“Embracing Cultural Diversity in the Investment Industry” Event

“Embracing Cultural Diversity in the Investment Industry” Event

Author: Amir Daniel Kong


October this year, as a new Student Ambassador transferring from Malaysia, I had the chance to be part of an event themed “Embracing Cultural Diversity in the Investment Industry” co-hosted by the Asia Scotland Institute, CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and Unity (Standard Life Aberdeen).

Pursuing a degree in Business & Finance, this event sparked massive interest in me attending as I would like to gain insight on the prospects of working in the investment industry. Having said that, I feel that I got more than I expected by attending the event.

The keynote speaker Li Yu, CFA, China Specialist and Chair of HSBC China Connect sincerely shared her stories as an ethnic-minority woman climbing up the corporate ladder. Li has worked in many different parts of the world such as Hong Kong and Britain. Working in Britain was a whole new environment for Li as everything was different from the way things work to even the jokes! Even in Asia where she hails, she found it hard to “fit in” due to language and cultural differences.

Li talked about having to work hard in achieving where she is right now as an ethnic minority. She always said to work hard and seize opportunities because no one else will do it for you. Her stories deeply resonated with me as I am also an Asian wishing to establish an international career. As a woman, she also took the opportunity to speak up for women in the industry. To me, the most important thing she said was that regardless of age, gender and race, your hard work should speak for itself.

After the speech, a panel discussion started with four other reputable panellists. Coordinated by Carolina Martinez, Vice-Chair CFA UK Diversity Network and joined by Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director of Close the Gap, Fernando Sanchez, co-Chair of Unity and Andrew Fairbairn, Founder & CEO at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London. Great ideas regarding diversity initiatives and input from the audience with amazing questions created a very fruitful discussion.

After the panel discussion, we adjourned to a networking session which was very interesting as I got to meet amazing people of different backgrounds. The event has been a wonderful experience. I feel that I gained more knowledge on the initiatives of a more inclusive and diverse workforce. There is a very bright future for not only the investment industry but all sectors and I am very much looking forward to it as should everyone else.


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