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IWD: #InspireInclusion with Caryn Leong, Regional AML Director, APAC at ACAMS

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author:by Vincent Yao

​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Caryn Leong, Regional AML Director, APAC at ACAMS and she shared her thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. The IWD 2024 campaign theme seeks to inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion. Organisations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part, and to truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify.

International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.

1. What does inclusion mean to you, and why?

Inclusion is the culture in which a mix of people can come to work, feel comfortable and confident to be themselves and work in a way that suits them and delivers your business or service needs. Inclusion will ensure that everyone feels valued and, importantly, adds value. However, it is a journey as we need to first discover ourselves and our unconscious biases and work on them to allow us to embrace the differences in others.

2. What initiatives or strategies can be implemented to increase the representation of women in leadership positions in your industry?

Having the correct program, and by that, I don’t mean having a quota, but rather as many women should be identified and included in mentorship programs and be groomed for leadership positions as men. An effective programme should recognise and understand the family and societal obligations and pressures on women and create programs that work for them, giving them opportunities, visibility and a seat at the table.

3. Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It is a day to celebrate women's achievements and raise awareness about discrimination. It is a time when there is a recommitment to take action to drive gender parity.

4. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?

Building Sisterhood. Building affection and loyalty that women feel for other women who they have something in common with. It’s recognising that we all have something in common and being a cheerleader for the other women.

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5. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. What woman/women inspire you?

My mother is a source of inspiration. She worked all through her life, and even at 73, she is still going strong! She was always there when we needed her, and then some! She instilled in us strong values and showed us the importance of living by them. She has re-invented herself several times in her career, as an employee, a senior manager and as an entrepreneur.