An Insider’s Perspective on Asia Pacific

It’s almost here. Our first Asia Pacific TEAM Program gets underway May 21st in Singapore.

The hands-on involvement and input of our APAC Regional Director, Em Roblin, makes me confident that TEAM will be spot on in meeting the very specific requirements of both organizations operating in Asia Pacific and their talented women.

Em has been in the region for over 10 years working on gender and diversity projects for a wide range of multi-national and regional organizations, as well as for government entities. She has engaged with thousands of career-minded women and their organizations. As a result, Em brings to the table a hard-to-duplicate combination of expertise: knowledge of the region with all of its complexities coupled with an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that organizations in Asia Pacific and their female talent face.

A Few Examples of Em’s Invaluable Insider Perspective—In Her Own Words

  • “The Asian continent is vast and diverse and is home to many of the world’s most dynamic and fast growing economies. It’s a fascinating, compelling and frustrating environment all at once. And that’s precisely why I’ve chosen to live and work here.
  • When we look at some of the specific challenges that must be overcome by career-minded professional women across Asia and specifically in Singapore and China (where we’re launching our first programs in the region), many are similar to the US. For example: developing a strong network of mentors and sponsors, being perceived as assertive (yet likeable), balancing work and life, just to name a few. But there are clearly differences as well.
  • Let’s look at a few major differences between Western business culture and some of the cultures in Asia Pacific countries:
    • o Flexible work policies have been less successful in China. The one child policy and the availability of multi-generational relatives to help with child care make working at home unrealistic for most mothers. Additionally, flexible hours can be viewed as slacking off in a culture that values hard work.
    • o On the other hand, organizations in Singapore have embraced work flexibility creating cultures where women can successfully work from home with positive results.
    • o Across the globe, opportunities to share and learn from each other are essential if talented women are to advance to the highest corporate levels. Achieving this kind of needed community can be especially challenging in AsiaPac. Take China for example, which ranks as one of the lowest trust societies in the world, according to Hofstede’s Cultural Theory. Given this predisposition to “not-trust,” the TEAM program becomes especially important. It creates a safe, women-only environment were talented females can share their strengths and weaknesses and develop networks and mentors they can leverage throughout their careers.
  • I am so looking forward to our launch of the two TEAM programs in Singapore and Shanghai, where we see a real hunger among early career women to learn and grow and among their organizations to enjoy the tangible benefits of diversity at their highest levels.”


We will be posting more about Asia Pacific after our programs are launched. In the meantime, if you would like more information regarding our TEAM initiatives in the Asia Pac region please contact myself or Em Roblin.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi

President and CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.