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How Macquarie is building a diverse workforce in Asia

“In addition to people from a finance background, we had lawyers, engineers and a medical doctor in the team. I believe it was that diversity that contributed significantly to our success.” Hear from some of our employees on how Macquarie is building a diverse global workforce.

Different perspectives give a fully rounded picture in Japan

“Many of the projects in the Tokyo office have a diverse team working on them, adding different perspectives, skill sets, cultures and backgrounds,” says Kanna Mihara, Vice President in the Infrastructure & Energy Division in Macquarie Capital in Tokyo.

“It seems that teams that are varied are producing great results − taking advantage of both the wealth of global experience and strong local knowledge.”

Macquarie offices throughout Asia recently marked Diversity Month, and Kanna is reflecting on the benefits of diversity in the workplace − and the progress that has been made.

“I’m glad to see an increase in the number of female bankers here in the Tokyo office, and it definitely feels like we’ve seen more diversity in the cultures and backgrounds of our bankers too,” she says. “We now have employees based in Tokyo who are Taiwanese, Chinese, British and Singaporean.”

Macquarie’s flexible-work initiatives have helped to boost diversity, she adds, noting the increased acceptance of people utilising a variety of flexible work arrangements.

Teaching new skills through reverse mentoring in India

“The reverse mentoring program will help us all to learn new skills and hear different perspectives,” says Richa Pant, a Business Operations Risk Manager for Technology in Gurugram.

Richa leads this initiative, where senior leaders are being coached by junior staff members. The program aims to understand what motivates and matters most at the level of junior staff, promote fresh ideas and allow junior team members to teach new skills to leaders.

Richa says the principle of diversity is also applied to the work she does. “When reviewing projects, we ensure that we get views from people in different teams and at different levels.”

Richa is a part of the Women in Technology employee network group in the Gurugram office which aims to increase the representation of women in technology roles. Richa says other initiatives include Women’s Connect forums, Returners Program, increasing mobility and flexible-work options.

The initiative Returners Program supports people who are coming back to work after an extended career break. Richa is passionate about the program.

“I was on a career break for one and a half years to take care of my son. Getting back into the corporate world seemed almost impossible until I came across an ex-colleague who was now working at Macquarie. She encouraged me to apply, saying that the support and opportunities at Macquarie were really good.”

The success of these initiatives is clear, Richa says. “The number of women in technology in the Gurugram office has substantially increased in the last few months and I’ve seen many employees take up flexible working options to efficiently manage their personal and professional commitments.”

Business benefits of diverse teams

“Diversity Month is an opportunity to both present the issues we face and celebrate the successes we have achieved,” says Neil Arora, head of Macquarie Capital for Asia and the Middle East.

An advocate for diversity in Macquarie’s Singapore office, Neil says that he has seen how diversity has benefited the business from within his own teams.

“In London, we deliberately set about building a diverse team. In addition to people from a finance background, we had lawyers, engineers and even a medical doctor in the team. I believe it was the diversity that contributed significantly to the success of that team.”

Neil started his career in Macquarie’s London office, later moving to Singapore, then Dubai, then back to Singapore.

“The key to solving any challenge is communication,” he says. “By regularly and openly talking about diversity and inclusion, we are acknowledging we need to continue to change − as individuals and as an institution.”


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