From The Straits Times    |

Be the change you want to see in the world – that’s been my mantra and guiding force in all that I do in life.

I grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa, in a family of four girls – I have a twin sister and two younger sisters – and within a multicultural environment. From young, we were taught to never consider gender. Our parents constantly reminded us that a world of opportunity was available to us, and that gender had no bearing on a person’s capabilities.

I have carried that thought with me throughout my life and career, when dealing with my team at Coface, where I am the regional head of risk management in the Asia Pacific region.

Grishma Kewada_financial_womens_association_herworldherstory_700x1000

HAIR Ash Loi MAKEUP Madiha Shaikh
Dress, Mango. Sandals, Charles & Keith. Necklace, Red’s Revenge. All other jewellery, Grishma’s own

In my own experience, apart from facing some gender bias during job interviews in the early days of my career, I have been lucky to have largely worked for corporations where gender diversity and inclusion were not mere tick-the-box exercises; rather, they were built into the company’s culture. That’s the message the Financial Women’s Association (FWA), which I have been a part of since its early years, wants to get out there. We want to encourage companies to look at gender inclusivity from the standpoint of making meaningful and impactful change.

Change has to happen at all levels and all fronts. It has to happen at home, in workplaces, and in education.

FWA rebranded in 2019 towards a newer and more impactful direction. Women Empowered Impact (WEImpact), as the name suggests, is about empowering women both professionally and personally for sustainable development. We are currently working on a survey and a piece on financial literacy – the recommendations will go towards a consultation paper that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has been working on regarding gender issues in Singapore. We are very excited to be providing our views to MSF on where the pitfalls and weaknesses are in terms of women getting that backing of financial literacy and preparedness for today, as well as for the future.

For that matter, change has to happen at all levels, on all fronts. It has to happen at home, in workplaces, and in education. As a mother, I want to pass on this message to my newborn son as well. I want to impress upon him to be respectful from young, and that being a boy does not make him a candidate for preferential treatment.

As women, we need to support and mentor each other as well, and not compare or compete with others and become victims of imposter syndrome. We have to be the drivers of change. That’s crucial.

— In partnership with Estée Lauder —

Tell us how you power on, from your self-care tips to your motivations. We’ll pick 10 readers with the most inspiring and empowering IG posts to win a 50ml bottle of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex, worth $280. Make sure that your IG profile is public, follow @HerWorldSingapore and @EsteeLauder_SG, and include the following hashtags in your post: #HerWorldHerStory #HowWePowerOn #EsteeLauderSG. Contest ends March 28, 2021. Posts may also be featured on Estée Lauder’s Instagram.

PHOTOGRAPHY Veronica Tay & Vee Chin
ART DIRECTION Ray Ticsay & Adeline Eng
STYLING Lauren Alexa