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Meet Kabir Julka, Vice President & Head of Human Resources, Asia, American Express (AMEX)

Posted on 15/09/2016 by Marie Swarbreck

Meet panelist #9

Meet Kabir Julka, Vice President & Head of Human Resources, Asia, American Express (AMEX)

 

Question 1 - Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?

In my role as vice president, Market HR Asia for American Express, I lead Human Resources for the region including a talented team of 30 professionals

In 2008, I started with the company in India and three years-ago, I relocated to Hong Kong. Prior to American Express, I worked for Business Process Outsourcing and Telecom, based in Europe and Asia.

Outside of work, I love to spend time with my family, read, swim, and play tennis.


Question 2 - What are you currently doing to improve gender balance in HK?

We are proud of our gender-balanced organization, and actively promote the advancement of women at American Express.

In 2006, we established a chapter of the Women's Interest Network (WIN) in Hong Kong. This was an important milestone in making gender commitment a part of our market D&I strategy. WIN, an American Express Employee Network, with chapters across the world, provides a forum for all employees to seek career development and education, as well as support and mentoring related to the unique diversity women bring to the workplace.

Examples of a few WIN championed initiatives in our Hong Kong office are below:

  • Leaders’ Speaker Sessions: Provides various opportunities for all employees to hear career stories from senior leaders across the company about how they have achieved work-life balance.
  • Lactation Rooms: Designed and created in collaboration with WIN to support colleagues who are nursing mothers, providing comfortable seating and refrigerators.  
  • Flextime programs: Supports the unique needs of working parents during certain months of the year, by providing added flexibility for employees to help manage work and personal time.
  • Post-Maternity Care: Provides mothers returning from maternity leave with flexible work arrangements.

These initiatives have proven successful both in terms of participation and their ability to drive employee engagement and loyalty. The success has also resulted in external recognition:

In 2016, Aon Hewitt named American Express the “Best Employer in Hong Kong” (for the sixth consecutive year) and the “Best Employer for Commitment to Engagement”.

In 2015, Aon Hewitt recognized us as the “Best Employer for Women”, and in 2014 AmCham named us “The Best Company for Women”.

These recognitions are a testament to our continued efforts to nurture highly engaged employees, as well as support and develop women in our company.

 

Question 3 - What are you doing to inspire women in leadership?

American Express fosters a workplace culture where differences are valued and expressed freely and all employees have the support they need to take risks, learn, and collaborate.

At American Express, we believe it’s important to invest in our leaders and build a diverse workforce for sustained business success. We actively seek to identify and invest in high potential women. This includes providing our employees at all levels with opportunities for job expansion and rotation, cross-business and market movements, and actively advocating and sponsoring our top female leaders in the organization. 

We also invest in ground-breaking external research for women’s advancement, and leverage internal resources to ensure that women are given the tools and resources to succeed.

A true indicator of our being a great place to work is in our diverse talent retention and growth numbers at all levels. Women are well represented at American Express Hong Kong, making up percentage majority of our workforce and our leadership.