Undertake proprietary annual research across Asia to identify conditions that must be achieved for gender parity by 2030.
Create a manifesto of nine actions in the next 9 years for an equitable workforce for our daughters and sons.
Leverage scale media platforms for broad influence and reach.
Challenge and support stakeholders to pledge commitment to the nine actions in 9 years.
Operate as a not for profit, mobilising corporate, government and academic partners.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, NBCUNIVERSAL INT'L NETWORKS APAC & IMD, USA
APRIL SWANDO HU
FOUNDER, SWANDO COMPANY & DIRECTOR, ZIGEN FUND
FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNER, FOOD PANDA APAC
CHENG YEW KENG
LEGAL & CORP. SERVICES MANAGER, EAST MARINE
CO-FOUNDER, TOWARD COACHING
RD, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TBWA APAC
CONSULTANT, DELOITTE CONSULTING
DIRECTOR, 17 LIFEWORKS
GLOBAL HEAD OF RESEARCH, KADENCE INTERNATIONAL
STEWARDSHIP ASIA CENTRE
NUS - NBCUNIVERSAL
PENA de Leon
Christine, working over 30 years in Asia, manages NBCUniversal International Networks’ businesses including television, video-on-demand and digital platforms across Asia Pacific. She is also the Managing Director of IMD, a leading distributor of multicultural video services, overseeing their U.S. business. Her remit includes P&L oversight and operations for brands including Universal TV, E! Entertainment, The DreamWorks Channel, Bravo and Chinese entertainment, Jubao, as well as distribution for CNBC and Sky News.
Previously, she was CEO, ClickThings, a New York-based technology company, VP, Brand Management, Turner Entertainment, and Managing Partner of DDB Needham/Product Creation, for the Omnicom Group. She has served on boards of The Asia Video Industry Association, Asian Academy Creative Awards and Film Aid Asia as well as NBCUniversal companies. She is co-lead for Harvard’s WomenExecs on Boards in the Asia Pacific region.
Christine forged a career as a corporate leader while raising three children at a time where there was little accommodation in the workplace for the challenges of family and societal demands on women. In co-founding NINEby9 she aspires to a vision that her daughters and son enter a workforce which offers equal opportunity, regardless of gender.
Christine has a degree in Economics from University of Western Australia and completed an Executive Education at Harvard Business School in Finance and Women on Boards. She loves forest hiking with friends.
Born and raised in California, April focuses on how to leverage technology to offer affordable and transcendent experiences. A Chinese-American from a long lineage of educators, she has lived in Asia for over 30 years and travelled to over 60 countries. Comfortable in both Asian and Western environments, she has managed and mentored regional start-up NGOs and established multinationals such as IBM, Honeywell, McKinsey, Zigen Fund, and NextEd.
A thread through her life is innovative education programs. Projects range from developing Asia’s largest distance-learning MBA program, to starting-up a global online alliance of 10 universities, to three decades of involvement in supporting rural education in China impacting 130,000 girls. She is currently involved in sustainable solutions in Southeast Asia and Greater China which include disruptive action projects include hydrogen fuel cells to team leadership development with Virtual Reality (VR).
April is currently based in Singapore and co-founded NINEby9 in 2020 to cascade strategic action for gender parity for sweet-spot working women in Asia. Women in management is good business and Eastern and Western balance is even better business. April holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Yale and MBA from Stanford. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese, loves ocean paddling, and has four children.
APRIL SWANDO HU
Joanna is part of the APAC team for Food Panda managing 8 countries for the Global Food Solutions team. Before joining Food Panda, Joanna worked for a healthtech startup involved in day-to-day finance operations and fundraising and spent 4 years at PwC working at the Singapore and Myanmar office.
Joanna is a firm believer of women empowerment and is a member of the Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC) in Singapore. She is part of the flagship mentorship program as a mentee and is currently paying it forward by participating in a mentorship program with ITE as a mentor to other young women.
Joanna graduated with a double degree, Bachelor of Accountancy and Business Management from Singapore Management University (SMU) and was an SMU Scholar.
CHENG YEW KENG
Yew Keng oversees the legal and corporate functions of East Marine, a specialist marine engineering and construction company in Singapore. He started his career in dispute resolution and ventured into the corporate world to prevent disputes from arising in the first place.
He has experience with a wide spectrum of industries, from traditional entrenched triad of construction, real estate and mining, to the exciting experimental world of fintech. He is now in the marine & offshore sector where he hopes to be settled given the special place he has in his heart for the sun, the sand, and the sea.
Yew Keng has a BA from the National University of Singapore and a LLB from the University of Southampton. He advocates for a society where every individual has the equal opportunity to apply themselves to their full ability, regardless of their background.
He is proud to be able to play a part in making this a reality, and hopes to be able to see a truly meritorious world with no discrimination in his lifetime and also the ability to enjoy interplanetary recreational travel.
Akshita is a co-founder and partner at Toward Coaching based in Singapore. Akshita was recently part of the APAC leadership team at Airbnb heading Strategy and Business Operations for APAC and prior to that led Digital Partnerships for Bain APAC and drove large client account management for Facebook India.
Akshita is a leadership and effectiveness coach and facilitator. She is a Coactive coach, an NLP Master Practitioner and a design thinking and agile trainer. She is also a neuroplasticity and adult learning enthusiast and has conducted workshops at General Assembly, New Campus, Essec Business school, YWLC, Women.who.code and SMU in Singapore.
Equality and fairness are core values for Akshita and to her gender parity is a critical part of creating fairness in society. She holds an MBA from the Stanford GSB.
Dan heads business development and marketing for the TBWA\ Group Asia Pacific agencies across the region. Based in Singapore for over 19 years with the network, Dan’s experience spans agency leadership, network client leadership and leading the TBWA\ Groups key specialist disciplines including the recent launch of TBWA\ Worldhealth in Asia.
Strategic by nature, his 25+ years agency experience has covered many key industries including FMCG, Drinks, Retail, Property, Automotive, Education, Healthcare, Financial Services, Airlines and Travel & Leisure. He has been responsible for winning numerous high profile new business wins and has been a TBWA\ pirate and is a regular keynote presenter and awards judge. He also leads a number of key thought leadership programs driven from the TBWA\ Edges platform including the Disruptor Series talks in Singapore attracting many world class speakers to wide acclaim.
Dan’s passion for giving back has seen him become a strategic advisor to a number of NGO’s and social impact organisations that has led him to be part of the founding team of the NINEby9 collective. Ultimately he believes that Gender Parity in all organisations can only lead to better business. Outside of work he loves adventure travel, eating out and running and also keeps busy as co-owner of a well established health and wellness business in Singapore called Balanced Living & The Living Cafe.
Mae Loon is a communications expert with a demonstrated success working across product marketing, brand positioning and strategic communications functions in the financial sector. Ms Loon is the Regional Head of Communications (APAC) at Swiss Re.
She has held appointments in investment management at UBS, corporate communications at Franklin Templeton, and VP of strategic marketing and communications at DBS Bank. She was also a broadcast journalist with BBC (London and Singapore) and a news producer at CNBC Asia. Her expertise lies in Crisis Management, Strategic Communications, Media Relations, Marketing, Branding and Social Engagement.
Ms Loon is personally researching the impact of philanthropy versus social impact investing, diversity and early childhood education, and volunteers with young children and her two daughters. She is also a board director at Equal, a Singapore based charity with Institution of Public Character (IPC) status that offers animal-based therapy (equine, cat and dog) to youth, persons with special needs, families and the elderly with clinical depression and dementia, serving 600 beneficiaries every year from schools, children's homes, nursing homes and other social service organisations.
James is Director at 17 LifeWorks and co-Founder of Omne|WX. Both companies are geared to supporting sustainability and consumer-driven workplaces post-COVID.
James recently left Goldman Sachs where he worked in various client engagement roles for 14 years. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he worked for Hyatt Hotels in Tokyo. James is a Real Estate and Corporate Services management professional with extensive leadership experience across financial services and luxury hospitality in North and South Asia.
James is passionate about gender parity and women empowerment and is committed to helping NINEby9 to achieve its objectives. He and his wife Hazuki have two children.
James holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College and a number of lifelong learning certifications, primarily in sustainability and financial management. He enjoys practicing yoga, outdoor sports and all kinds of cooking adventures.
Philip is a research professional with 15 years’ experience having worked in Europe and Asia. Currently he heads up the regional Asian hub for Kadence. Equally experienced with quantitative and qualitative research methods, he has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, on some of their toughest and most strategic questions.
He has been in Singapore for 10 years. Having moderated in UK, US, Singapore Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia (whilst viewing groups all over the world) he has a depth of knowledge about what makes consumers tick. Philip has spoken at multiple conferences, was instrumental in Kadence winning Agency of the Year in 2019 and 2020 & has co-authored a book on the effective use of workshops in business.
He is passionate about showcasing the impact that research can have - not only from a commercial standpoint - but also for social causes. As a father to both a daughter and son he firmly believes in the spirit of gender parity. Philip has a BSc in Business Studies and an MA in Research and Consultancy from Lancaster University. He is a keen sports enthusiast, with golf and rugby his 2 main passions.
Valesca is a technical consultant specialising in user experience, content and design. Following her passion for creating a better digital experience for users, she joined Accenture and subsequently Deloitte. Her expertise lie in uncovering insights, drawing and materialising end-to-end customer journeys for energy, healthcare, government and public sectors.
Prior to consulting, she was with Publicis, Ogilvy and Dentsu networks as a regional account director. She led 360 marketing, communications and brand campaigns across APAC and became one of the youngest to fulfil the role.
Parity, and specifically towards gender, is what she believes has allowed her to grow personally, academically and professionally. She realised that it was not the mainstream norm as of recent, and still is not for most parts of Asia. Equality needs to be fought for and that’s why she’s in this journey with NINEby9.