Karen Loon is a Non-Executive Director, and a former senior Big 4 partner. She has worked with the world’s leading banks and is a recognised thought leader and speaker on workplace diversity and inclusion – inspired partly by her own experiences in Australia. “What really struck me was that I was sitting in boardrooms or sitting in meetings, where there was pretty much I was the only Asian in the room, let alone an Asian Australian woman in the room,” Karen tells Claire in this episode. She was formerly PwC’s Singapore and Asia-Pacific Diversity Leader and a member of its award-winning Global Diversity Leadership Team.
A fourth generation Asian Australian who grew up in country music mecca Tamworth in northern NSW, has qualifications in system psychodynamics and governance from INSEAD, and research interests in identity work and organisational change. Her book Fostering Culturally Diverse Leadership in Organisations, features case studies or lessons from those who smashed the bamboo ceiling.
In this interview with Claire Karen talks about what we can learn from leaders who smashed the bamboo ceiling and how critical C Suite and other leaders are in creating, changing and challenging culture within an organisation and why board chairs and directors need to think more openly about the benefits of diversity on their boards.
As she says: “To create the most effective boards or organisations you also need environments that encourage innovation, courage, agility, and those things may not happen if people are scared”.
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