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2022 Community Business Awards - Judging Panel

Focus Area | Tackling Workplace Inequality
Finalists will be invited to meet with a Judging Panel between 28 March 2022 - 14 April 2022

To maintain the credibility of our 2022 Community Business Awards, we work hard to ensure a robust and objective judging process. This includes the formation of a Judging Panel with representation from senior members of the Community Business team as well as external stakeholders. 

Each Judging Panel comprised of:

  • At least one external expert in the relevant field;
  • One senior executive from the award sponsor, where applicable; and
  • Two senior representatives from Community Business

Responsible and Inclusive Business Awards Judges

All judges listed in alphabetical order by first name

Angelo Calvitto
Head of Asia Pacific
Northern Trust (Sponsor)

Angelo Calvitto is the Head of the Asia Pacific Region for Northern Trust. In this role, he is responsible for the growth and development of the Northern Trust asset servicing businesses that serve institutional clients across the region. 

Angelo has over 30 years global custody services experience and has held positions in operations, investment administration, fund services, relationship management and sales in both Australia and the UK. Angelo joined Northern Trust in June 2008 and was most recently the managing director for The Northern Trust Company in Australia and previously the head of sales for Asia Pacific for Northern Trust’s institutional business. 

Before joining Northern Trust, Angelo was head of sales and account management at ANZ Custodian Services. Prior to ANZ, he worked for State Street in Australia for three years and the UK for five years. 

Angelo holds an MBA from RMIT University. 

Anthony Lin
CEO, Greater Bay Area Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited
Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited (Sponsor)

Anthony Lin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Bay Area in October 2020. 

Prior to assuming his role, Anthony was the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) Limited from March 2017 and responsible for the Bank’s business in Taiwan. Anthony was the President of Bank of America, N.A. China ("BANA China") and Head of Corporate Banking ("CBK"). He was responsible for overall management of BANA China in terms of governance, strategy setting and franchise development. Anthony worked for Deutsche Bank (China) Co. Ltd. as Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Banking Coverage ("CBC") and Head of Trade Finance and Cash Management Corporate ("TFCMC"). 

Anthony has over 20 years of solid experience in the banking industry. Anthony first joined Standard Chartered as a Management Trainee in 1995. He held various positions during his 18-year tenure in Hong Kong and Shanghai. His last position with Standard Chartered Bank was Managing Director, Head of Transaction Banking, China. Other senior positions included Managing Director, Head of Origination & Client Coverage (“OCC”) East China, General Manager of Shanghai Branch covering both consumer and wholesale business plus management of six branches in East China, Director of Business Planning and Strategy for OCC China. 

Anthony was selected as the "Leading Talent in Shanghai" in 2012 by the Organisation Department of Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and received the "Elite Foreign Bank Trade Finance Manager Award" from the Credit Rating Centre, Ministry of Commerce and the "Economy Magazine". 

Anthony holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Computer Science and MBA Degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 

Eric Stryson
Managing Director – Global Services
Global Institute For Tomorrow

Eric Stryson is the Managing Director – Global Services at the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), an independent pan-Asian think tank with offices in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. GIFT is focused on advancing a deeper understanding of global issues including the shift of economic and political influence from the West to Asia, the dynamic relationship between business, society and the state, and the reshaping of the rules of global capitalism.  

GIFT’s bold new approach to executive education is driven by purposeful engagement, honesty inquiry, and the redesign of society to improve quality of life. GIFT’s original methodology has been called an “Innovation in Leadership Development” by the United Nations and been featured in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal.  

Eric has helped to design and facilitate more than 50 experiential leadership programmes in fifteen countries, with more than 2,000 alumni. He has facilitated a range of online and traditionally facilitated programmes,, in public and customised formats, for leading companies including AIA, BASF, CITIC, DBS, FedEx, HSBC, IFC, Marriott, MasterCard, Prudential, Standard Chartered, Swiss Re, Temasek, and many others.  

Eric has worked extensively managing GIFT’s public sector clients including the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Dubai Government, the Central Bank of Malaysia, and various provincial and county governments in mainland China. He has led or been involved in advisory work for the Hong Kong Science Park, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Vocational Training Council and others.  

In addition, Eric facilitates customised outcome-driven workshops for clients, engaging cohorts in intellectually challenging content, as well as practical topics such as Personal Energy & Resilience, Effective communication in multi-cultural teams, the Role of Curiosity & Growth mindsets, and much more. Business projects Eric has developed through GIFT’s field work include rural electrification, circular farming, affordable housing, low-cost medical devices, elderly care, inclusive finance, redefining “smart city,” as just a few examples.  

Eric speaks regularly at local and regional forums including Hong Kong’s Connected Cities, NatGeo Sustainable Cities, Rethink HK, Global Executive Learning, HKUST MBA and others. He writes and speaks on topics related to the shifting regional dynamics, the changing role of business in society and the role of technology.  

His articles have appeared in the South China Morning Post, Singapore Straits Times, ADB Tech for Impact, MO and elsewhere. Before joining GIFT, Eric worked to cultivate multi-stakeholder partnerships between global brand companies and civil society groups in the United States and China. Eric is an alumnus of Stanford University, and has a Masters from Hong Kong University in Buddhist Studies. 

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Freeda Fernandes
Director – APAC Sales, Singapore
Aperian Global

Freeda Fernandes is responsible for Aperian Global’s business growth and client relationships across APAC and has been with Aperian Global for over 10 years. She played various roles for the first two years in Bangalore where she supported clients in leveraging GlobeSmart by collaborating on internal communication and promotional strategies. In her current role she 'practices what she preaches' by applying cross-cultural strategies everyday as she works with clients in Europe, India, South East Asia and Australia.  

Since her move to Singapore and in her current role at Aperian Gobal, Freeda is on the Management Team at Aperian Global driving strategic growth in APAC and for the organization. She manages Sales in the South East Asia market and consults with clients on cultivating inclusive workplaces in a globally consistent and culturally relevant way.  

She partners with large corporates in the areas of Culture, Global Leadership Development, Inclusion and Diversity, Global Mobility and Global Teamwork and strongly believes in the foundation of getting to know oneself, understanding other's perspectives and maintaining an open-mind to learn new ways.  

Prior to Aperian Global, she has worked in Technology and Business Process Outsourcing organizations in Business Development and Marketing roles. She has always held a keen interest in technology and people and continues to be fascinated by both. Freeda has completed her Bachelor's in Industrial Engineering from R.V. College and a Diploma in Business Management from T.A. Pai Management Institute.  

She holds a keen interest in psychology, sociology and mindfulness and enjoys seeing life through the eyes of her young daughter. 

 

Kate Okrasinski
Director
MAKE Studios

Kate Okrasinski is the Director of MAKE Studios, a strategic design consultancy based in Hong Kong. Drawing from her experience as an executive coach and strategic designer, Kate works with organisations to design and drive business transformation, cultural and organisational change programmes. 

As a former top-level athletic coach, Kate's experience helps her to cultivate and drive clarity, confidence, and collaboration at an individual, team, and organisational level - enabling high performance even in adverse environments. She approaches innovation as a verb. Rather than a product or service to be bought or built, she sees innovation as an intrinsic way of being, thinking, and engaging with diverse perspectives in order to deliver holistic value. By blending human-centric disciplines, such as design thinking and service design, Kate helps organisations navigate and solve business challenges. 

Lauríndo García
Director
Inclusively Asia

Laurindo has been a global thought leader on inclusion and social entrepreneurship since 2007. He graduated from Singtel Future Makers in 2018 with a pilot of the Inclusive Business Pledge programme in Singapore. 99.co, Airbnb, Chope, Google, HSBC, J&J and Visa are among the companies who joined the Pledge programme. His vision is for the Pledge programme to produce industry benchmarks on workplace inclusion from an Asia-Pacific lens. His short term goal is for 200 companies in Singapore to sign the pledge by the end of 2023. 

Laurindo has received wide recognition from his industry peers - he was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2015, a Salzburg Global Forum Fellow in 2016 and will be a judge for 2022 Community Business Awards. He has spoken at the United Nations, international forums and shared stages with Nobel Prize winner Dr Françoise Barré-Sinouss and U.S. President Bill Clinton. His clients have included Levi Strauss & Co, Fitbit, Netflix Asia-Pacific, PayPal and Salesforce to name a few.

Pat Gallardo Dwyer 
Founder and CEO
The Purpose Business

Pat Gallardo Dwyer is an internationally-respected sustainability expert, passionate about sharing her 20+ years of experience and leadership to help businesses in Asia thrive through responsible growth. She has guest lectured, spoken and moderated across global platforms including The Obama Foundation, The World Economic Forum, The University of Cambridge, The Climate Competent Boards Certificate Program and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, sharing her insights in sustainability, purpose, leadership and governance.  

Pat is founder and CEO of The Purpose Business, a leading sustainability consultancy which includes Asia's broadest pool of globally-experienced sustainability and business practitioners across industry, academia, NGOs and government. She and her team guide companies to activate purpose, address ESG impacts and scale sustainability responsibly, in order to future-proof their business. They have advised and worked with blue chip companies including MTR, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Marsh Asia, Cathay Pacific, Jardine Matheson, Swire Properties, Universal Robina, Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, and Ayala.    

Prior to founding The Purpose Business, Pat was the ground-breaking first CSR head of Ayala Land where she delivered the company's first GRI sustainability report and LEED certification. She also spent seven years as the first global head of sustainability for the Shangri-La Hotels Group, taking them to the forefront of responsible tourism. Her landmark achievements included banning shark’s fin and developing the company's inaugural ESG report that was recognised by the UN Global Compact and Carbon Disclosure Project, amongst others – making it the only Asian hotel group to feature in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.    

Pat has an MA in Globalisation & Governance and certificates in Transformational Leadership (University of Oxford) and Global Leadership & Public Policy for the 21st Century (Harvard Kennedy School). She is A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a fellow of the Asia Society and the Royal Society of Arts and sits on the board of Enrich, a non-profit pushing for financial literacy of migrant workers in Hong Kong. 

Rob Head
Director, Proposition Lead, Legal Content Solutions, Asia and Emerging Markets
Thomson Reuters (sponsor)

Rob Head is commercially responsible for Thomson Reuters Legal and Tax content portfolios including Westlaw, Practical Law and Checkpoint services from Africa, Russia and Middle East through to Asia, and Australasia and manages diverse teams this region.  Rob is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion in all its forms, and is the Executive Sponsor for Pride at Work in the region.  Rob is also a male-ally to Women@TR and in the wider legal community.  Rob is the 2019 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Champion and an OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leader Role Model 2019 and 2020, and led efforts to achieve the 5th place ranking and Gold Standard in the Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Index. 

Employee Wellbeing Awards Judges

All judges listed in alphabetical order by first name

Amanda Yik
Founder
Shinrin Yoku Hong Kong

Amanda is the founder of Shinrin Yoku Hong Kong, a bilingual award-winning Certified Forest Therapy Guide and the first Asia-based Trainer with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs in the US, as well as an ICF Certified Professional Coach in Transformation. Tapping into her extensive experience in the corporate and NGO sector and drawing from extensive experience in yoga, tai chi and mindfulness practice, she curates, design and deliver highly relevant experiences that support busy urbanites to reconnect with nature. Since 2017, she has guided and facilitated more than 300 forest bathing and nature connection experiences, lectures and workshops in collaboration with the corporate sector, NGOs and educational institutions in Hong Kong. Amanda is frequently cited on local and international media and social media platforms on forest therapy and has spoken at international conferences about applying forest therapy in unique urban environments. 

Hairin Bahren
Founder
WeBarre

Hairin is the founder of WeBarre in Hong Kong. Born and raised in Singapore, she spent 7 years in NYC working in various multinational corporations from finance to retail. Also, as a founder of nature-friendly health and wellness brand, she has scaled exceptional customer experiences and knowledge in holistic wellness before calling Hong Kong as her home. Passionate about physical wellbeing through creating a sense of community, she is always to guide people with their wellness journey and empower them to live their greatest lives. 

Minal Mahtani
Founder and CEO
OCD & Anxiety Support Group Hong Kong

Minal Mahtani is the CEO and Founder of OCD & Anxiety Support Hong Kong, a registered mental health charity (91/16212) dedicated to supporting, educating, coaching and being a resource to adults and teenagers who are affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression and Anxiety Disorders. In addition, she has her own counselling practice, Get Unstuck Ltd. She has received training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy and possesses degrees in both Psychology and Education. She is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Counsellor and a certified Stress Management Yoga teacher (RYT500). In addition, she is the co-author of Amazon’s 2021 Best Seller #Myvoice- a Collective Memoir by Women of Substance. 

As a former anxiety sufferer herself, Minal understands the challenges, stigma and struggles associated with a mental health disorder, making her relatable to other sufferers on both a personal and professional level. Minal counsels individuals with a range of mental health disorders and holds monthly support groups meetings for adults and youth with mental illness providing them with a safe, compassionate, confidential and non-judgmental space to share their fears. Minal conducts mental health workshops in a variety of settings including health clinics, schools, corporates and to disadvantaged/minority communities. She is committed to research in the field of mental health and in 2018 conducted a study which culminated in the publication ‘”State of Mental Health Awareness in HK and well-being in the workplace”.  

Minal is passionate about mental health advocacy and continuously works hard to raise awareness, educate and reduce stigma associated with it in Hong Kong. She is the pioneer of the Green Ribbon Campaign in Hong Kong, which runs in October each year during World Mental Health Month and is an integral member of the mental health community. 

Minal was a nominee for the Women of Hope 2018 award (HK Tatler and HKAF), Women of Influence 2018 award (AmCham Women). Minal received the ‘ HK Woman Entrepreneur ‘award by Citicorp in 2020 , “HK Women of Wellness’ award by Liv Magazine in 2021 and ‘Hong Kong Living’s 50 Top Influencer’ Award in 2021. OCDAHK is a global partner and ambassador of The International OCD Foundation (USA) and is supported by Community Business. 

Vishal Bhargava
Sr Director of Engineering, Core & Client Development Group
Intel (Sponsor)

Vishal is the Executive Sponsor and leader ambassador for Intel India’s Thrive@Intel Mental Health programme. He is the Senior Director in the Client & Core Development Group (C2DG) and runs the Big Core Design Organization in India. He has been with Intel for 22 years in various Technical and Managerial roles, both in US and India. Starting his career in Process P858 he has been part of several generations of Client and Server Processor families, starting from when Intel was in pursuit of its first 1Ghz milestone. He is married with two teenage kids and is a very passionate advocate for breaking stigmas on talking about mental health. 

LGBT+ Inclusion Awards Judges

All judges listed in alphabetical order by first name

Andrea Geat
Co-chair, Credit Suisse APAC LGBTQ+ Open Network
Credit Suisse (Sponsor)

Andrea Geat is a director based in Hong Kong and the APAC Head of the Client onboarding & Life Cycle Management supporting the Investment Bank. Andrea is a seasoned lawyer and has been with Credit Suisse for ten years. All along he has been engaged in the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and actively supports charitable and philanthropy initiatives in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia. Andrea is Co-Chair of the Hong Kong LGBT+ Open Network. 

Ivy Wong
Co-Founder
Diversity and Inclusion Consulting

Since 2015, Ivy has been working with numerous multinational companies in developing their LGBT+ initiatives in Hong Kong, Greater China and APAC. She led the Asia pioneering Hong Kong LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index, which is a benchmarking tool to measure companies’ LGBT+ inclusion effort at the workplace. She has also led an award-winning disability job fair in Hong Kong.  

Relocated to Shanghai in 2017, she has become part of the driving force for LGBT+ workplace inclusion in China. She leads the annual DEI workplace forum and job fair in Shanghai.  

She is the winner of Future Award Leader of American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai and featured as one of the 300 Future Leaders in Tatler's Gent T Asia List. 

Ivy holds MSc Organisational Psychology and Psychiatry at King’s College London and BSc Social Sciences at University of Hong Kong. 

Jerome Yau
Co-Founder
Hong Kong Marriage Equality

Jerome is a seasoned communicator and a strategist. He has broad experience in corporate communications, journalism and public affairs. His involvement in LGBT+ equality spans over a decade, and he is noted for advancing LGBT+ equality collaboratively and inclusively. In 2019, he co-founded Hong Kong Marriage Equality. In addition, he served on the board of AIDS Concern from 2015 to 2021. 

Dr. Marty W. Forth
Coordinator
Rainbow Families of Hong Kong

Dr. Forth has worked for 20+ years in Canada, the USA and Asia as a social worker, non-profit manager and community leader creating and teaching about community programs for children, teens and family formation and maintenance. He currently resides in Hong Kong with his husband Patrick and their 11-year-old son Grayson. Marty was the coordinator of the Rainbow Families of Hong Kong, a social meet-up group for LGBTQ+ people who are currently parents, or who want to be parents. He co-curated the Asia Pacific Rainbow Families Forums in both 2017 and 2018. He also volunteers for Gay Games supporting ongoing relationships between GGHK and Universities or groups looking to research the upcoming games.  

Marty completed his PhD at the University of Hong Kong in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration in June 2020. His thesis research Becoming Fathers: Family Formation by Gay Men in Hong Kong and Taiwan (2020), sought to investigate the phenomenon of gay men become fathers in Hong Kong and Taiwan where family design is highly heteronormative and patriarchal, and where gay male parented families challenge traditional socio-cultural ideals. Currently, Dr. Forth is an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Hong Kong, and is teaching and conducting research on leadership, experiential learning, and social work. More broadly, his research seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of minority, oppressed or excluded populations, particularly as it relates to LGBTQ+ individuals and families and family formation by the same group. 

Mela Habijan
Miss Trans Global 2020

Miss Mela Habijan the first-ever Miss Trans Global. 

A writer by profession, she served as a writer for the Philippines’ largest media conglomerate, ABS-CBN. She has also contributed articles to Rappler, Esquire Philippines, and L’Officiel Manila. She also serves as a mentor to Campus Journalists of CALABARZON on Feature Writing.  

She also takes pride as an actress, representing transgender women on TV and digital media. She made notable performances on GMA 7’s “Asawa Ko Karibal Ko” and iWant’s “Manilennials”. 

An active voice of the Trans Filipina community, she has been championing education on SOGIE and trans identity, forwarding LGBQIA+ rights. She has spoken before the Embassy of Australia, the Embassy of Netherlands, Spark Philippines, Procter and Gamble, IBM, Accenture, GSK, Chevron, McKinsey and Company to name a few. She was also invited to deliver a TED Talk in Nepal and in the Philippines, and served as the host of Metro Manila Pride in 2017 and 2018. 

She is a member of the Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines, We The Youth Vote, Pantay Pilipinas, Love Yourself, and is affiliated with Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Philippine Financial Industry Pride.  

A Communication graduate of Ateneo de Manila University in 2008 (Cum laude), she continues her passion for storytelling as a content creator — producing her digital talk show, “3Some”, her TikTok series “Mahalagang MELAman Mo”, and her Youtube content, “All Things T”. 

She is a Pantene Girl, one of the muses of Beauty MNL, has appeared on Globe and Avon PH commercials,, and has worked with brands like Shell Pilipinas, Colgate, and Nescafe. 

Born, raised, and currently residing in Manila, she’s the eldest of 4 children of Irene and Erico, fond of pop culture, music, movies, and TV series, desires to follow the footsteps of Oprah, and dreams of having a family of her own. 

Sean Williamson
AVP, Head of Asia Data Office and Co-chair of PROUD HK
Manulife (Sponsor)

Sean Williamson is currently AVP, Head of Asia Data Office for Manulife Asia and has been with Manulife for over 20 years. He is also the co-chair of the Hong Kong PROUD chapter the last two years, and an active member of the DE&I community within Manulife. 

Janice Benavidez Pamplona
Talent and DE&I Excellence Advisor
Shell (Sponsor)

Janice Benavidez Pamplona is an accomplished Human Resource leader and trusted business partner with a personal and professional passion for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Janice currently holds the position of Talent and DE&I Excellence Advisor and has been with Shell for over 20 years. Her expertise includes talent management, organisational development and DE&I in local, regional, and global capacities.  

As a senior member of Shell’s Global Talent Strategy and Excellence team, she is jointly accountable for shaping and directing world class talent management and embedding DE&I across Shell. This includes driving its DE&I commitments on gender, race, LGBT+ and enablement under its Powering Lives strategy. Her focus covers leadership in the global DE&I Visual Identity, DE&I metrics and stewarding disability inclusion. Externally, she co-represents Shell in its partnerships with Purple Space, Business Disability Forum and DIAN. Locally, she is the representative to the Philippine Industry-Academe Consortium and has engaged members of the British Chamber of Commerce in the country on DE&I.  

A creative person committed to collaboration and care at home and work, she is married to an Engineering Lead and together they raise their two sons, two dogs and tend a mini vegetable garden outside Manila where they live. 

D&I in India Awards Judges

All judges listed in alphabetical order by first name

Geetha Kannan
Founder and CEO
Wequity

Geetha Kannan is a versatile entrepreneurial leader and a pioneer for the Women in IT movement in India. With over 30 years of global experience spanning business, technology and people, her focus has always been to raise the bar, build teamwork and drive far-reaching impact. Geetha credits much of her progress to learning, opportunities and a supportive environment, and is compelled to make this a norm for all women in tech. Geetha's vision is to holistically provide high quality, integrated and accessible resources to expand equality of outcomes for women and their network supporters in technology. 

Through her career Geetha has taken on growth and change roles in the corporate and nonprofit sector – covering business strategy, operations, sales, marketing, HR, sustainability, diversity and inclusion. She held senior leadership positions with Infosys and ANZ where she powered these companies with technology interventions, innovative practices and leadership development. With her entrepreneurship gene fuelled, in 2013 Geetha moved to head AnitaB.org in India and grew the enterprise manifold in 6 years from <500 to 5500+ coverage of WIT, <10 to 400+ tech organizations participating, and single city to pan India impact for the women's movement in the country. She also elevated women entrepreneurs by developing the WEQ program and built partnership with the Govt. of India (Department of Science & Technology) to provide experiential learning in Silicon Valley. 

Geetha's work on equity for women started back in 2006, where she envisioned and implemented the early stage womenenabling policies and the first ever Women in Tech conference with the sponsorship of Infosys. She then helped move these initiatives to NASSCOM for broader reach, and continued to be actively involved extending her associations to SHRM and CII to further the cause of gender inclusion in the tech industry. Geetha's thought leadership can be experienced through her insightful articles and engaging talks, plus she has been on the judging panel for multiple business awards (GLOMO, Community Business). 

As a B.Com and MBA graduate (gold medallist) from Bharathiar University, and subsequently a trained soware professional, Geetha has consistently 

dedicated herself to being progressive and adding value to all stakeholders. She is a big believer in the power of technology and community-led efforts. Being ambitious and decisive yet balanced and nurturing, aids her innate mentoring style that many strata of leaders have benefitted from over the years. Geetha is committed to using all of her knowledge and capability at every opportunity possible, to promote women and equality for all. 

Jyothi Sivaramakrishnan
Head of People Service Delivery, India
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) (Sponsor)

Jyothi leads the India People Service Delivery function at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and is responsible for Business Partnership and Advisory, HR Operational Service Delivery and driving the people agenda for the location.  

Jyothi has been associated with her company since 1999 and held a variety of senior roles in the business before she switched to serve as a human resources professional during her stint with Thomson Reuters. She led the HR function for the Financial & Risk business at Thomson Reuters and later transitioned to Refinitiv in June 2019 as Head of People Service Delivery till February 2021.  

With nearly 24 years of diverse experience leading large global teams in customer service, operations and now in human resources, Jyothi is passionate about diversity and inclusion and organisational culture. She has been an ardent advocate and sponsor of numerous employee networks and diverse groups throughout her career. She was the sponsor of the Women’s Chapter in her organisation for many years. She regularly mentors upcoming women leaders in the industry.  

Jyothi has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Mumbai University and a Postgraduate Degree in Business Administration from Symbiosis Institute of Management studies. Originally from Mumbai, she is now settled in Bangalore with her family and has a teenage son. She enjoys listening to music and is also trained in Carnatic vocals.  

Kritisha Jain
Research Fellow
Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT

Kritisha Jain is a champion of building an equitable society for women in South Asia, recognized with fellowships at the MIT Legatum Center of Development & Entrepreneurship & the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in 2021. She first started combatting violence against women as the National Coordinator of the Award-winning #IWillGoOut Protest March of January 2017 whose purpose was to negotiate for and reclaim public spaces for women, followed by the #ChalkTheWalk Campaign of 2018 which sought to fight harassment of women through art-led community engagement in India and was profiled in British Vogue. She has combined these experiences with research on building and scaling digital products at MIT to create products and services for the underserved women of emerging markets, most recently a chatbot to counsel victims of intimate-partner violence in India.  

Currently, Kritisha is a User Experience Researcher at MathWorks. She joined MathWorks after graduating with a Master of Science in Engineering & Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston (2019-21) as part of the Integrated Design & Management (IDM) Program. Kritisha also holds a Professional Diploma in Art and Design from Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore. (2012-15) and a BA in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai (2009-12)  

Meenakshi KS
Chief Operating Officer- GBSS
Credit Suisse (Sponsor)

Meenakshi KS is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. As the Chief Operating Officer for Group Business Support Services (GBSS), she is responsible for financial management, service performance management, operational risks and controls, vendor management, workforce planning and business management globally. 

Meenakshi joined Credit Suisse in November 2008 and led diverse portfolios within GBSS and the former Business Delivery Centers. In the last two decades, she has gained extensive experience and expertise in transformation, strategic thinking, innovation and human capital management. Before joining Credit Suisse, she held various leadership roles with Lehman Brothers and Mahindra & Mahindra. She is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion and has championed various signature initiatives for Credit Suisse India such as the Real Returns and Mentoring and Advisory Group (MAG) programmes. She is also an Executive Sponsor of the Get Ability and the LGBT+ Networks in India. She was awarded the Credit Suisse Global CEO Leadership Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2015 for giving back to local communities and has served on the advisory board of Habitat for Humanity India since 2017. 

Meenakshi holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Master’s Degree of Business Administration in Human Resources from the University of Mumbai. 

Rajasekharan Pazhaniappan
Co-founder
V-shesh

Rajasekharan (Raja) is co-founder of V-shesh (www.v-shesh.com), an impact enterprise that he co-founded together with Shashaank Awasthi in 2008. Raja’s prior experience is as a business & development sector practitioner with over 20 years of experience in incubating and leading 

assignments in public & private sector. Raja is an expert member of National & State level committees / working groups on disability policy. He is founding team member of Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India and in the Governing Council member in Vidysagar Special 

School. Raja is an Engineer, MBA, & MS Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, USA. 

V-shesh assists Persons with Disabilities by providing information, training & placement services to access quality jobs matching their talent & aspiration. V-shesh’s trainees work with some of the best employers in sectors like technology, banking, financial services, retail, hospitality, aviation & healthcare. V-shesh works with employers offering a range of support services to progress disability inclusion at workplace.  V-shesh has trained 2000+ job seekers with disabilities and has made 1500+ job connections in the last 3 years. V-shesh has worked with over 100 firms, where it has conducted over 200 disability awareness sessions. In further effort to address downstream issues, V-shesh has partnered with USAID / Millennium Alliance to deliver specialised Bridge English program for students in deaf schools in India & Srilanka to improve educational outcomes & eventually employability outcomes. V-shesh has also partnered with UK AID (DfID / FCDO) in assisting the Government of Gujarat’s Skill Development Mission to build a Centre of Excellence for Disability Inclusive Vocational Education Training. 

V-shesh’s team of 33 members is a picture of diversity with 15 women, 13 Persons with disability and the team being able to converse in 15 different languages! V-shesh’s work in disability inclusion has won several recognitions – most prestigious one being the 2016 National Award from The President of India for Best Placement Agency for Persons with Disability. v-shesh was recognised as the 2017 Social Business of the year by ICICI CNBC, and is listed as Top 10 Diversity Consultant in the Global Diversity List 2015, supported by The Economist magazine. V-shesh was awarded the NCPEDP Shell Helen Keller Award in 2013 for Workplace Disability inclusion and NCPEDP Mphasis Award for Universal Design in 2014.

Smita Menon
Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Talent Development, Human Capital Management, India
Goldman Sachs (Sponsor)

Smita Menon is the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Talent Development efforts within Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs Services in India, based in Bengaluru. Smita re-joined Goldman Sachs in 2020, after her previous stint till 2019 as a Vice President in the Goldman Sachs University, leading the learning & development team for India. In a career of over 18 years, Smita has held global roles across talent management and development functions in a variety of organisations. Smita earned a Master’s Degree in personnel management and industrial relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She is an ICF accredited coach, a student of Psychotherapy, and holds a keen interest in the space of mental health. 

Suhail Abbasi
Co-Founder & Chairperson
The Humsafar Trust

Suhail Abbasi is a media professional with over 25 years of experience across print, films, television & digital platforms. He holds a Master's degree in Visual Communication from IDC, IIT Bombay.  

In 1990, he co-founded BOMBAY DOST - India's first registered LGBTQIA+ magazine. He's also the Co-Founder & Chairperson of The Humsafar Trust. He was one of the petitioners in the fight against Sec 377. Suhail has been a mentor for budding journalists and film-makers through LIKHO Citizen Journalism Workshop and Media Fellowship Programmes. He also conceptualised and conducted STUDIO DHANAK - A Screen Writing Workshop to train young, emerging LGBTQ+ story writers and filmmakers.  

Suhail also works as a 'proud and out' independent media professional. He has propogated diversity and inclusion in many corporates he has worked with. He has also written & directed a short film COVER STORY which highlights the way to deal with your sexuality at workplace. 

Community Business Judges

All judges listed in alphabetical order by first name

Peter Sargant
Chief Executive Officer

Peter Sargant is Chief Executive Officer of Community Business, a Hong Kong based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing responsible and inclusive business practices. 

Peter joined Community Business following a short career break, prior to which he was an Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank. Throughout his career, Peter has been a dedicated diversity and inclusion (D&I) advocate and a champion for minority groups. As a founding member of Standard Chartered Bank’s D&I Council in Hong Kong, Peter was instrumental in establishing the Hong Kong LGBT+ Interbank Forum. Peter has had a long association with Community Business, participating in the Community Business Leadership Team (later known as the Responsible Business Network), the Diversity and Inclusion in Asia Network (DIAN) and the Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Index and Awards, since their inception, and has become a recognised speaker and advisor on D&I issues within the workforce. 

Peter worked for Standard Chartered Bank for 23 years, across the consumer, wholesale and investment banking businesses in Asia, with his final role as Executive Director, Employee Banking Sales, Corporate Partnerships, within Group Retail Banking. Peter was born in the United Kingdom, but has been a Hong Kong resident since 1997.

Peter’s D&I and responsible business accolades include:

• Member of the Standard Chartered D&I Council in Hong Kong for 12 years

• Brand Ambassador for Standard Chartered’s ‘Here for Good’ global brand campaign

• Co-founder and co-Lead of Standard Chartered’s LGBT+ Affinity Network in Hong Kong

• Founding member representing Standard Chartered in the Hong Kong LGBT+ Interbank Forum

• Trainer for the Standard Chartered ‘Living with HIV’ peer education and training programme

• Member of the initial Advisory Board of OUTLeadership for Hong Kong from 2012 to 2016

• Board Member, Vice Chair, Fundraising Strategy Committee Lead, and Chair of Annual Gala Dinner Event Organising Committee of AIDS Concern (Foundation) Ltd during 2003-2006 and 2015-2018

• Member and Vice Chair of Urban Light’s International Board – from October 2017 to date. Urban Light is a Thailand based NGO devoted to empowering at risk boys and men to live a life outside of the grasp of human trafficking

• Central Committee Member of Pink Alliance Hong Kong from 2010 to 2016

• Winner of Community Business’ 2017 ‘LGBT+ Unsung Hero’ Award - APCOM Corporate Ambassador from 2017 to date

• Amnesty International – Carnival Event Ambassador 2017

Janet Ledger
Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer as a member of the Executive Leadership team, contributes to the overall strategic direction and sustainability of Community Business as a not-for-profit organisation. Responsibilities include executive leadership of all operational functions including Marketing and Communications, Change Management and HR, Employee Engagement & Culture, Finance, Legal and Compliance, Technology and Infrastructure. In addition she has leadership oversight of our number of our key programs including Gender, LGBT+ and Employee Wellbeing.

Prior to joining Community Business Janet has built a successful career as a senior leader most recently with Telstra International in Hong Kong, covering a broad range of disciplines and functions including strategic business planning and performance, programme management and delivery, corporate governance, change management, organisational effectiveness and talent development. She also has experience in the Travel, Tourism, Training and Hospitality sectors. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Janet and her husband call Hong Kong home.

Janet believes organisation is only as strong as its people. She has helped teams get where they want to be by working with people, opening channels of communication, developing and retaining the right talent and ensuring an inclusive environment where creativity and collaboration can thrive.

With over 35 years work experience Janet is continuing her learning by undergoing study towards a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences through Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is an alumni of The Women's Foundation Mentoring Program.

Andrew McGregor
Director, Organisation Capability

Andrew is Director, Organisation Capability, based in Australia and regularly commutes to Hong Kong to work with the team. He is responsible for further developing people systems and processes, as well as providing internal training and coaching.

As a member of the Executive Team, Andrew brings the skills and experience of over 25 years as a human resources practitioner.  He has previously held roles in multinational corporations for their talent, diversity and inclusion (D&I), and capability agenda in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Andrew was a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Asia Network (DIAN), along with contributing to Community Business in a variety of pro-bono roles such as conference speaker / moderator, establishing the Community Builders network and chairing the DIAN Advisory Council.

A graduate of the University of Tasmania, Andrew holds a Bachelor degree in Arts and Master degree in Social Science. He is native in English.

Sandhya Manoj
Country Head, India

Ms. Sandhya Manoj is responsible for Community Business’ overall business strategy in India, with a mission to lead, inspire and support organisations and individuals to bring about positive impact and social change. The role is also to reinforce Community Business’s position as a leader in responsible and inclusive business practices and differentiate our offering, particularly in the areas of diversity and inclusion and employee wellbeing.

Prior to Community Business, Sandhya worked as CEO of Foundation For Excellence India Trust, an NGO and was responsible for all aspects of the Trust’s operations in India, in addition to providing support to FFE-USA in certain areas. Her role was to guide overall strategy, finance, people development, new initiatives, and donor management.

With experience of more than 30 years, Sandhya has worked both in large corporations, not for profit (NGO) and start-ups in the areas of sales, operations, HR, training and general management. She has built processes, worked with diverse teams, created organisation structures, work flow processes across departments besides creating a remote mentoring platform. In her earlier stint as founder of Teamworx Consulting, she was involved in hiring of senior talent and mentoring them. She has also worked as a consultant HR head to a VC firm, where she was involved with APD (Association of People with Disability), creating training modules leading to employment. She was also a highly successful sales manager for Monster.com in the earlier stages of her career.

Sandhya is a certified trainer and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certified by the International Coach Federation. She is passionate about people development and has mentored or coached a number of youngsters. As a trained advanced facilitator, she has also been involved in building teams, especially with focus on customer orientation, bringing value to client organisations.

Emily Moss
Head of Social Impact

Emily is Head of Social Impact at Community Business. She is responsible for driving and developing strategy around community impact: how the organisation is perceived in and engaging with current thought leadership and market trends in CSR, DE&I and Employee Wellbeing. Emily oversees the Marketing & Communications, Research and Events teams at Community Business. 

Emily began her career in London at a boutique international development consultancy that partners with global NGOs and government agencies to establish development strategies, and monitor projects across the world. Prior to joining Community Business, Emily worked at a global advertising agency in both Shanghai and HK, managing international banking and entertainment accounts. She has also worked at an NGO in Hong Kong, focusing on donor development and major fundraising initiatives.

A graduate of Bristol University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, Emily holds a Master of Science in Violence, Conflict & Development. She is native in English.

Aparna Banerji
Senior Manager, Business Development

Aparna is Senior Manager of Business Development. She is mainly responsible for business development and strategy of networks, research, programmes and training and consulting. Aparna has worked with a range of MNCs in Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia, across the consulting services and not-for-profit sectors. In her previous role at Community Business, Aparna co-authored several of our publications including Women on Corporate Boards 2010, Bringing Out the Best in Asian Talent 2011, Creating Inclusive Workplaces for LGBT Employees in India – A Resource Guide for Employers 2012. She is also a regular speaker and contributor at various Diversity and Inclusion events and forums around the Asian region.

A graduate of University of Mumbai, India, Aparna holds a Bachelor degree of Commerce and Economics. She is fluent in English.

Dimuthu de Silva
Senior Manager, Consulting & Training

Dimuthu de Silva is the Senior Manager of Consulting & Training at Community Business. He is responsible for consulting, training design and delivery, client relationship management and the daily operations of the C&T team.

Prior to joining Community Business, Dimuthu was a consultant in Learning & Development and HR, with over 12 years in banking, financial technology, KPO and BPO, hotels & tourism and education industries. He has experience in end-to-end learning design and delivery, HR systems delivery, general consultancy and policy development around people, culture and organisational development. He is also an active researcher in social inclusion, representation and participation of marginalised communities and speaks at conferences and forums frequently. Dimuthu was born and raised in Sri Lanka and completed his higher education in Malaysia. He has worked in Sri Lanka and the South Asian and APAC region on assignments. He has been passionate about diversity and inclusion from a young age, as well as early career years at HSBC, with Employee Resource groups and D&I initiatives.

Dimuthu has an MBA in International Business from Anglia Ruskin University, MSc in International Development Management from University of Nottingham and also, a certified TESOL/TEFL trainer. He is also an accredited DiSC trainer from Wiley and Sons, USA. He is a member of and a Senior Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM – SCP), USA and also an Associate Member of Association of Human Resource Professionals (AHRP), Sri Lanka. Dimuthu is fluent in English and Sinhala.

Juju Jang
Senior Programme Manager, Employee Wellbeing

Juju joined Community Business as Operations Manager and is now Senior Programme Manager of Employee Wellbeing. Prior to joining Community Business in 2019, Juju had worked for various MNCs from financial organisation to IT and marketing industries specialised in corporate strategies, organizational development, and project management across Asia​

Juju is also a seasoned professional in holistic wellness consulting with a master’s degree in counselling psychology and years of hands-on experiences in wellness industry​. Juju developed and facilitated workshops for psychological & emotional wellbeing and is a trained practitioner of Motivational Interviewing method. She is a member of Hong Kong Professional Counseling Association (HKPCA) and worked as a pro-bono counselor with a local NGOs to support ethnic minorities in HK​

She is native in Korean, fluent in English and experienced in delivering Diversity & Inclusion training in both languages​

Scot Jones
Programme Manager, LGBT+

Scot is Programme Manager, LGBT+, based in Hong Kong. He is mainly responsible for the development, implementation and management of the LGBT+ Mentoring Programme. Scot is the researcher and co-author of LGBT+ Mental Health in the Workplace in Asia and he designs and delivers diversity trainings for clients.

Prior to joining Community Business, Scot worked as Diversity & Inclusion Advisor and volunteered for two NGO’s in Hong Kong focused on social justice and gender equality.

Prior to relocating to Hong Kong in 2015, Scot had over 20 years as an entrepreneur and HR Generalist in the US and Canada. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Psychology and is native in English. He uses He/Him/His pronouns.

Shankri Silmula
Programme Manager, LGBT+ 

Shankri is a DIAN India Programme Manager, based in Bangalore. She drives the LGBT+ Inclusion at workplace programmes and policy interventions, as well as designing and delivering consultancy trainings for clients in India on LGBT+ diverse topics.

Shankri is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Expert, with more than 10 years experience working in Health and LGBT+ rights with Community Based Organizations, INGOs, United Nations and the Private Sector in India and the South Asia region. She has designed and executed various donor driven programs for LGBT+ people and other marginalised communities to deliver health and policy interventions. A well-recognised community leader and an inspirational speaker on the issues of LGBT+ and intersectional diverse topics such as race, religion, generations and multiculturalism.

A trained professional in social entrepreneurship and mass media, Shankri is well versed in English, Hindi, Marathi and Telugu. Shankri uses she/they pronouns.