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March 07th, 2021March 07th, 2021
The mission of Mintel’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) is to provide a safe space for employees and their allies to find common ground, express their views, gain insight into existing challenges, and counsel senior leadership.
The focus of the new ERGs in Mintel’s Europe and Asia-Pacific operations is women in business as determined by the employees in each region (our Americas employees are exploring ‘People of Color/Multicultural’). As the ERG Chairpersons for Europe and Asia Pacific, we must say, it is encouraging to see both our senior leadership and employees – women and men alike – taking the steps necessary to create space and provide support for discussion around gender issues, to drive awareness, and improve our own working environments, as well as those in our communities.
At Mintel, we pride ourselves on our people and our culture and we can’t have one without the other. That focus largely contributed to the creation of the ERGs as a vehicle to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of every decision the company makes. Another point of pride for Mintel is our purpose: to help people and businesses grow. This has a direct link to the mission of the ERGs which gives employees a seat at the table and a voice to join the conversation that drives our individual and collective growth. It is both exciting and encouraging to see the impact of the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) (Asia Pacific) and MintELLE (Europe) first hand.
The mission of WIN and MintELLE is to cultivate an inclusive culture that encompasses both female leadership and a support network for female employees. For a start, we aim to provide a safe space for women to share their experiences and challenges, both at work and in their personal life. We also aim to facilitate conversation for anyone interested in participating.
It would be very remiss of the groups not to recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on women in the workplace. There have been numerous studies done on the increasing – and new – demands of women in their home and professional lives as a result of the pandemic. The decisions companies are making now about the future of work and how women are supported in that new narrative could shape the workplace for women for decades to come—for better or worse. This is something we’re very focused on and have committed to providing guidance to senior leaders as they build the plans for our future of work at Mintel.
Women’s Inclusion Network
“Gender equality in the Asia Pacific region is nowhere near perfect. Inequality is pervasive in most countries within the region. The cultural sentiment in parts of Southeast Asia around gender roles is a key hindering factor to gender equality. Having grown up in Southeast Asia and traveled extensively within the region, it is clear to me that deep-rooted cultural and social beliefs against the advancement of women still linger.
“But today’s modern women are challenging norms and stereotypes and demanding greater opportunities for empowerment. They are inspired by more female representation in politics, as well as the increasing number of female business leaders.
“Our goal for WIN is to build a cohesive community that supports, inspires, and empowers women at Mintel. Nothing resonates more than personal stories and the group wants to create a space where women, and their allies, can share their journeys and develop interpersonal and professional skills that lead to growth. I look forward to what WIN will achieve.” – Sharon Kwek
“I will echo what Sharon has said: Gender equality across the European region is not perfect. While the negative cultural sentiments around gender equality are not as strong as they once were, and the ‘glass ceiling’ has been broken many times over, there is still a lack of women in senior leadership roles in many businesses across our region.
“Over the past few years, transparency around Gender Pay Gap reporting, the Me too movement, and consistent proof that a more diverse leadership team provides better financial results has built a strong awareness of what the workplace is missing when women aren’t given a clear path to reach their full potential while also proudly being a mum, sister, aunt, wife, girlfriend, partner, daughter, and friend. We want to create a supportive network where women can unlock their potential and educate the wider workplace on what that means.
“MintELLE is at the start of its journey and it will take everyone’s involvement to make us better, stronger, and more open to understanding a different point of view. I, for one, can’t wait to see how this enhances our already extraordinary company culture.” – Min Wahi
Sharon Kwek is Associate Director, South APAC, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel. Based in Singapore, she provides insights on Asia’s beauty and personal care categories. Sharon serves as the Chairperson of the Women’s Inclusion Network Employee Resource Group.
Minisha Wahi is the Regional Director, UK & Nordics at Mintel. Based in London, she is responsible for managing client retention and growth across the region. Min serves as the Chairperson of the MintELLE Employee Resource Group.