Achieving the sustainable goal of gender balance at workplaces requires not just a strong “sisterhood” but also more male advocates, believes Trina Liang-Lin, CEO, Halo Health Asia. Till recently the President of UN Women in Singapore, Trina has been an active advocate in the movement towards gender equality.
A decade ago “Gender Equality” was used mainly by civil society groups and was very much on the fringes of business and government. Fast forward to today, and thanks to the #metoo movement as well as an awakening in ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investing – gender equality has become a global movement and a focus for most companies and government policies. “From equal pay to equal representation in the board room – the voices are loud are clear. There is now a clear path to gender equality and local advocates for almost every country in the world,” says Trina.
Better childcare facilities, more open discussions about pay at every level and more women in boardrooms and in leadership positions are what Trina envisages for this decade.
Role of Men
In this exclusive conversation, Trina says that gender equality cannot be achieved without men sharing the responsibility of making a gender equal space for everyone. Explaining the role of men in this movement, she said, “Men are the other 50% of the equation but have a disproportionately higher mindshare and voice at the moment in the business and political world – so involving men is imperative. When an organization involves more men and when men mentor younger women – something generally clicks and they become advocates. They don’t need to look far – they would probably want equal opportunities for their wives, daughters and sisters. It serves not only as a professional change but also changing the social dynamics challenging their own gender stereotypes and wanting to do better.”
She believes in the undying power of sisterhood that continues to accelerate change and nudging women towards aiming for better lives. The strong momentum that the world witnesses today would have been impossible to achieve if it hadn’t been for a dedicated sisterhood, looking out for each other at all times. From popular actresses in Hollywood to women in the world of business, politics and civil society giving a strong voice to the issues. From young women – some of them still in school, to women who have already left the workforce but still believe that they should stand up for the next generation of women. It takes a sisterhood to drive and continue the momentum.
Trina is excited to see young leaders like Greta Thunberg strongly voicing their opinions with clarity and confidence and encourages everyone to assume their voices into a collective dream that goes beyond the personal into the global space, one that is equal and fair for all.