‘Gender should not be a Business Issue’ - Dian

Thursday, 24 March 2011 00:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Drawing a parallel from the boxing arena to responsible decision making, celebrity corporate leader and Managing Director, MAS Holdings Dian Gomes said “Women mean business; studies show that businesses with women at the top can sometimes be more effective than men-only companies.”

Gomes, as head of an organisation that employs the most number of women in Sri Lanka, was invited to address the female employees of Standard Chartered Bank on International Women’s Day.


Providing inspiration to over 200 of Standard Chartered’s women management cadre, Gomes went on to add that many Sri Lankan women shunned taking on additional responsibilities and were reluctant to move out of their comfort zones and therefore are slow to move up the corporate ladder. When offered Chief Executive positions, women declined in fear of trading off their primary roles as wives and mothers.

When questioned on what he saw as common barriers that prevented women from reaching corporate board levels, he said “confidence to take on additional responsibility” as a key barrier, citing examples.

Using his experience of the many years in supporting and motivating Sri Lanka’s Olympic level boxing team, Gomes delighted the audience by drawing parallels from the boxing arena to responsible decisions and leadership.

Gender diversity and work-life balance is an intrinsic element of Standard Chartered Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda. The bank, which boasts of a female workforce of 48.5%, strives to help women realise their full potential through development and supportive workplace practices, one of which is a Bank-run crèche for its employees.

Standard Chartered PLC is a leading international bank, listed on the London, Hong Kong and Mumbai stock exchanges. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets and earns more than 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years.

With 1,700 offices in 70 markets, Standard Chartered offers exciting and challenging international career opportunities for more than 80,000 staff. It is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. The Bank’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, ‘Here for good’.