Teresa Yu is the Head of Business Risk Management at an International Singapore Banking Group. In this role, Teresa works closely with the Business and is responsible in leading the team in overseeing the bank’s business risk function.
Is diversity important to you? Why is it important?
Yes, I’ve come to notice that diversity is quite important, not just within specific teams or departments, but the company as a whole. There is a wealth of research which says that diverse teams perform better because each team member brings a different perspective to the table, which creates dialogues and challenges the status quo.
Which one factor has helped you the most throughout your career?
I would say a can-do mentality, but the ability to listen to others is also important.
Do you have a mentor or role model in your career and what’s the value in having a mentor?
Definitely yes in my previous roles, I have many, but they are now more trusted advisors than mentors. We have built lifelong friendships outside of work, and they continue to provide guidance, not just on day-to-day working, but also from a personnel perspective as well.
Do you have any advice for working mums on how to progress and succeed?
In order to get the right balance, it’s important to listen to the kids about school activities, and strictly comply to family time – not doing any work at the weekends at all, put it aside and spend time with the kids! On a daily basis, I would rather sleep less and make sure I see them before school. I have three daughters, one is 21, one is 15 and the youngest is 11. They are all still very close to me, despite one studying abroad.
Do you think that your gender has ever hindered you or blocked any career progression?
I don’t think so at all. In terms of my previous roles in developing the platform for the bank, there has always been more of a focus on talent, competence, and attitude, rather than things like gender. I would say it’s more about my capability and delivery of work than anything.
What is the main thing you’ve seen in any organisation that works from a diversity point of view or that enables women to progress?
You have to start with team culture and leverage from that. I don’t think we should necessarily focus on female or male, but the culture should have a balanced view as a whole, so that all voices are heard, and that’s the way people progress and bring the company success. Once people are at the table, it’s important that there is an inclusive environment where they can share their thoughts and perspectives. It requires effort from the whole team to maintain open and respectful communication.
What’s your advice to leaders who want to create a more diverse and inclusive culture?
Always stay modest, because no one is perfect. Success is down to the contributions of multiple team members, so make sure you listen and give them a chance to develop their own careers and this will ultimately benefit for the company itself.