Gibraltar BSN Holds First International Women's Day Celebration08 Mar 2019
Kuala Lumpur, 8 March 2019 – The training hall at Gibraltar BSN Life Berhad’s (“Gibraltar BSN”) office was brimming with energetic laughter and chatter as female employees of the life insurer excitedly gathered in their vibrant purple outfits to celebrate International Women’s Day (“IWD”) for the first time in their new Home Office at KL Eco City, Bangsar.
Joining the global community in celebrating the fight for gender equality, the half-day celebration was filled with fun games and self-improvement talks designed to empower female employees. The main highlight of the celebration was the much-anticipated panel session on “Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for Change” by three dynamic female leaders from Gibraltar BSN: Ms. Susan Ong, Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Yap Suat Yen, Chief Partnership Officer, and Ms. Vanissa Daniel, General Counsel.
Speaking on the need for women to always think of themselves as equals in the workplace, Gibraltar BSN’s General Counsel, Ms. Vanissa Daniel, urged the women-only audience to step up, saying, “Working women need to remember that a lot of us are experts in our own field and that we have a lot to contribute because our thoughts matter. This means that we deserve to take a seat at the table, literally and figuratively. We must step up and step up again every day.”
Echoing her sentiments heartily, Gibraltar BSN’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Susan Ong, added that it is important to remember that learning never stops and that women must first empower themselves. “If you want a seat at the table, you must first empower yourself with knowledge. Take ownership of your own progress and be proud of what you can offer,” she said passionately.
During the lively and engaging panel session, the female employees took the chance to ask tough questions and hear frank advice first-hand from their leaders. One popular question that came up over and over again was how to strike the perfect work-life balance. Ms. Yap Suat Yen, Chief Partnership Officer of Gibraltar BSN and mother of 3 children, shared that she too had to miss out on many important milestones of her children’s lives. But she stressed that “There’s never a perfect balance. You just need to do your very best and be happy with that. When you are with your family, spend real quality time with them and put the phone away!”
Delivering the closing remarks for the session, Mr. Rangam Bir, Gibraltar BSN’s President, and Chief Executive Officer stated that the celebration was in honour of the women of Gibraltar BSN as they make up more than 63% of the workforce with 50% of women holding managerial positions. Reinforcing his ongoing commitment to ensure that all female employees continue to enjoy equal access to opportunities, he said that, “Greater engagement and integration of our female employees is key to unlocking the full potential of Gibraltar BSN as a high performance organisation that protects the dreams of Malaysians everywhere.” Much to their surprise, Mr. Rangam Bir also personally handed out desk-plants to all the female employees in attendance as a token of appreciation.
In the weeks leading up to International Women’s Day, a company-wide contest was held for employees to write about the most inspirational woman in their lives. With over 50 submissions received, the prize giving session was also held during the celebration.
Gibraltar BSN, one of Malaysia’s fast growing life insurance companies, remains committed to ensuring that their diversity continues to thrive by supporting all their employees and by providing an encouraging work environment bolstered by policies to promote work-life balance. For example, female employees enjoy Flexi-working hours, mother-friendly facilities at the office, and now, an enhanced three-month paid maternity leave.