Former DDB executives Karen See and Sharn Bedi (pictured) have set up embrace worldwide, an executive leadership consultancy, to spearhead gender diversity and economic empowerment of women in Asia Pacific.

embrace is a proprietary leadership and diversity management philosophy based on neuroscience and positive psychology. The firm is located in Hong Kong and Singapore.

It is inspired by Harvard Business School’s ‘service profit chain’ and the notion that happy, successful, and diverse employees generate greater value for corporations.

Sharn Bedi, co-founder and former MD of DDB Remedy Asia Pacific, commented: “embrace worldwide was established to assist individuals and companies with achieving gender parity by addressing the visible and invisible barriers women face in leadership.”

Co-founder Karen See, and former chief communications officer at DDB Group Asia Pacific, added: “In our professional lives it means providing women with the tools and inner belief to ‘lean-in’, step up and have the confidence to complement their high competence.

“In our personal lives, this may mean balancing motherhood, relationships and the multiple roles we play each day.”

ALSO READ: 73% of senior execs believe gender equality can be achieved by 2030

In a conversation with Human Resources, Bedi and See shared their recruitment strategy to grow the team.

Bedi shared: “The team is well supported but we have people expansion plans, to help spread the butterfly effect, and ensure attention and action towards greater economic empowerment of women and equality is maintained.”

The “obvious people expansion plans”, she added, are for coaches, to support the expansion of its community.

This is followed by business development and infrastructure support to keep things sailing smoothly in-house.

“Over time we will train up the team to also facilitate workshops. We practice diversity and flexibility, to help greater participation of women, as well as their up skilling.”

ALSO READ: 43% of Millennial women are confident about receiving equal pay at work

Established in July 2015, the co-founders say their first 100 days on the job were all about being flexible.

“We are an organisation designed to give back and create momentum, so the learning has been to be flexible to touch those who need it and want it, whilst moving forward on championing the private sector and the leaders to embrace the needed actions and change,” said Bedi.

Their top tip for leaders looking to create a gender-diverse environment?

“Diversity and equality is everyone’s business. Put skin in the game and make the changes happen. Champion it top down and action it bottom up.”

Bedi and See added that all employees need to be upskilled in the leadership traits and philosophy that makes diversity actionable, given that it is a mindset and behaviour change.

“We, as the private sector, need to drive it – especially in APAC for it to have the butterfly effect through society,” added Bedi.

Image: Provided

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