Eames Insights: Embracing the transformation era
Eames Insights: Embracing the transformation era

​As technology and automation continue to advance, it's becoming increasingly important for organizations to transform their workforce to stay competitive. But where do you start? I gathered insights from senior HR and change management professionals in Singapore about digitalization, and advice on how to pivot into the workforce transformation space.What roles are increasingly important to invest in for the transformation era?Technology, including cyber security, as this is highly sought after given a lot of confidential communication happening online. We need to be creating more effective workplace collaboration tools and more strategic HR personnel, that can help navigate organizational challenges with regards to employee management. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorThe below roles are increasingly important to invest in and hire for in the current transformation era. Lead cross-functional teams, today's split of teams into digital and non-digital requires that leaders have knowledge of both the advantages and disadvantages of each department. Digital products and services are the next one because there is a growing demand for digital channels and to use or create products and services through them. The last one is engineers who understand cloud service, as many businesses already use cloud-based services, with more still converting. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerIn the insurance transformation industry, the growing popularity and capabilities of GPT-3 and GPT-4 are likely to create new opportunities for professionals with skills in AI and Machine Learning, as well as those who can analyze these large sets of data to better understand risk and develop more accurate pricing models. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIntegrators – I know this is not a widely advertised role but often I see organizations being disjoint in their transformation efforts because each division in the organization is trying to get on the bandwagon and have its own transformation department resulting in work silos. Transformations can only be truly successful when there are synergies in the transformation effort that each division is trying to achieve. We need integrators to bring these transformation efforts together. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerWhat is your advice when looking to pivot into the workforce transformation space?You need to understand the business challenges, and that no two businesses are the same. As well as employee motivations, which can be very different. You need to take the time to understand how much of the business has changed and work from there. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorBefore planning for a workforce transformation, organizations must consider what the key business priorities are, so workforce transformation processes can be measured against those goals. Businesses that focus on too many top-level goals at once may find that none are achievable. Effectively launching workforce transformation requires planning. Here are some considerations; you can conduct a skills assessment and recommend using a multi-faceted approach to measuring employee skills, including looking at existing job descriptions and performance reviews, talking to managers, and surveying employees themselves; identify critical needs and goals before embarking on a workforce transformation initiative, company leaders should identify and prioritize the most critical skills to fulfill those goals; you can create a plan for skills development which can help build employees’ skills such as external/internal online training and mentorship programs and lastly, measure and adapt. You should regularly check in to ensure your transformation strategies are effectively delivering new skills and meeting company needs. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerAccepting and the knowledge that every company is different is essential. Workplace transformation can take different forms in different companies. You need to be able to be flexible in pivoting plans and strategies and truly take time to understand the company culture. Strategic Change Manager, Global Insurer​If you are interested in talking about market trends, or help with your career planning, please drop me an email at :amelia.chan@eamesconsulting.com

Eames Insights: Workforce transformation and building digital capabilities

By Amelia Chan

Eames Insights

Eames Insights: Workforce transformation and building digital capabilities

Flexible working is here to stay, and with massive workforce transformation happening across the globe, we need to evolve how we manage teams and adopt the relevant technology and tools to be effective without being in the office. I have gathered insights from senior HR and Change Management professionals in Singapore on how to create an engaged workforce and some top recommendations on the attributes, skills, and tools that can help organisations remain successful. Given the world's recent move to hybrid working, how do you foresee the future? I think moving forward we will see more and more people wanting to continue with this style of working, as it seems to be showing positive impacts on mental health as well as work output. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorMy current organization would like to keep the hybrid approach because it promotes a healthy work life balance, which benefits both the company and the employees. Many people who work in Bangkok live far away from City Centre, and hybrid means they do not have to leave their homes when traffic is at its worst in the morning, sit in traffic for a couple of hours and get stressed about making it to work on time. However, there are clock-in and clock-out standards for teams like customer service, reception, and cleaning. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerThere is a move towards flexibility to work from home or come to the office. However, even though the relationship between workers and the office is changing, career growth, collaboration, and connectedness cannot be done remotely. The preference at my current organisation is still to have employees, who not just come to the office but want to come to the office. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIn my opinion, my organisation is progressive on this front. We have been piloting a 4-day week since last year and started offering employees alternative workplaces through the Switch app. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerWhat are the most pressing challenges organizations must address to build an engaged workforce? Engaging employees is my toughest challenge at the moment. Everyone is settled with working from home since it’s been proven effective and a less distractive way to work. However, that also leads to them being slightly, and a lot in some cases, disconnected from the workspace. With that said, ensuring employee engagement is tough. I believe it is time to change how we define “engaged” employees. It is no longer about how often they are participating in work activities or socials, but about how responsive they are on Slack. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorOne of my challenges is employee disparities between hybrid and non-hybrid, as working remotely is not a possibility for everyone. Frontline employees can feel like they are working harder while their desk-based co-workers relax at home. Employees who spend most or all their time working remotely may feel deprived of conversations and decisions because they are not in the same room as others. Another challenge is inefficient communication which slows down processes, and work gets done at a slower pace, and sometimes employees may feel confused or miss important information. We need to be focused on creating the right hybrid work environment, as hybrid means that fewer employees will be in the office every day. This can also cause a dedicated workspace to be seen as a waste of resources. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerOrganisations need authentic leadership; I have seen many leaders who promote a company culture because they feel they need to, but don’t believe in it or practice it. Employees are savvy, and they catch on quickly. Another one is servant leadership, we need to develop a culture where we do not ask what the people can do for the company but what leaders can do to make their work easier to bring growth to the organisation. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerConsidering workplace transformation and digitisation, what people or technology capabilities do you find most important moving forward? Collaboration tools, time and task management tools. Working remotely will need better methods to collaborate. Another important one would be employee engagement tools. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorFrom a people perspective, an IT network engineer, a data scientist, and a mobile developer are key. From a technology perspective, cloud base services, VOIP call and chat tools, big data, machine learning, mobile technology and AI and Robotics. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerEmployees need to be provided with the right tools to support their work in a digital environment, cyber security and remote access tools are the most important. When thinking about people, achievers and thinkers are the most important to build the future of the organisation. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIT savviness and the ability to easily and quickly pick up the applications that your organisation is using enterprise-wide. Soft skills are also important, such as the ability to articulate your thoughts and messages succinctly especially with virtual meetings when you may not have the attention of your audience as compared to face to face. With most organisations moving to Cloud, it will allow the flexibility of ramping up services, storage etc. quickly. Unfortunately, it is surprising some organisations are not prioritising budget upgrading legacy systems which gives them technical debt. Data governance is also a huge consideration, many organisations while trying to get onto the bandwagon of data science, AI, machine learning does not have the fundamentals of data governance structure which provides the foundation that will provide good data to these applications. In this case there will be a big set of the work cleaning up bad data and data governance structure will reduce the data clean up time. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerIf you are interested in talking about market trends, or help with your career planning, please drop me an email at: amelia.chan@eamesconsulting.com

Eames Insights: A lens over the Singapore technology market
Eames Insights: A lens over the Singapore technology market

​ChatGPT, blockchain, and cryptocurrency - all have implications for professionals both working and leading in the technology sector. But what are the opinions about the impacts they may have? I have gathered insights from three leaders in the sector to probe into each topic and how it relates to scenarios in business. With the emergence of AI and ChatGPT, what impact do you feel this will have on the market regarding software development and candidates using it to complete technical tests during the interview process? This is an amazing tool for engineers and data scientists, as it saves a whole lot of time. I believe in the long term, it will have a positive impact. It might affect the engineers with lower skill sets, as they may not be good enough to use as a tool to help them. We also need to recognise that it will be used to cheat on tests, and this will ultimately change the way people are tested. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionCandidates cheating on technical tests has always been a challenge for hiring. The emergence of ChatGPT further worsens this problem. Thankfully, solutions are being built to identify if ChatGPT was used for generating code or content. Companies should do away with offline technical tests and, wherever possible, get candidates for in-house interviews and have them whiteboard the solutions to minimize the risk. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering Leader Like many things with AI, the real power of this is in a human-AI collaboration more than anything. So, if anyone can use ChatGPT or Code Pilot to complete their technical tests, I think it's okay - they are being smart about it. It is similar to using Google to find the right syntax or StackOverflow to find the right design to solve the coding problem. When I hire someone into my team, I'd be interested in talking to them about their technical test, to understand why they chose a design or implementation. If they can defend their solution, ChatGPT or not, they are a good hire. - Archanaa Ravikumar, Head of Engineering at AutumnWhat impact do you think the current state of the cryptocurrency market will have on the financial market, and vice versa? I don’t see any big flow-on effects. But traditional finance might have an impact on crypto; if the recession hits harder it will hit the cryptocurrency as well. This might be a good investment opportunity. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionThe sell-offs happening in traditional assets due to the plunge of cryptocurrencies have an impact on businesses as their capital shrinks and they find it hard to innovate, grow or even sustain. This leads to things such as budget replanning and headcount reductions. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering LeaderHow do you feel blockchain can be adopted into traditional banking and payment systems? Yes and no; it has technological limitations. It is a more generic tool and will struggle to match traditional banking tools that are built specifically, for example, trading. Sustainability-wise isn’t too bad. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionBanks can issue new blockchain-based digital assets that are less risky than the decentralized currencies, by pegging them to assets that have an intrinsic value. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering Leader

Cloud,  Development and Architecture: Q1 2024 Market Report & Salary Guide

By Annie Palmer

Market Report

Cloud, Development and Architecture: Q1 2024 Market Report & Salary Guide

​What are the talent trends in cloud, development, and architecture in 2024?The market dynamics in Q1 saw a slow start to the year, with processes moving at a sluggish pace. The market has been heavily saturated with candidates due to a surge in redundancies towards the end of last year, making it extremely competitive for job seekers. Many individuals affected by these redundancies are still struggling to secure suitable roles, leading to an imbalance between job availability and the number of candidates in the market. However, we are seeing a steady increase in job flow as the year moves forward which sets us up positively for 2024.This comprehensive report shares key observations in the insurance and financial services sector, highlighting how trends such as redundancies, onshoring vs offshoring, and tech transformations are impacting the talent landscape. Download your free copy here:​

Buy-side Market & Salary Report - UK 2022

By Glen Roberts

Financial Services

Buy-side Market & Salary Report - UK 2022

To say 2021 was a whirlwind of a year is an understatement and I don’t think many firms would have predicted the extent of hiring and movement of people that occurred.There was a sense of renewed confidence at the start of the year with multiple reasons why it was likely the economy would re-bound quickly from the doldrums of 2020: Brexit was ‘done’, the Covid-19 vaccine was going to be rolled out at breakneck speed allowing for a quicker reopening of the economy and society, M&A activity was expected to surge, and private equity was poised to finally start spending some of that dry powder. This sense of optimism allowed organisations to plan ahead for the first time in years from a resourcing perspective, which ultimately fuelled a busy and noisy recruitment market.Request a copy of our Buy-side Market and Salary report covering data gathered from candidate and new vacancy registrations across fund finance, corporate accounting, middle office, compliance and financial crime and In-house legal.  ​​​

Investment Management & Alternatives Market Report & Salary Guide Autumn Review 2023

By Glen Roberts

Market Report

Investment Management & Alternatives Market Report & Salary Guide Autumn Review 2023

​We are delighted to present our Autumn market report, providing a comprehensive analysis of market trends, salary, and bonus data over the past 12 months for Finance, Compliance, Financial Crime, Legal and Internal Audit roles across asset and wealth management, and alternative investments. Our market report and salary guide uses data gathered from candidate and new vacancy registrations gained throughout 2022/2023 and highlights trends, insights, salary benchmarking and more. Download your copy now.  ​​

Attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services

By Andrew Mackay

Financial Services

Attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services

On the 19th of January, we welcomed over 60 talent acquisition and HR professionals from across the financial services space to discuss strategies to improve the attraction and retention of mid-senior female talent within the market. We heard from Laura Blaxland, Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Fidelity Investments and Elizabeth Willetts, Founder of Investing in Women, and it was a fantastic and informative session. The rationale behind this event is that we, as talent professionals, are acutely aware of both the internal demand for greater diversity at senior level and the practical reality and challenges of a lack of candidate depth to be recruited. Using the gender pay gap as a metric, it is clear and obvious that women are not reaching the same career potential as their male counterparts, and there is a clear window where women fall behind, and some very common causes as to why.This creates a knock-on effect that, when hiring at mid-senior level (£90,000-150,000+), the talent pool of female candidates who have the skills and experience to compete with their male counterparts is very shallow and the ability to deliver diverse slates of candidates, and ultimately hire female talent is diminished. The current landscape:The gender pay gap is a well publicised metric, currently standing at 26.6% within financial services, well above the 12.1% for the wider UK marketThe top five sectors with the largest gender pay gap are within financial services The pay gap is low from graduate level to people in their 30s, then widens rapidly between ages 30-45The female employment rate is 72.2%, whilst the male employment rate is 79% The female economically inactive rate is 25.1% and the male economically inactive rate is 17.9%The primary reason for being economically inactive is caring responsibilities, with a significant difference in people impacted when comparing gender (Women – 1.3M, Men – 300k)Parents of dependent children are the highest employment rate group. with fathers 94%, and mothers 78%Lone parents with dependant children have the lowest employment rate at 65%What are the solutions? Mid-senior female talent, especially those with children, need and demand flexibility from an employer to balance work and parenting. This traditionally was challenging or sometimes impossible to achieve with a five day in-office culture. The shift post-COVID to hybrid working and the increase in men taking on more childcare responsibilities has allowed for greater potential to achieve a balance. The principle options that fall within the “flexible working” umbrella are: Hybrid 3/2 Fully remote Part-time Job share Term time 5 Days in 4The primary reasons for flexible working to be desired are: Child care – school runs/holidays/after-school needs Physical health and mental health– some health challenges can impact the ability to commute and/or affect the ability to work in an office environmentPreferred working patterns – larks vs night owls Increase in pet owners during and post lockdown Neurodiverse candidates that work better in quiet environments/homes. One strategy that has allowed those with career breaks to return to the workforce is a Returner Scheme. What is a Returner Scheme, and how can you ensure its success? “Female talent not necessarily hard to find, but can be hard to move” – Laura BlaxlandThe primary role of a Returner Scheme is to facilitate and support those who have had a career break (typically 2yr+) re-join the workforce, often on a 6-month fixed term contract initially, with 95% of those being offered and taking permanent positions. The biggest barrier is the attraction phase. It takes a lot for a woman to apply for a job, and typically women will seek to tick 80%+ of the “desired skillset” before applying, so if they do apply, there is a lot of thought that has gone into it. Ensuring the right language is used in a role profile, the advert is not laden with too much technical language and the requirements are clear and limited to a small number of points will increase attraction.During the interview process, it is essential to ensure there is a diverse panel of interviewers and that feedback is given quickly, clearly and in detail. Additionally, focusing on transferable skills and what can be trained in a 6-12 month window allows for candidates to be seen as a whole, and training requirements can be identified and built into the onboarding and development of that role.The biggest upside of embracing flexible hiring models is increased loyalty and retention. This is primarily because it provides balance that is the key priority. The lack of alternative options in the current market leads to employees staying with firms longer and therefore gaining more promotion opportunities - and driving gender balance at a senior level.Barriers to increasing opportunities that would benefit mid-senior women “A primary objection to flexible working requests is that it will open the flood gates and everyone will want it” – Elizabeth Willets It is prudent to highlight that not all roles and industries lend themselves to flexibility, such as fully remote. Financial services is one of those, as the culture is built around collaboration, quick decision making to respond to market changes and learning by osmosis from senior leaders. Traditional views from hiring managers are a significant barrier. However, these can be overcome by highlighting the benefits of a diverse hire. Examples to overcome objections can be:Returners are immediately available It is easier to find two people with complementary skills in a job share capacity than one that has all the skills but cannot be found Skills needed now that are going to be obsolete in 5-10 years’ time. Focus on future proofing skills and transferable ability Summary The overwhelming theme that came out of the event is to improve the attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services, the key is to embrace the opportunities it offers.This starts at the top of the firm, with visible senior stakeholders taking ownership of delivering diverse hiring and empowering hiring managers to lean into the process. Tailored support is needed from the beginning of the process, this needs to be consistent and continue throughout the attraction, onboarding and initial period of employment to allow people to fulfil their potential.What can be done to improve mid-senior female attraction?Improve the hiring process to be more open to flexible working Ensure advertising and engagement is done in a sympathetic way, and time is given to allow women to consider and make an application which may take longer than men to do Ringfenced headcount for diverse hiring and ensuring diverse hiring for roles are allocated within the budget and protected External search conducted on a retained or exclusive basis with longer timescales to allow recruiters to engage broader talent Visibility of senior female role models and active engagement of future talent from Day 1. You cannot be what you cannot see. What can be done to improve mid-senior female retention?Employee benefits are key. Family-friendly policies such as enhanced paternity leave, designated family days in addition to traditional leave for unseen issues that arise, open to all that also allows annual leave to be protected to ensure proper breaks and the ability to recharge C-Suite buy-in is essential. Having diverse hiring as a key performance metric for senior management and tracking performance against targets on a regular basis Hiring for future needs, looking past specific technical requirements and viewing the person as a whole Targeted support for those returning from a break. Regular review meetings with managers and HR, “buddy” systems of others on the cohort, or previous scheme members, clear communication in expectations in the role and respecting the requirements of the individual and not applying pressure to flex to “traditional” hours or needs during busy periods.Should you wish to speak further on any of these topics or how a recruitment partner can improve outcomes in mid-senior hiring, do reach out to speak further by contacting me at andrew.mackay@eamesconsulting.com.

Dive In 2022: How do you think organisations can build braver, psychologically safe work cultures – both on and offline – that allow people to feel safe, valued, respected, and free to express themselves?
Dive In 2022: How do you think organisations can build braver, psychologically safe work cultures – both on and offline – that allow people to feel safe, valued, respected, and free to express themselves?

This year's annual #DiveIn theme is #bravercultures. Focusing on both online and offline culture – Dive In is opening up the conversation on how to build a workplace that truly allows people to feel psychologically safe, valued, respected and free to express themselves authentically. ​If you can create an environment where people are free to speak and express themselves, naturally they'll consider that a 'safe' place to do so. Initially, I think you have to assess where you're at, where you want to be and crucially, why you want to be there.    This should, in my opinion, be replicated in the work produced, we're not creating drones, we are creating the leaders of tomorrow so ensuring that these people are safe to express themselves in their work as well as socially, is crucial. An expression I use is 'we create the framework, the designs and materials to create a house but how you build it and what it looks like, is up to you'.  A couple of things you can do:  Set the tone, what you do as a leader people naturally think is ok to do. Set a tone and environment where people see you asking, listening and taking care to pay attention.  In team-based or individual one-on-ones, it's so much more powerful to go around and ask everyone their opinion rather than just telling them what to do. Listen before speaking.  Actually taking time out of your schedule as a leader to ask how someone is, and get to know your team. Each one-on-one meeting you have should be considered a free space to speak, again this will encourage not only a freer environment but crucially, it'll help you get to issues before they become issues.  360 appraisals. Your team should be comfortable holding you accountable too and you should be mature enough to take that without getting defensive!  All of this should create a culture and environment to encourage growth and speak freely.

Recite Me accessibility technology now available on Eames Consulting website

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

Recite Me accessibility technology now available on Eames Consulting website

Our purpose is clear: we create opportunities for businesses and people to succeed. Those opportunities are only possible if we hold true to our values and drive the business forward with diversity and inclusion at our core. With Recite Me accessibility technology now available on our website, visitors are able to customise their online experience in a way that best suits their individual needs. Having secured a Bronze accreditation with Clear Assured in January 2022, this is another step forward in our equality, diversity and inclusion efforts. It is estimated that 20% of people have a disability that can prevent them from reading and understanding online content. Those who are most susceptible to access barriers are those who struggle with decreased vision, learning difficulties, literacy, language/linguistic problems, attention disorders and physical disabilities. Recite Me accessibility software implemented on our website provides users with the opportunity to customise their online experience. The toolbar includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech and styling options. This includes changes to the font size, type, and colour. To access the assistive toolbar on the Eames Consulting website, click the circular red accessibility icon at the bottom right of the website. --- Recite Me functionality is also available on our brand sites: Eames Group, Eames Partnership and ECMS. For more information on Recite Me, please visit their website here. For information on our partnership with Recite me please contact Sarah Roebuck, marketing director.

IWD: #InspireInclusion with Chryzan Fernandes, MI Business Partner at K2 International

By Jared Cave

IWD

IWD: #InspireInclusion with Chryzan Fernandes, MI Business Partner at K2 International

​​​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Chryzan Fernandes, MI Business Partner at K2 International, 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. Why is International Women’s Day important to you?International Women’s Day is important to me and all women like me who are global nomads. It is the day we set aside our local issues and come forth with a holistic view of women’s issues globally. It is also a day to celebrate the strides we have made so far. Just the other week I was speaking to my mum about the career changes in our family. My grandma was a tailor, my mum is a secretary and now I am in data science. In three generations of women, we have gone from a very manual discipline to one that is working on automation and strategic decisions through data. A huge leap in professional disciplines for the women in my family is indicative of the progress women have made so far in the world. If you look at the top-performing tech companies the reason, they are top performing is because of the diversity they have in gender and race, it’s important to have all the perspectives from different demographics that this world has to offer. 2. In your opinion, what steps can the tech industry take to promote diversity and inclusion?With each passing year, the disparities in opportunities and compensation between men and women become more apparent to me. There exist stark contrasts in different cultures, societies, and even between developed and developing economies. But it is ironic how the similarities lie in the inequalities for women. Therefore, the importance of an event like International Women’s Day is to continue the conversation in our workplace and our social environment to discuss where gender differences lie so that we as people come together to help uplift one another. Allyship starts with education (a great place to start is reading Invisible Women), and honesty in conversation at company events and social forums. 3. How did your tech career begin?My introduction to data science happened a little bit by accident. At my first employment, the department I worked in handled huge amounts of data in Excel with lots of manual processes. As I was part of a graduate program, I was introduced to Power Query. I quickly realised I could automate a lot of the manual processes we had. I started to save my team’s time. In the end, I saved two days of work for three people per week. Gaining time savings through automating data processes ignited my passion to learn more about the other functions that Power Query had to offer. I moved from processing data to having an interest in transforming data into information through visualisations. I had my ‘Aha!’ moment and realised this is what I enjoy doing for a living. I developed a true liking for inferring insights through data transformation. As my career progressed, I got closer to strategy teams and would proactively build visualisations that would help inform management decisions. As my colleagues continued to appreciate my proactiveness to help them make data-backed decisions, I started enjoying using my skills. I like solving puzzles, so to me, analytics feels like putting pieces of a puzzle together to visualise the final picture! 4. What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in technology?If you have an analytical mind, get into data science. It’s still a growing function with so much potential to explore. Business management appreciates insights derived from data. It is not difficult to set yourself up in the field. One must have a passion for data and have the right skillset. Once you make a mark in the field, the sky is the limit because we are never going to run out of data. I would recommend gaining a professional understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning as many companies continue to onboard the technology to better process and infer data. ​​

IWD: #InspireInclusion with Jo Chadha, Head of Cyber at Sompo International

By Sanjeev Vegad

IWD2024

IWD: #InspireInclusion with Jo Chadha, Head of Cyber at Sompo International

​​​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Jo Chadha, Head of Cyber at Sompo International, 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? Coming from an ethnic minority background, inclusion is an ideology that I value dearly. I do not wish to be defined by the colour of my skin, and I strongly believe that inclusion is a universal human right where people are embraced irrespective of their background, race, gender, identity or circumstances. It is our responsibility to future generations to create a society with equal access and opportunities devoid of any form of discrimination and intolerance. Such beliefs must extend to the workplace, where employees are able to bring their authentic selves to work and feel valued, respected, and empowered. An inclusive workplace where employees feel a sense of belonging, can actively participate, and thrive at their jobs is critical to organisational success. This not only helps in attracting and retaining talent, but also fosters innovation, greater productivity and better decision-making as employees can contribute to their fullest without the fear of being humiliated or disrespected. Prioritising inclusion will naturally lead to successful DE&I strategies – an organisation cannot be Diverse or Equitable without a culture of Inclusivity. ​2. Why is International Women’s Day important to you? International Women’s Day celebrations throughout the 20th century have inspired protests for women’s rights around the world. Apart from celebrating accomplishments made by women throughout history, it continues to raise awareness of social, economic, cultural, and political challenges faced by women. When I first joined the insurance industry 25 years ago, I struggled to find senior female role models that I could relate to. The industry has since come a long way, but there is still an immense amount of work that needs to be done to improve gender equality. We need to actively fight bias, broaden perceptions, break barriers, be inclusive and take specific actions to attract and retain the next generation of women leaders. Organisations need to turn their words into measurable actions, have clear metrics on the steps they are taking to achieve gender parity and, most importantly, we should all hold organisations accountable towards those commitments. International Women’s Day should not just be about words but progress towards transparent and meaningful actions. ​​3. What advice would you give aspiring women in the industry you work in? The insurance world is multifaceted, and we underestimate the continuous learning and development required to keep up with this fast-paced and constantly evolving industry. Go beyond the “how” to the “why” we do things – be curious, ask thoughtful questions, stay ahead of market trends, and most importantly, have the courage to admit to not knowing the answer. My greatest learnings have come from collaborating and engaging with those outside my line of specialism. Be pro-active about your career goals, find your purpose, keep thinking about the next steps and work on both the soft and technical skills required to achieve those goals. Be honest and self-aware about your weaknesses, as whilst terrifying as it sounds, this self-critique and ability to accept constructive criticism is incredibly powerful. Put yourself forward, and do not fear change. Change brings opportunities, and comfort zones are highly overrated! Not everything is going to be a success, and learning how to fail is a skill that sadly does not come naturally. Prioritise self-care – we tend to put immense pressure on ourselves to succeed and be perfect, but perfection is a myth! ​4. What are some commitments individuals can make to help inspire inclusion for women, for example, calling out discrimination when you see it? Whilst we can all spot discrimination and sexism in the workplace, microaggressions or instances of unconscious bias are harder to call out. Women want to be hired based on their talent (and not to fill a quota), have access to the same opportunities and feel safe (both physically and psychologically), respected, and appreciated for the work that they do. We all have the power to do the right thing and support the women in our workplace, irrespective of our job titles and identities. We must speak up against any form of intolerance, discrimination, or unconscious bias; and help create inclusive workplace cultures through our positive actions and behaviours. ​5. Can you share a personal or professional experience that has inspired you to advocate for women’s inclusion? I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for some forward-thinking leaders throughout my career. Leaders who were great mentors and strong advocates for the empowerment of women in the workplace. Remote working was an alien concept in the London market underwriting world when my first child was born 19 years ago, but these leaders designed remote, flexible working arrangements to allow me to focus on my parenting aspirations whilst also helping me develop my career. As a mother of three children in a senior leadership position, I am forever grateful to those incredible allies during the last 19 years who helped me enjoy my work and develop a rewarding career. Whilst there are now many initiatives to support gender equality in the workplace, the challenges that some women face when juggling their careers and personal commitments remain unchanged. I want to be an advocate and ally to the ones who doubt their abilities and inspire them to succeed into positions of seniority. Strong leadership support and an inclusive workplace can help the insurance industry attract and retain future female leaders and I want to help create more awareness around policies and practices that make the insurance industry more attractive to women.

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

By Vincent Yao

IWD2024

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

​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. ​​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.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Gabby Beaver
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Gabby Beaver

​Dive deep into the world of audit with an inspiring leader in our newest episode of Inside the Auditorium featuring Gabby Beaver, Chief Auditor for Quality Assurance at Citi. This episode explores: Continuous learning and evolution: Gabby emphasises the importance of embracing a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, drawing from her own experience of starting her career in technology. She reminds us that no one knows everything from day one; it's through investing in learning, both through formal education and on-the-job experiences, that we build our skill sets and advance in our careers. Setting a strong vision: Discussing effective leadership, Gabby stresses the significance of setting a strong vision for your organisation and aligning the entire team behind it. In today's rapidly changing world, adaptability, innovation, and a commitment to customers, clients, and employees are essential for success. The value of quality assurance: Gabby sheds light on the forward-looking nature of audit roles. It's not just about assessing the present; it's about anticipating future risks and ensuring organisational resilience. Quality assurance isn't just a role—it's a mindset. Gabby's insights shed light on the valuable skill set involved in quality assurance roles, offering a breadth and depth of exposure that facilitates learning and growth. Don't miss out on this enriching conversation with Gabby as she shares her wealth of knowledge and experience in the audit profession. Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms.Note: The views expressed by Gabby are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons

Being at the forefront of regulation and innovation in internal audit is the most prevalent focus of our discussion in episode seven ofInside the Auditorium. Alex Gibbons, Head of Internal Audit at HSBC Innovation Banking joins us to explore the role of internal audit in facilitating change and improvement within organisations, particularly in relation to innovation and technology. This episode explores: Market outlook for innovation: Alex shares valuable insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, cyber, and information security. With a focus on governance and regulation, she sheds light on the importance of staying ahead in these critical areas. The role of an audit professional: Discover why being in internal audit is akin to being a VIP with access to all areas of an organisation. Alex emphasises the role of audit professionals as catalysts for change, facilitators for solutions, and key stakeholders in driving organisational success. Building impactful teams and strategies: Learn from Alex's experience in founding and leading teams, navigating challenges, and driving impactful strategies. She highlights the dynamic nature of internal audit and the creative opportunities it presents for making a real difference in the business landscape. Don’t miss this exciting new episode with a leader in innovation in the sector. Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms. Note: The views expressed by Alex are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Emilia Antevska
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Emilia Antevska

​In this episode of Inside the Auditorium, I welcome Emilia Antevska, Quality Assurance Lead at Northern Trust. We discuss Emilia’s personal experiences of being a woman in audit and navigating her career from Macedonia to the UK.This episode explores: Empowering leadership: Emilia highlights the importance of putting teams first and fostering a culture of growth and accountability. She emphasises that every auditor is a leader in their own right, making impactful contributions through their interactions with stakeholders and observations. Attracting women to audit: Emilia discusses strategies to attract more women, especially those from tech backgrounds, into the field of auditing. By shedding light on the diverse opportunities and continuous learning experiences that auditing offers, she aims to encourage more women to consider this profession. The value of auditing: Gain an insight into Emilia’s genuine love for auditing and the satisfaction she derives from helping businesses better manage their risks and achieve their objectives. Her passion for adding value to organisations underscores the significance of auditing in today's business landscape. Don't miss this episode which is packed full of key insights from Emilia's wealth of experience in the world of audit.Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms.Note: The views expressed by Emilia are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons

Being at the forefront of regulation and innovation in internal audit is the most prevalent focus of our discussion in episode seven ofInside the Auditorium. Alex Gibbons, Head of Internal Audit at HSBC Innovation Banking joins us to explore the role of internal audit in facilitating change and improvement within organisations, particularly in relation to innovation and technology. This episode explores: Market outlook for innovation: Alex shares valuable insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, cyber, and information security. With a focus on governance and regulation, she sheds light on the importance of staying ahead in these critical areas. The role of an audit professional: Discover why being in internal audit is akin to being a VIP with access to all areas of an organisation. Alex emphasises the role of audit professionals as catalysts for change, facilitators for solutions, and key stakeholders in driving organisational success. Building impactful teams and strategies: Learn from Alex's experience in founding and leading teams, navigating challenges, and driving impactful strategies. She highlights the dynamic nature of internal audit and the creative opportunities it presents for making a real difference in the business landscape. Don’t miss this exciting new episode with a leader in innovation in the sector. Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms. Note: The views expressed by Alex are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Behind the Desk... with Chris Wyard, Chief Data Officer, Beazley
Behind the Desk... with Chris Wyard, Chief Data Officer, Beazley

​Welcome to Episode 20 of the Behind the Desk Podcast! Join me as I chat with Chris Wyard, Chief Data Officer at Beazley.Chris joined Beazley nearly 18 months ago in a key leadership role, leading their data strategy as the business embarks on a major multi-year modernisation agenda. Chris has previously spent 12 years working for Allianz, where he joined as a grad and evolved into becoming their Chief Data Officer.I've known Chris for a few years now, but it was great to understand how he found his passion in data, going back to the start to understand how he shaped his career over the last 15 years. He shares brilliant insight and advice, especially around the importance of curiosity and finding niches within the industry. He is a great person, and I could have spoken to him for hours about his journey and his views on the insurance sector. Let’s get behind the desk with Chris.​​Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or other podcast platforms.

Behind the Desk... with Kim Gray, NED and DE&I champion

By Mark Thomas

Podcast

Behind the Desk... with Kim Gray, NED and DE&I champion

​In the seventh episode of Behind the Desk, I am joined by Kim Gray, who has recently left her role at NTT Dataas Head of Insurance and Head of Diversity and Inclusion to build her own company called Inclusive City, with a focus on insurance and diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) advisory consulting. Kim has a 20+ year career history in insurance, banking, and management consulting and has seen a lot in the financial services sector over the years. I was absolutely engrossed in this chat from start to finish. Kim provides brilliant insight and advice for people at all levels in their careers. She talks about her early life, how she climbed the ladder as a ‘dubious hire’, her advice for changing the narrative for women in leadership and her golden rule for success, with some interesting stories thrown in between.​Kim might be my favourite guest so far... let's get behind the desk with Kim Gray. Listen on Apple and Spotify.​Note: In February 2023, Kim Gray was invited to join the Board at Eames Group. Read more about Kim's appointment here.

Eames Consulting acquires Hong Kong based recruitment firm Mainstay Asia

By Matthew Eames

Eames News

Eames Consulting acquires Hong Kong based recruitment firm Mainstay Asia

​We are pleased to announce that Eames Consulting has acquired Hong Kong based recruitment firm, Mainstay Asia. The strategic acquisition allows us to enhance our talent solutions to better support our clients in Asia. We create opportunities that allow our clients, our candidates and our people to achieve their ambitions. The natural synergies between our brands are clear, from our customer-centric approach to how we operate, and our guiding values and purpose. “Mainstay offer unrivalled contract and SOW solutions in Asia. When meeting with Ross Carter, Mainstay founder, we shared a common vision for how we aim to serve the market, add value to our customers and develop our people. I am committed to enhancing our service offering and creating opportunities for our customers. This acquisition will enable Eames Consulting to continue to deliver for the Asian financial services and technology sectors.”, shared Eames Consulting founder and CEO, Matthew Eames. That was echoed by Mainstay Asia founder Ross Carter, who shared: “Peter and I are delighted to move Mainstay Asia onto a platform and into an organisation with aligned values and the same customer-centric focus. We are entering into a hugely exciting chapter as we focus on scaling our Statement of Work business for our customers.” To succeed in a constantly evolving and competitive landscape, businesses need capable and efficient partners who can help them be more strategic in how they hire and transform their business. By joining forces, we're now able to offer our clients a wider range of talent solutions, including both permanent and contract recruitment solutions, as well as Statement of Work (SOW). The acquisition will provide Mainstay Asia employees with the benefits of being part of a larger organisation, including access to a wider infrastructure, resources and support. We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our service offering in Asia and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Eames Consulting team. ​--- About Eames Consulting Eames Consulting is a contingent recruitment business with international reach, founded in 2002, specialising at the mid-to-senior level of the insurance, financial services, and technology markets. We are driven by a common purpose: to make opportunity happen. With over 150 specialist consultants across the UK, Europe, USA and Asia, we are expertly placed to partner with our clients to provide effective recruitment and advisory services tailored to their specific business needs. www.eamesconsulting.com About Mainstay - Asia Mainstay Asia is a specialist recruitment consultancy, focused on delivering top talent within the financial services, technology, and commerce sectors across the Asia-Pacific region. With offices in Hong Kong and the Philippines, we offer a personalized service and pride ourselves on developing strong relationships with our clients and candidates. www.mainstayasia.com ​Contact:Sarah RoebuckMarketing Directorsarah.roebuck@eames-group.com

The MND Association is our 2023 UK charity partner

By Ruth Foster

Eames News

The MND Association is our 2023 UK charity partner

​We’re delighted to share that the Eames Group charity partner in the UK this year is the MND Association. The entire UK team is given the opportunity to nominate and then vote on a corporate charity partner, and an overwhelming majority of #TeamEames backed the charity. The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by motor neurone disease (MND). MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. It is life-shortening, and there is no cure. In recent years, sports stars like Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Stephen Darby bravely shared their MND diagnosis, which has helped raise public awareness of a disease that many knew not much about. MND has also impacted a member of our team who recently lost her father to this cruel disease. We’re delighted as a business to be able to support another charity this year that has a personal connection to a very valued member of #TeamEames. Driving the fundraising support is a volunteer group of employees who have pulled together a series of events to raise money and awareness throughout the year. We are looking forward to contributing to the efforts for greater awareness, access to care and research for the MND community in the UK. For more information on the MND Associate and the work they do, or for ways to support, please visit their website: mndassociation.org

We're celebrating 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!

By Sarah Roebuck

Eames News

We're celebrating 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!

​We’re celebrating a HUGE milestone! Eames Consulting has hit 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!To the recruitment sector, LinkedIn is so much more than a social media platform. It’s a tool that recruiters and agencies can use to build meaningful partnerships, nurture their relationships, and build their brand – both personal and business.This is a significant milestone, having grown 40% in the last 12 months alone - a testament to the value we add to the recruitment industry and the markets we serve.We’ve got followers from all around the world from across the financial services sector and the recruitment market. Our continued aim is to provide you with updates that are interesting and engaging– so a big thank you to all those who read, like, share and comment on our posts. If you aren't already, give us a follow on LinkedIn!

Secrets of Success: Vincent Yao [Episode 28]
Secrets of Success: Vincent Yao [Episode 28]

​​We welcome Vincent Yao back to the Secrets of Success podcast, to share some insight into his incredibly successful year. In 2022, Vince will have spent most months at the top of the leaderboard at Eames Consulting, supporting a record number of clients and candidates in the Singapore compliance, risk and governance space. In this episode, Chanel Wee digs into how Vince has developed such a successful recruitment career. Vince is reflective on what he calls a “very rewarding year”, and what still keeps him motivated to grow and develop.There is absolutely something for everyone in this episode - for insight into how he’s developed his career to this level, and his secrets to success are, take a listen. Listen on Apple, or Spotify or watch the full episode below.

Secrets of Success: Heather Yardley [Episode 27]
Secrets of Success: Heather Yardley [Episode 27]

In this episode of Secrets of Success, we're joined by Heather Yardley, a principal consultant, specialising in commercial and personal lines at Eames Consulting.Listen on Apple, or Spotify or watch the full episode below.​

Secrets of Success: Jared Cave [Episode 26]
Secrets of Success: Jared Cave [Episode 26]

​In this Secrets of Success podcast episode, we meet Jared Cave, a specialist technology recruitment consultant in London.Listen on Apple, or Spotify or watch the full episode below.​

Eames Insights: Embracing the transformation era
Eames Insights: Embracing the transformation era

​As technology and automation continue to advance, it's becoming increasingly important for organizations to transform their workforce to stay competitive. But where do you start? I gathered insights from senior HR and change management professionals in Singapore about digitalization, and advice on how to pivot into the workforce transformation space.What roles are increasingly important to invest in for the transformation era?Technology, including cyber security, as this is highly sought after given a lot of confidential communication happening online. We need to be creating more effective workplace collaboration tools and more strategic HR personnel, that can help navigate organizational challenges with regards to employee management. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorThe below roles are increasingly important to invest in and hire for in the current transformation era. Lead cross-functional teams, today's split of teams into digital and non-digital requires that leaders have knowledge of both the advantages and disadvantages of each department. Digital products and services are the next one because there is a growing demand for digital channels and to use or create products and services through them. The last one is engineers who understand cloud service, as many businesses already use cloud-based services, with more still converting. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerIn the insurance transformation industry, the growing popularity and capabilities of GPT-3 and GPT-4 are likely to create new opportunities for professionals with skills in AI and Machine Learning, as well as those who can analyze these large sets of data to better understand risk and develop more accurate pricing models. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIntegrators – I know this is not a widely advertised role but often I see organizations being disjoint in their transformation efforts because each division in the organization is trying to get on the bandwagon and have its own transformation department resulting in work silos. Transformations can only be truly successful when there are synergies in the transformation effort that each division is trying to achieve. We need integrators to bring these transformation efforts together. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerWhat is your advice when looking to pivot into the workforce transformation space?You need to understand the business challenges, and that no two businesses are the same. As well as employee motivations, which can be very different. You need to take the time to understand how much of the business has changed and work from there. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorBefore planning for a workforce transformation, organizations must consider what the key business priorities are, so workforce transformation processes can be measured against those goals. Businesses that focus on too many top-level goals at once may find that none are achievable. Effectively launching workforce transformation requires planning. Here are some considerations; you can conduct a skills assessment and recommend using a multi-faceted approach to measuring employee skills, including looking at existing job descriptions and performance reviews, talking to managers, and surveying employees themselves; identify critical needs and goals before embarking on a workforce transformation initiative, company leaders should identify and prioritize the most critical skills to fulfill those goals; you can create a plan for skills development which can help build employees’ skills such as external/internal online training and mentorship programs and lastly, measure and adapt. You should regularly check in to ensure your transformation strategies are effectively delivering new skills and meeting company needs. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerAccepting and the knowledge that every company is different is essential. Workplace transformation can take different forms in different companies. You need to be able to be flexible in pivoting plans and strategies and truly take time to understand the company culture. Strategic Change Manager, Global Insurer​If you are interested in talking about market trends, or help with your career planning, please drop me an email at :amelia.chan@eamesconsulting.com

Eames Insights: Workforce transformation and building digital capabilities

By Amelia Chan

Eames Insights

Eames Insights: Workforce transformation and building digital capabilities

Flexible working is here to stay, and with massive workforce transformation happening across the globe, we need to evolve how we manage teams and adopt the relevant technology and tools to be effective without being in the office. I have gathered insights from senior HR and Change Management professionals in Singapore on how to create an engaged workforce and some top recommendations on the attributes, skills, and tools that can help organisations remain successful. Given the world's recent move to hybrid working, how do you foresee the future? I think moving forward we will see more and more people wanting to continue with this style of working, as it seems to be showing positive impacts on mental health as well as work output. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorMy current organization would like to keep the hybrid approach because it promotes a healthy work life balance, which benefits both the company and the employees. Many people who work in Bangkok live far away from City Centre, and hybrid means they do not have to leave their homes when traffic is at its worst in the morning, sit in traffic for a couple of hours and get stressed about making it to work on time. However, there are clock-in and clock-out standards for teams like customer service, reception, and cleaning. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerThere is a move towards flexibility to work from home or come to the office. However, even though the relationship between workers and the office is changing, career growth, collaboration, and connectedness cannot be done remotely. The preference at my current organisation is still to have employees, who not just come to the office but want to come to the office. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIn my opinion, my organisation is progressive on this front. We have been piloting a 4-day week since last year and started offering employees alternative workplaces through the Switch app. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerWhat are the most pressing challenges organizations must address to build an engaged workforce? Engaging employees is my toughest challenge at the moment. Everyone is settled with working from home since it’s been proven effective and a less distractive way to work. However, that also leads to them being slightly, and a lot in some cases, disconnected from the workspace. With that said, ensuring employee engagement is tough. I believe it is time to change how we define “engaged” employees. It is no longer about how often they are participating in work activities or socials, but about how responsive they are on Slack. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorOne of my challenges is employee disparities between hybrid and non-hybrid, as working remotely is not a possibility for everyone. Frontline employees can feel like they are working harder while their desk-based co-workers relax at home. Employees who spend most or all their time working remotely may feel deprived of conversations and decisions because they are not in the same room as others. Another challenge is inefficient communication which slows down processes, and work gets done at a slower pace, and sometimes employees may feel confused or miss important information. We need to be focused on creating the right hybrid work environment, as hybrid means that fewer employees will be in the office every day. This can also cause a dedicated workspace to be seen as a waste of resources. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerOrganisations need authentic leadership; I have seen many leaders who promote a company culture because they feel they need to, but don’t believe in it or practice it. Employees are savvy, and they catch on quickly. Another one is servant leadership, we need to develop a culture where we do not ask what the people can do for the company but what leaders can do to make their work easier to bring growth to the organisation. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerConsidering workplace transformation and digitisation, what people or technology capabilities do you find most important moving forward? Collaboration tools, time and task management tools. Working remotely will need better methods to collaborate. Another important one would be employee engagement tools. HR and People Specialist, Tech VendorFrom a people perspective, an IT network engineer, a data scientist, and a mobile developer are key. From a technology perspective, cloud base services, VOIP call and chat tools, big data, machine learning, mobile technology and AI and Robotics. Change and Strategy Manager, Global InsurerEmployees need to be provided with the right tools to support their work in a digital environment, cyber security and remote access tools are the most important. When thinking about people, achievers and thinkers are the most important to build the future of the organisation. Transformation and Change Lead, Global InsurerIT savviness and the ability to easily and quickly pick up the applications that your organisation is using enterprise-wide. Soft skills are also important, such as the ability to articulate your thoughts and messages succinctly especially with virtual meetings when you may not have the attention of your audience as compared to face to face. With most organisations moving to Cloud, it will allow the flexibility of ramping up services, storage etc. quickly. Unfortunately, it is surprising some organisations are not prioritising budget upgrading legacy systems which gives them technical debt. Data governance is also a huge consideration, many organisations while trying to get onto the bandwagon of data science, AI, machine learning does not have the fundamentals of data governance structure which provides the foundation that will provide good data to these applications. In this case there will be a big set of the work cleaning up bad data and data governance structure will reduce the data clean up time. Strategic Change Manager, Global InsurerIf you are interested in talking about market trends, or help with your career planning, please drop me an email at: amelia.chan@eamesconsulting.com

Eames Insights: A lens over the Singapore technology market
Eames Insights: A lens over the Singapore technology market

​ChatGPT, blockchain, and cryptocurrency - all have implications for professionals both working and leading in the technology sector. But what are the opinions about the impacts they may have? I have gathered insights from three leaders in the sector to probe into each topic and how it relates to scenarios in business. With the emergence of AI and ChatGPT, what impact do you feel this will have on the market regarding software development and candidates using it to complete technical tests during the interview process? This is an amazing tool for engineers and data scientists, as it saves a whole lot of time. I believe in the long term, it will have a positive impact. It might affect the engineers with lower skill sets, as they may not be good enough to use as a tool to help them. We also need to recognise that it will be used to cheat on tests, and this will ultimately change the way people are tested. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionCandidates cheating on technical tests has always been a challenge for hiring. The emergence of ChatGPT further worsens this problem. Thankfully, solutions are being built to identify if ChatGPT was used for generating code or content. Companies should do away with offline technical tests and, wherever possible, get candidates for in-house interviews and have them whiteboard the solutions to minimize the risk. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering Leader Like many things with AI, the real power of this is in a human-AI collaboration more than anything. So, if anyone can use ChatGPT or Code Pilot to complete their technical tests, I think it's okay - they are being smart about it. It is similar to using Google to find the right syntax or StackOverflow to find the right design to solve the coding problem. When I hire someone into my team, I'd be interested in talking to them about their technical test, to understand why they chose a design or implementation. If they can defend their solution, ChatGPT or not, they are a good hire. - Archanaa Ravikumar, Head of Engineering at AutumnWhat impact do you think the current state of the cryptocurrency market will have on the financial market, and vice versa? I don’t see any big flow-on effects. But traditional finance might have an impact on crypto; if the recession hits harder it will hit the cryptocurrency as well. This might be a good investment opportunity. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionThe sell-offs happening in traditional assets due to the plunge of cryptocurrencies have an impact on businesses as their capital shrinks and they find it hard to innovate, grow or even sustain. This leads to things such as budget replanning and headcount reductions. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering LeaderHow do you feel blockchain can be adopted into traditional banking and payment systems? Yes and no; it has technological limitations. It is a more generic tool and will struggle to match traditional banking tools that are built specifically, for example, trading. Sustainability-wise isn’t too bad. - Senior Engineering Leader at Financial InstitutionBanks can issue new blockchain-based digital assets that are less risky than the decentralized currencies, by pegging them to assets that have an intrinsic value. - Hari Thiruppathi, Engineering Leader

Attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services

By Andrew Mackay

Homepage

Attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services

On the 19th of January, we welcomed over 60 talent acquisition and HR professionals from across the financial services space to discuss strategies to improve the attraction and retention of mid-senior female talent within the market. We heard from Laura Blaxland, Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Fidelity Investments and Elizabeth Willetts, Founder of Investing in Women, and it was a fantastic and informative session. The rationale behind this event is that we, as talent professionals, are acutely aware of both the internal demand for greater diversity at senior level and the practical reality and challenges of a lack of candidate depth to be recruited. Using the gender pay gap as a metric, it is clear and obvious that women are not reaching the same career potential as their male counterparts, and there is a clear window where women fall behind, and some very common causes as to why.This creates a knock-on effect that, when hiring at mid-senior level (£90,000-150,000+), the talent pool of female candidates who have the skills and experience to compete with their male counterparts is very shallow and the ability to deliver diverse slates of candidates, and ultimately hire female talent is diminished. The current landscape:The gender pay gap is a well publicised metric, currently standing at 26.6% within financial services, well above the 12.1% for the wider UK marketThe top five sectors with the largest gender pay gap are within financial services The pay gap is low from graduate level to people in their 30s, then widens rapidly between ages 30-45The female employment rate is 72.2%, whilst the male employment rate is 79% The female economically inactive rate is 25.1% and the male economically inactive rate is 17.9%The primary reason for being economically inactive is caring responsibilities, with a significant difference in people impacted when comparing gender (Women – 1.3M, Men – 300k)Parents of dependent children are the highest employment rate group. with fathers 94%, and mothers 78%Lone parents with dependant children have the lowest employment rate at 65%What are the solutions? Mid-senior female talent, especially those with children, need and demand flexibility from an employer to balance work and parenting. This traditionally was challenging or sometimes impossible to achieve with a five day in-office culture. The shift post-COVID to hybrid working and the increase in men taking on more childcare responsibilities has allowed for greater potential to achieve a balance. The principle options that fall within the “flexible working” umbrella are: Hybrid 3/2 Fully remote Part-time Job share Term time 5 Days in 4The primary reasons for flexible working to be desired are: Child care – school runs/holidays/after-school needs Physical health and mental health– some health challenges can impact the ability to commute and/or affect the ability to work in an office environmentPreferred working patterns – larks vs night owls Increase in pet owners during and post lockdown Neurodiverse candidates that work better in quiet environments/homes. One strategy that has allowed those with career breaks to return to the workforce is a Returner Scheme. What is a Returner Scheme, and how can you ensure its success? “Female talent not necessarily hard to find, but can be hard to move” – Laura BlaxlandThe primary role of a Returner Scheme is to facilitate and support those who have had a career break (typically 2yr+) re-join the workforce, often on a 6-month fixed term contract initially, with 95% of those being offered and taking permanent positions. The biggest barrier is the attraction phase. It takes a lot for a woman to apply for a job, and typically women will seek to tick 80%+ of the “desired skillset” before applying, so if they do apply, there is a lot of thought that has gone into it. Ensuring the right language is used in a role profile, the advert is not laden with too much technical language and the requirements are clear and limited to a small number of points will increase attraction.During the interview process, it is essential to ensure there is a diverse panel of interviewers and that feedback is given quickly, clearly and in detail. Additionally, focusing on transferable skills and what can be trained in a 6-12 month window allows for candidates to be seen as a whole, and training requirements can be identified and built into the onboarding and development of that role.The biggest upside of embracing flexible hiring models is increased loyalty and retention. This is primarily because it provides balance that is the key priority. The lack of alternative options in the current market leads to employees staying with firms longer and therefore gaining more promotion opportunities - and driving gender balance at a senior level.Barriers to increasing opportunities that would benefit mid-senior women “A primary objection to flexible working requests is that it will open the flood gates and everyone will want it” – Elizabeth Willets It is prudent to highlight that not all roles and industries lend themselves to flexibility, such as fully remote. Financial services is one of those, as the culture is built around collaboration, quick decision making to respond to market changes and learning by osmosis from senior leaders. Traditional views from hiring managers are a significant barrier. However, these can be overcome by highlighting the benefits of a diverse hire. Examples to overcome objections can be:Returners are immediately available It is easier to find two people with complementary skills in a job share capacity than one that has all the skills but cannot be found Skills needed now that are going to be obsolete in 5-10 years’ time. Focus on future proofing skills and transferable ability Summary The overwhelming theme that came out of the event is to improve the attraction and retention of mid-senior women in financial services, the key is to embrace the opportunities it offers.This starts at the top of the firm, with visible senior stakeholders taking ownership of delivering diverse hiring and empowering hiring managers to lean into the process. Tailored support is needed from the beginning of the process, this needs to be consistent and continue throughout the attraction, onboarding and initial period of employment to allow people to fulfil their potential.What can be done to improve mid-senior female attraction?Improve the hiring process to be more open to flexible working Ensure advertising and engagement is done in a sympathetic way, and time is given to allow women to consider and make an application which may take longer than men to do Ringfenced headcount for diverse hiring and ensuring diverse hiring for roles are allocated within the budget and protected External search conducted on a retained or exclusive basis with longer timescales to allow recruiters to engage broader talent Visibility of senior female role models and active engagement of future talent from Day 1. You cannot be what you cannot see. What can be done to improve mid-senior female retention?Employee benefits are key. Family-friendly policies such as enhanced paternity leave, designated family days in addition to traditional leave for unseen issues that arise, open to all that also allows annual leave to be protected to ensure proper breaks and the ability to recharge C-Suite buy-in is essential. Having diverse hiring as a key performance metric for senior management and tracking performance against targets on a regular basis Hiring for future needs, looking past specific technical requirements and viewing the person as a whole Targeted support for those returning from a break. Regular review meetings with managers and HR, “buddy” systems of others on the cohort, or previous scheme members, clear communication in expectations in the role and respecting the requirements of the individual and not applying pressure to flex to “traditional” hours or needs during busy periods.Should you wish to speak further on any of these topics or how a recruitment partner can improve outcomes in mid-senior hiring, do reach out to speak further by contacting me at andrew.mackay@eamesconsulting.com.

Dive In 2022: How do you think organisations can build braver, psychologically safe work cultures – both on and offline – that allow people to feel safe, valued, respected, and free to express themselves?

By David Miles

Diversity and Inclusion

Dive In 2022: How do you think organisations can build braver, psychologically safe work cultures – both on and offline – that allow people to feel safe, valued, respected, and free to express themselves?

This year's annual #DiveIn theme is #bravercultures. Focusing on both online and offline culture – Dive In is opening up the conversation on how to build a workplace that truly allows people to feel psychologically safe, valued, respected and free to express themselves authentically. ​If you can create an environment where people are free to speak and express themselves, naturally they'll consider that a 'safe' place to do so. Initially, I think you have to assess where you're at, where you want to be and crucially, why you want to be there.    This should, in my opinion, be replicated in the work produced, we're not creating drones, we are creating the leaders of tomorrow so ensuring that these people are safe to express themselves in their work as well as socially, is crucial. An expression I use is 'we create the framework, the designs and materials to create a house but how you build it and what it looks like, is up to you'.  A couple of things you can do:  Set the tone, what you do as a leader people naturally think is ok to do. Set a tone and environment where people see you asking, listening and taking care to pay attention.  In team-based or individual one-on-ones, it's so much more powerful to go around and ask everyone their opinion rather than just telling them what to do. Listen before speaking.  Actually taking time out of your schedule as a leader to ask how someone is, and get to know your team. Each one-on-one meeting you have should be considered a free space to speak, again this will encourage not only a freer environment but crucially, it'll help you get to issues before they become issues.  360 appraisals. Your team should be comfortable holding you accountable too and you should be mature enough to take that without getting defensive!  All of this should create a culture and environment to encourage growth and speak freely.

Recite Me accessibility technology now available on Eames Consulting website

By Sarah Roebuck

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Recite Me accessibility technology now available on Eames Consulting website

Our purpose is clear: we create opportunities for businesses and people to succeed. Those opportunities are only possible if we hold true to our values and drive the business forward with diversity and inclusion at our core. With Recite Me accessibility technology now available on our website, visitors are able to customise their online experience in a way that best suits their individual needs. Having secured a Bronze accreditation with Clear Assured in January 2022, this is another step forward in our equality, diversity and inclusion efforts. It is estimated that 20% of people have a disability that can prevent them from reading and understanding online content. Those who are most susceptible to access barriers are those who struggle with decreased vision, learning difficulties, literacy, language/linguistic problems, attention disorders and physical disabilities. Recite Me accessibility software implemented on our website provides users with the opportunity to customise their online experience. The toolbar includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech and styling options. This includes changes to the font size, type, and colour. To access the assistive toolbar on the Eames Consulting website, click the circular red accessibility icon at the bottom right of the website. --- Recite Me functionality is also available on our brand sites: Eames Group, Eames Partnership and ECMS. For more information on Recite Me, please visit their website here. For information on our partnership with Recite me please contact Sarah Roebuck, marketing director.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Gabby Beaver
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Gabby Beaver

​Dive deep into the world of audit with an inspiring leader in our newest episode of Inside the Auditorium featuring Gabby Beaver, Chief Auditor for Quality Assurance at Citi. This episode explores: Continuous learning and evolution: Gabby emphasises the importance of embracing a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, drawing from her own experience of starting her career in technology. She reminds us that no one knows everything from day one; it's through investing in learning, both through formal education and on-the-job experiences, that we build our skill sets and advance in our careers. Setting a strong vision: Discussing effective leadership, Gabby stresses the significance of setting a strong vision for your organisation and aligning the entire team behind it. In today's rapidly changing world, adaptability, innovation, and a commitment to customers, clients, and employees are essential for success. The value of quality assurance: Gabby sheds light on the forward-looking nature of audit roles. It's not just about assessing the present; it's about anticipating future risks and ensuring organisational resilience. Quality assurance isn't just a role—it's a mindset. Gabby's insights shed light on the valuable skill set involved in quality assurance roles, offering a breadth and depth of exposure that facilitates learning and growth. Don't miss out on this enriching conversation with Gabby as she shares her wealth of knowledge and experience in the audit profession. Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms.Note: The views expressed by Gabby are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Alex Gibbons

Being at the forefront of regulation and innovation in internal audit is the most prevalent focus of our discussion in episode seven ofInside the Auditorium. Alex Gibbons, Head of Internal Audit at HSBC Innovation Banking joins us to explore the role of internal audit in facilitating change and improvement within organisations, particularly in relation to innovation and technology. This episode explores: Market outlook for innovation: Alex shares valuable insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, cyber, and information security. With a focus on governance and regulation, she sheds light on the importance of staying ahead in these critical areas. The role of an audit professional: Discover why being in internal audit is akin to being a VIP with access to all areas of an organisation. Alex emphasises the role of audit professionals as catalysts for change, facilitators for solutions, and key stakeholders in driving organisational success. Building impactful teams and strategies: Learn from Alex's experience in founding and leading teams, navigating challenges, and driving impactful strategies. She highlights the dynamic nature of internal audit and the creative opportunities it presents for making a real difference in the business landscape. Don’t miss this exciting new episode with a leader in innovation in the sector. Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms. Note: The views expressed by Alex are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Emilia Antevska
Inside the Auditorium Podcast: Emilia Antevska

​In this episode of Inside the Auditorium, I welcome Emilia Antevska, Quality Assurance Lead at Northern Trust. We discuss Emilia’s personal experiences of being a woman in audit and navigating her career from Macedonia to the UK.This episode explores: Empowering leadership: Emilia highlights the importance of putting teams first and fostering a culture of growth and accountability. She emphasises that every auditor is a leader in their own right, making impactful contributions through their interactions with stakeholders and observations. Attracting women to audit: Emilia discusses strategies to attract more women, especially those from tech backgrounds, into the field of auditing. By shedding light on the diverse opportunities and continuous learning experiences that auditing offers, she aims to encourage more women to consider this profession. The value of auditing: Gain an insight into Emilia’s genuine love for auditing and the satisfaction she derives from helping businesses better manage their risks and achieve their objectives. Her passion for adding value to organisations underscores the significance of auditing in today's business landscape. Don't miss this episode which is packed full of key insights from Emilia's wealth of experience in the world of audit.Listen and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms.Note: The views expressed by Emilia are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Eames Consulting acquires Hong Kong based recruitment firm Mainstay Asia

By Matthew Eames

Featured-Blog

Eames Consulting acquires Hong Kong based recruitment firm Mainstay Asia

​We are pleased to announce that Eames Consulting has acquired Hong Kong based recruitment firm, Mainstay Asia. The strategic acquisition allows us to enhance our talent solutions to better support our clients in Asia. We create opportunities that allow our clients, our candidates and our people to achieve their ambitions. The natural synergies between our brands are clear, from our customer-centric approach to how we operate, and our guiding values and purpose. “Mainstay offer unrivalled contract and SOW solutions in Asia. When meeting with Ross Carter, Mainstay founder, we shared a common vision for how we aim to serve the market, add value to our customers and develop our people. I am committed to enhancing our service offering and creating opportunities for our customers. This acquisition will enable Eames Consulting to continue to deliver for the Asian financial services and technology sectors.”, shared Eames Consulting founder and CEO, Matthew Eames. That was echoed by Mainstay Asia founder Ross Carter, who shared: “Peter and I are delighted to move Mainstay Asia onto a platform and into an organisation with aligned values and the same customer-centric focus. We are entering into a hugely exciting chapter as we focus on scaling our Statement of Work business for our customers.” To succeed in a constantly evolving and competitive landscape, businesses need capable and efficient partners who can help them be more strategic in how they hire and transform their business. By joining forces, we're now able to offer our clients a wider range of talent solutions, including both permanent and contract recruitment solutions, as well as Statement of Work (SOW). The acquisition will provide Mainstay Asia employees with the benefits of being part of a larger organisation, including access to a wider infrastructure, resources and support. We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our service offering in Asia and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Eames Consulting team. ​--- About Eames Consulting Eames Consulting is a contingent recruitment business with international reach, founded in 2002, specialising at the mid-to-senior level of the insurance, financial services, and technology markets. We are driven by a common purpose: to make opportunity happen. With over 150 specialist consultants across the UK, Europe, USA and Asia, we are expertly placed to partner with our clients to provide effective recruitment and advisory services tailored to their specific business needs. www.eamesconsulting.com About Mainstay - Asia Mainstay Asia is a specialist recruitment consultancy, focused on delivering top talent within the financial services, technology, and commerce sectors across the Asia-Pacific region. With offices in Hong Kong and the Philippines, we offer a personalized service and pride ourselves on developing strong relationships with our clients and candidates. www.mainstayasia.com ​Contact:Sarah RoebuckMarketing Directorsarah.roebuck@eames-group.com

The MND Association is our 2023 UK charity partner

By Ruth Foster

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The MND Association is our 2023 UK charity partner

​We’re delighted to share that the Eames Group charity partner in the UK this year is the MND Association. The entire UK team is given the opportunity to nominate and then vote on a corporate charity partner, and an overwhelming majority of #TeamEames backed the charity. The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by motor neurone disease (MND). MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. It is life-shortening, and there is no cure. In recent years, sports stars like Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Stephen Darby bravely shared their MND diagnosis, which has helped raise public awareness of a disease that many knew not much about. MND has also impacted a member of our team who recently lost her father to this cruel disease. We’re delighted as a business to be able to support another charity this year that has a personal connection to a very valued member of #TeamEames. Driving the fundraising support is a volunteer group of employees who have pulled together a series of events to raise money and awareness throughout the year. We are looking forward to contributing to the efforts for greater awareness, access to care and research for the MND community in the UK. For more information on the MND Associate and the work they do, or for ways to support, please visit their website: mndassociation.org

We're celebrating 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!

By Sarah Roebuck

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We're celebrating 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!

​We’re celebrating a HUGE milestone! Eames Consulting has hit 100,000 followers on LinkedIn!To the recruitment sector, LinkedIn is so much more than a social media platform. It’s a tool that recruiters and agencies can use to build meaningful partnerships, nurture their relationships, and build their brand – both personal and business.This is a significant milestone, having grown 40% in the last 12 months alone - a testament to the value we add to the recruitment industry and the markets we serve.We’ve got followers from all around the world from across the financial services sector and the recruitment market. Our continued aim is to provide you with updates that are interesting and engaging– so a big thank you to all those who read, like, share and comment on our posts. If you aren't already, give us a follow on LinkedIn!

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Secrets of Success

A series for recruiters, by recruiters.

In each episode, we have candid conversations about careers in recruitment with some of the best talent Team Eames has to offer. They'll be giving you a glimpse into the highs and lows of their recruitment careers, their motivations, their drivers, and their secret to success in this industry.