The Diversity Dividend

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The Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) recently launched its 2014 Singapore Board Diversity Report.

Focusing on 676 listed companies, covering 4,629 directorships the report found that while Singapore still trails behind the region, we are seeing more diversity in gender, age and ethnicity.

Dr. Marleen Dieleman, Associate Professor and Associate Director for CGIO presenting the key findings. The results showed that a lot more can be done:

– Diverse boardrooms see nearly five times better ROA
– Only 7.7 per cent of SGX-listed boards are diverse in gender, age and ethnicity
– Female representation on SGX-listed boards increases marginally from 7.9 to 8.3 per cent, remains behind region

With evidence that greater diversity pays off for boards, Guest of Honour, Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs calls for companies to re-examine their board selection process and encourages companies to broaden their search beyond their usual social circles. Companies should also explore identifying and grooming board-ready candidates from within, says the NUS Business School alumna.

Setting Up The Perfect Career Match

Accounting Career ServicesAlmost 50 BBA and Accountancy students had the opportunity to meet and network with 20 representatives from six accounting firms at the Accountancy Career Evening held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House on 28 October.

Organised by the School’s Career Services team, in collaboration with Spring Singapore for the second year running, this event brought students face-to-face with the partners, directors and HR personnel of mid-sized accounting firms without having to be short-listed.

The session was mutually beneficial – students learnt of internship and job opportunities while it was also a unique opportunity to promote their corporate brand and gain access to the CVs of participating students. They can also get the support of Spring Singapore to defray the cost of hiring our interns and graduates via their SME Talent Programme.

The participating firms this year were BDO LLP, Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton, Crowe Howarth, PKF-CAP, Moore Stephens and RSM Chio Lim. Representatives from the Singapore Accountancy Commission, Spring Singapore and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) were also present at the event.

“We recruited 7 students from last year’s same event and we have been very impressed by their performance. That’s the reason why we are so eager to participate in this event,” said Lee Mong Sheong, Partner, Audit, RSM Chio Lim.

Structured like “speed-dating,” the group speed interview format saw students interviewed in groups of four to six by two representatives from each company. The group sessions helped put the students at ease and also allowed the companies to shorten the interview process.

“I enjoyed myself tonight and am glad I came for the networking session! The food, ambience and environment were great too. I look forward to such similar events in the future,” said Yong Hui Min, Accountancy student.

The Inside Scoop on Management Consulting

Career Services Talk

BBA, MBA and MSc students drawn by the idea of being a consultant had the opportunity to hear firsthand about the myths and realities about the consulting industry from actual practitioners.

The speakers, who have worked for top consultancies such as Accenture, Bain and McKinsey, shared their life stories, work experiences, and how the being a consultant opened up other business as well as career opportunities.

Organized by the School’s Career Services team, students got a taste of what a typical consulting project was like, as well as received tips on how to get a foot into the industry.

NUS Business, Computing Schools first to offer IBM-Watson Education in the region

IBM signing

 
NUS today signed a partnership agreement with IBM to become the first University in Southeast Asia to offer Watson Cognitive Systems Education. This collaboration will extend cognitive systems activities at NUS Business School and NUS School of Computing through in integrative real-world learning experience based on IBM’s groundbreaking technology.

Watson technology mimics human decision making- scales and democratizes expertise. It processes information like a human by understanding language, generating hypotheses based on evidence and continual learning.

This landmark agreement will allow NUS Business School students to develop business innovations, nurturing a new generation of innovators to bring to life a generation where people and machines work together to resolve business challenges. Students will learn about Watson and its underlying technologies that are required to develop cognitive systems applications. They will then be grouped into project teams to develop prototype applications and a business plan for their industry of choice such as, banking, retail or telecommunications.

“As a leader in education and research in cognitive computing research, NUS aims to groom future-ready students who can harness this combination of science and technology to create innovative products and services,” said NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan. “It is crucial for our students to be able to work with the most cutting-edge systems and technologies, and hence we are truly excited about this partnership with IBM which will enable this through a multidisciplinary and systematic approach.”

Held at Marina Bay Sands, the event was hosted by Janet Ang IBM’s Managing Director for Singapore, and Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore Minister for Communications and Information was the Guest of Honour. Representing NUS were President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, Professor David Rosenblum from School of Computing and Business School’s very own Dean, Professor Bernard Yeung.