our thanks go to University of London alumnus KC Boo, whose company Iconomy Holdings Pte Ltd produced the video.

Thank you to all those alumni, friends and supporters who joined us for the occasion. The University looks forward to returning to Singapore in autumn 2018 for future events. If you studied with the University of London, please register or update your details to ensure that you receive your invitation.

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The panel

Richard Eu
A University of London alumnus, Richard Eu is the Chairman of Eu Yan Sang International (EYSI). He leads the board in providing governance oversight, deliberating Group strategy and providing counsel to the Group CEO. Richard joined the business in 1989 and served as the Group CEO from 2002 until 2017.

Richard has been instrumental in transforming EYSI into one of Asia’s largest Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) groups today. Under his leadership, Eu Yan Sang has grown its footprint from six to over 250 retail stores and clinics, and has successfully established it in the broader market of natural wellness offering TCM solutions to meet the needs of modern consumers.

Richard was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 (Singapore) and represented Singapore at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of The Year 2012 award in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He was also recognised as the CEO of the year by the Singapore Corporate Awards 2010, for SGX-listed small cap companies.

Angelina Foo
Angelina is an expert in corporate governance, ethics and regulatory compliance. With more than 20 years of experience in the financial services sector, Angelina has held many roles in global and regional financial institutions, where she had the opportunity to collaborate, coach and mentor a diverse team from varying backgrounds.

Prior to setting up Keystone Institute, Angelina directed the enforcement unit of the Singapore Exchange, one of Asia’s most international exchanges. Angelina helped enterprises develop and implement governance and compliance risk frameworks across different business activities and jurisdictions.

Angelina graduated from the University of London with a Master of Laws with Merit, and University College London with a Master of Arts with Distinction. Angelina is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (UK), Fellow of the International Compliance Association (UK), Certified Internal Auditor (USA) and an Associate Adult Educator, Adult Education Professionalisation in Singapore.

A cancer survivor, Angelina devotes her time in community and social work. She currently serves as a community grassroots leader and a mentor. Her current research interests include how financial education across communities can lead to empowerment.

Jeannie Ong
As StarHub’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer (CSPO), Jeannie establishes and maintains strong strategic relationships with government agencies, content partners and key strategic partners. She is responsible for building StarHub’s corporate reputation in Corporate Communications, Investor Relations (IR) and Corporate Sustainability.

Jeannie and her teams have won multiple awards, including Brand of the Year at the prestigious Hall of Fame Awards 2014 and The Green Award at the Asia Communications Awards (2015 and 2014), in recognition of StarHub’s environmental policies and programmes.

Jeannie was recognised as the Best IR Officer in Singapore by IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia in 2014, 2013 and 2012. She and her team were recognised in the IR Global Top 50 list in 2015 and 2014. They also clinched the Best IR award (Gold) at the Singapore Corporate Awards thrice.

Jeannie is currently on the “Board of Directors of Investor Relation Professional Association Singapore (IRPAS) and sits on the management committee of Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS). She is also a council member of Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council (SGCC) and Business China Singapore, Publicity sub-committee.

Jeannie holds an honours degree from the University of London, where she majored in Economics and Marketing.

Sandhya Devanathan
Sandhya Devanathan is Country Head – Singapore at Facebook where she works with the largest brands and start-ups on building for the mobile world. She also leads the ecommerce, financial services and travel verticals for Facebook in SEA.

Prior to joining Facebook, Sandhya was a Managing Director at Standard Chartered Bank, managing their half-a-billion-dollar revenue retail banking and payments business in Singapore. Sandhya started her career at Citi as a management associate in India and was a founder-member of their innovative digital business team. During her 15-year international career (Singapore, US, the Philippines and India) across Citi and Standard Chartered, Sandhya has managed multiple businesses and spearheaded innovation in consumer banking and payments.

Sandhya is a passionate advocate of women in leadership and diversity at the workplace. She launched the STEM program for 3,000 Singaporean school girls with UN Women, was co-chair of the Women’s Council at Standard Chartered and is actively involved with Women@FB initiatives.

Sandhya has a MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. She is mom to a nine year old boy, who keeps her very busy.