As part of our series of 22 stories under the overarching theme of #ChooseToChallenge, the team at Human Resources Online has asked more than 60 HR leaders about their organisation's call-to-action in shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity.

In this 17th part of our series, HR leaders from Citrix, Eaton East Asia, KONE Corporation, SAS, TIBCO, and Verizon Asia Pacific, share the following: 

  • Tying diversity metrics to bonus pay. 
  • Discussions around removing barriers and bridging confidence gaps for the women in their careers.
  • Nurturing an equal opportunities environment. 
  • Being committed to gender equality in every part of the company.
  • Focusing on the Women, Inclusion, Success, and Equity employee resource group. 
  • Involving men in the conversation through a “Men as Allies” network.

Donna Kimmel, EVP and Chief People Officer at Citrix

One of the most powerful approaches HR leaders can take to advancing gender equity is to make sure it’s not only an HR initiative. Build a coalition of leaders who are invested in the success of diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.

Our Executive Leadership Team members have been consistent advocates for women and are spokespeople for diversity. In 2021, they’re deepening their commitment: Diversity metrics will affect their bonus pay.

We established an environmental, social, and governance modifier for our executive variable pay program.

The targets include a goal to increase diversity, inclusive of women, in our global workforce. Other diversity measures include pay equity, as well as inclusivity and engagement as measured by select questions in our Global Employee Survey. When advancing diversity is a true business priority, you can measure and reward it like you do other business-critical initiatives.


Cloris Gu, HR Director, Eaton East Asia

We encourage employees across all offices to advocate for gender equality and strive for a more inclusive and diverse culture.

One of the initiatives we had for our IWD celebrations this year is a series of panel discussions to encourage meaningful discourse around removing barriers and bridging confidence gaps for the women in their careers.

On the day itself, we gave recognition to female leaders who’ve done their part to support other women at work and encouraging male voices to be part of the discussion through video content about becoming better allies. At our Singapore office, we held an IWD-themed design contest to encourage employees to creatively express their own thoughts around women’s equality and what it means to work in an equal and inclusive workplace.


Minna Rouru, Area HR Director, Asia Pacific, KONE Corporation

Unfortunately, gender stereotypes remain prevalent in technical fields.

As head of the regional HR team at KONE, our internal diversity and inclusion practices and policies are progressive. We have always strived to improve the proportion of women to men in operations and management positions.

Nurturing an equal opportunities environment not only helps empower our employees and aid in their development and career growth, it also has a positive rub-off effect on how we serve our customers.

Our focus is on creating diverse teams, and I firmly believe that they will continue to be the critical driving force behind our innovation and co-creation agenda, where broader viewpoints and varying perspectives present better solutions to issues.

KONE has been a top performer in not only environmental performance and social responsibility, but employee retention and board gender diversity. It is in our DNA to be an equal opportunity employer, and I always encourage my team to make a conscious effort to practice what we preach.


Brendan Gregor, Vice President of Human Resources at SAS

The digital era has opened up more opportunities for women to take on meaningful roles in business. This is even more true with the new remote working culture in place due to the pandemic – which may see an equal sharing of the work-life balance situation for women and men.

The world still has a way to go to achieve full gender equality, but over the last five to seven years we have seen an increasing number of female leaders in the data analytics field.

Our own organisation is committed to gender equity in every part of the company. We see that the contribution of our female colleagues strengthens our organisation and helps deliver superior solutions to our customers. For us, gender equity is not a “nice-to-have,” it is integral to our present and future success.


Michele Haddad, Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources at TIBCO

TIBCO fosters a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion focused deeply on creating a culture of belonging. We take pride in employing women in the male-dominated industry of technology.

Our dedication to gender equity includes global celebrations of International Women's Day, diversity conference sponsorships through Grace Hopper, Women in Tech, and Watermark Conference, among others.

Our internal focus on TIBCO's WISE Employee Resource Group (Women, Inclusion, Success, and Equity) to continue to develop and support women within TIBCO, as well as data-driven changes such as TIBCO's increase in women's leadership roles, analyzing data to equalize our internal promotion rates by gender and our annual pay gap analysis.

At TIBCO, we recognise the individual contributions of our Team Members, but we also celebrate our collective accomplishments and driving our diversity internally fuels TIBCO's competitive advantage but also continues to drive change within the tech industry.


Betty Wagglen, Head of Human Resources, Verizon Asia Pacific

Women are already underrepresented in STEM fields and with the explosion of technologies such as AI and 5G, there is the danger that this gap will widen. We need to create clear paths for women to not only have a seat at the table but a voice because there’s an abundance of new opportunities for young women that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. Last year, we launched the “Men as Allies” network where we discuss topics around transparency, unconscious bias and breaking down silos.

Our leadership teams are required to take mandatory unconscious bias workshops. Across the globe, we have 100% pay equity in salary for women and men. In addition, we have removed from our employment applications all questions seeking salary information. Our employee Short-Term Incentive Plan (annual bonus component) has included a diversity-related metric for over 20 years. Equality is key but equity is the goal.


Photos / provided

First row, L-R: Donna Kimmel, Cloris Gu, and Minna Rouru. Second row, L-R: Brendan Gregor, Michele Haddad, and Betty Wagglen.

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