Singapore Day 3

The third day of the Global Ambassadors Program in Singapore brought together a cross-section of women leaders in Southeast Asia for a public forum featuring lively discussion about women’s leadership, the power of mentoring and women as drivers of economic growth.

“Women are an emerging market,” said Alyse Nelson, Vital Voices Global Partnership president & CEO, in opening remarks. Welcoming attendees, Loh Boon Chye, deputy president for Asia Pacific, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said “The Global Ambassadors Program is about connecting women leaders across continents and proving a platform for mentoring and collaboration.”

In an on-stage interview with Alyse Nelson, reflecting on the best advice she had for women beginning their careers, Kate James, chief communications officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said “Connect and support other women as early as you can.”

The public forum included four panel discussions on core topics including women as untapped natural resources, the role of women as drivers of business and economic growth, policies for advancing women as senior leaders and success stories from top women leaders. Additional working sessions explored network building, mentoring as a strategy for professional development, cultivating women entrepreneurs and access to finance.

“We have to create environments that offer equal opportunities for women to excel based on merit,” said Datuk Yvonne Chia, chief executive officer, Hong Leong Bank Berhad. “We have to make sure the ecosystem is not prejudicial.”

Tomorrow, the closing day of the Global Ambassadors Program in Singapore, mentors and mentees will finalize their vision for working together and map out their future plans for collaboration.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #GlobalAmbassadors.