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Meet Laura Nelson Carney, co-President of Ellevate’s Hong Kong chapter and Senior Research Analyst, Asia-Pacific Healthcare at AB Bernstein

Posted on 19/09/2016 by Marie Swarbreck

Meet Panelist #11

Laura Nelson Carney, co-President of Ellevate’s Hong Kong chapter and Senior Research Analyst, Asia-Pacific Healthcare at AB Bernstein

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

I'm joining this event first and foremost as the co-President of Ellevate’s Hong Kong chapter (together with Diana Olteanu-Veerman).   Ellevate is a global professional womens networking organization with almost 40,000 members around the world, headquartered in New York.  The Hong Kong chapter hosts regular events on topical issues including regional economic outlook, currency wars, corruption crackdown, return-to-work programs, entrepreneurship, personal branding and many others.  Ellevate also created global index fund composed of companies with higher proportions of women at the Board and C-level and runs programs to help women to invest in other women's businesses.   I served as a mentor in the Hong Kong Women’s Foundation mentorship program and am an active member of AB’s internal women’s network (SynErgY) and WING (a network connecting the internal womens organizations across banks in Hong Kong).  By day I am a mother, wife, and sell-side equity research analyst at AB Bernstein, covering Asia-Pacific Healthcare.   All of the phases of my career (academic scientist at Imperial College, industry scientist at Merck, management consultant at McKinsey, and most recently financial analyst at Bernstein) have put me in very male dominated environments where I have had few or no women (and even fewer mothers) as peers.  I think women have a tremendous amount to contribute to the workplace and that being one of (relatively) few around the office can be an advantage.


Question 2 - What are you doing to inspire women in leadership?

Together with six other incredible women, Diana and I run the Hong Kong chapter of Ellevate.  We organize events to connect, inspire and empower professional women in Hong Kong.  We believe that the most powerful way to inspire women is to put them in the same room with other amazing women.  To this end we have been very fortunate to host some of the most inspirational women I've met as speakers and panelists.


Question 3 - What is your opinion on gender equity in HK?

In some ways Hong Kong lags in gender equity (percent of women on boards, for example) but in others Hong Kong has done well to promote women.  The same usual suspect industries face the biggest gender gap an attrition in senior positions as in the rest of the world.  In my observation the strongly hierarchical local corporate culture is one of the main barriers that holds women back from speak up, developing their own gravitas sooner and feeling entitled to a seat at the table.


To learn more about Laura and Ellevate, register now