Posted on 30/08/2017 by Marie Swarbreck
Meet Gour Ly, Director, Financial Institutions Trade Finance at Commonwealth Bank
Our interview with Gour;
Can you introduce yourself;
I am passionate about being the best person I can be every day and ensuring that I am empowering others so they can do the same – there is room for us all to shine! I also really enjoy trail running.
What are you currently doing to improve gender balance in HK;
I sit on The Women’s Foundation’s Chief Executive Women HK Working Group, which is committed to achieving greater gender balance in, and developing the female talent pipeline for, the financial services industry in Hong Kong.
I am the Chair of CBA HK’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and run our Women’s Interbank Network.
I mentor emerging female talent in AustCham’s Mentor Programme.
In these roles I have found that many women in HK are not naturally conscious of the continued need for the push for gender equality, because inequality is not as stark as it once was. This is an achievement, but equally could set back the further achievements for better gender balance.
What is your opinion on gender equity in HK;
HK requires a local rather than an imported approach to tackling gender equality issues, including the way men are engaged, given the traditional societal and familial expectations that still inform gender stereotypes. Local media and television programs perpetuate these.
There is also a misplaced sense of work ethic that venerates long working hours and shames those (women and men, alike) who would like to have (or take advantage of existing) annual leave, carer’s leave, parental leave and flexible working entitlements.
What changes outside the workforce would you like to see in HK, which could positively impact Gender Equity?
There needs to be more government (policy and regulatory) involvement. It’s telling that the new CE is female but her 16 principal officials are male. While the party line is that the principal officials were chosen for their experience, the all-male line up attests to a pipeline and talent pool dominated by men. It is this very socially engrained tradition that needs to be challenged to the point whereby it is considered ridiculous and not an acceptable excuse.
The media also continues to portray gender stereotypes. Continued consumption of these images can directly and indirectly affect the view of both women and men on gender issues.
Education can play a large role in ensuring that the younger generation embrace gender equity as the norm.