From The Straits Times    |

I joined Methodist Welfare Services about two and a half years ago, after 28 years in the banking industry. You could say that I contributed to the economy as a banker, and now as someone in the social services sector, I hope to contribute to society and help shape a better and more resilient Singapore.

As a corporate banker, I was the first woman in management at the corporate banking division of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (now MUFG Bank) in 2015. I was recommended by my Japanese boss – he was my sponsor, and knew that I was capable of doing the job. I was quite gratified because I had always wanted to be assessed on my abilities and to lead by example. When I was a young female banker, I had always wanted a role model to look up to and aspire to be.

Junie Foo_SCWO_Boardagender_Methodist Welfare Services_Herworldherstory

HAIR Jimmy Yap MAKEUP Zoel Tee
Top, Gauchere at Club21 Four Seasons. Skirt & necklace, Jil Sander. Earrings, H&M. Bracelet & rings, stylist’s own

This experience has influenced the way I manage and lead. I’m constantly on the lookout to build and retain good talent for any organisation I am with. I also feel strongly about giving women the opportunity to re-enter the workforce without shortchanging them because they took a break from their careers to look after their children or elderly parents.

In 2011, I co-founded and chaired Boardagender, an initiative of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO). Boardagender has been advocating and creating awareness on the benefits of having more women in senior leadership positions. It’s about having diversity of thought and experience. As the current president of SCWO, I hope to build on what the previous presidents have been doing to provide a platform for women – for equal voice, equal space, and equal worth. There is much to be done, and I am grateful for the help and support from everyone thus far.

It’s so important to have a supportive spouse who does an equal amount of heavy lifting.

It is true that most women shoulder a majority of the household and caregiving duties, which can pose a struggle for those who want to advance their careers. I mentor a set of young female professionals, and I notice that their husbands are helping out in that aspect. It’s so important to have a supportive spouse who does an equal amount of heavy lifting. It really helps to take a load off when there’s equal footing in the marriage and family, and the husbands help out with the household and caregiving duties too.

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