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Inspire Inclusion: Empowering Women at Work

In celebration of International Women's Day this year, Ambition hosted a roundtable luncheon on 6th March (Wednesday), with esteemed clients spanning various industries, including banking and financial services, legal, commerce, and more.

Together with Michael Nette, Natassha Jham and Ashley Lau, I had the privilege of engaging in discussions with women leaders from HR, finance, and technology, where they shared insights into the initiatives their firms have implemented to #inspireinclusion in the workplace.

International Women's Day Roundtable Luncheon | A group of women and a man seated around a long table
Maternity Coaching

4 months could be the longest period a working mum has taken a break from work. Navigating emotions, changes in the team/organisation during her time away, or mum guilt can be challenging. Providing maternity coaching can be a way to help ease the transition back into the workplace for a first-time mum.



Menopause I know, but perimenopause… What is that?! Building awareness is always the first step forward. Organising lunch talks on this seemingly hush hush topic or having various rooms with different temperatures can help. Apart from these initiatives, some companies also include perimenopause under their insurance coverage, while others opt to offer menopause leave to support their women employees through this period.


People are becoming bolder to speak out and seek help. Also, opening up helps people around become more understanding of needs. During the discussion, one client highlighted a firm that has a global neurodiversity forum to encourage employees to rally around each other and this forum has really added flavour to the company.


Provide an inclusive environment

During the luncheon, a story was shared about how a single mum without childcare help was given the flexibility to bring her 8-year-old daughter to work after school. This employee is one of the hardest and fastest workers. When you show employees you care for them and their life situation, in gratitude they turn out to be some of your most loyal employees.


Inspire a supportive culture

When a leader first returned to work after maternity, her company and team rallied around her. There was no nursing room, so a makeshift nursing room was created. If she was running into a meeting after pumping, her team would offer to help sterilise her equipment. When she had after-hours work meetings, her team offered to watch her child for her so she could work. This leader stayed with her firm for 12 years.


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Notably, maternity benefits in Singapore have doubled from two to four months, with some firms extending up to five or six months of paid parental leave. The opportunities which were not afforded to our grandmothers or mothers, we want to afford to our daughters. We want to provide them a platform to be able to rise up and thrive to be all they were made to be. And we can do this, one change at a time.

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