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International Women’s Day 2024: Interview with Barry Sum

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering & Consultancy:

Asia Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) CEO, Barry Sum Shares His Perspective on International Women's Day 2024

International Women’s Day is a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to improving women’s equality. On this significant day in 2024, we had the privilege of discussing with Barry Sum, the CEO of AIS, a leader in the traditionally male-dominated fields of engineering and consultancy within the construction industry. Here is what he had to share.
Q1. How does AIS observe International Women's Day, given the specific challenges in the engineering and consultancy fields?

International Women’s Day is a powerful reminder of the work we still need to do in the engineering and consultancy sectors to achieve gender balance. At AIS, we use this day to celebrate the strides we’ve made while recognising the barriers women still face in our industry. It’s a day when we recommit to dismantling these barriers and championing an inclusive environment where women’s contributions are recognised and valued equally.

Q2. Given the male dominance in your industry, what specific initiatives has AIS implemented to encourage gender diversity?

Aware of our industry’s challenges, AIS has been proactive in cultivating a more gender-diverse workforce through various initiatives. One of our key efforts includes our active involvement in industry-wide forums that focus on gender diversity, allowing us to both learn from and contribute to broader conversations about inclusivity. Additionally, our Young Professional Circles (YPC) are predominantly led by women, further illustrating our commitment to this cause. Our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture is unwavering. We actively engage in career fairs and university talks, with a focused effort on attracting talented women to become part of our team.

Q3. How do you, as a male leader, personally contribute to promoting an inclusive culture in such a male-dominated field?

Leading by example is crucial. I actively participate in our diversity and inclusion initiatives and to ensure that our leadership team reflects the diversity we aspire to achieve. Mentorship is another key area where I’m involved, offering guidance to the next generation of female leaders and colleagues within AIS. It’s about creating a culture where everyone, regardless of gender, feels valued and empowered to contribute their best.

Q4. What message do you wish to convey to your peers in the construction and engineering sectors on this International Women's Day?

International Women’s Day should be more than a celebration; it’s a critical reflection on the existing disparities within our fields. We, as leaders, must spearhead the efforts to eradicate outdated norms and foster a culture of actionable change. It’s about creating spaces where women don’t just participate but excel and lead. Collectively, let’s #inspireinclusion and forge a more inclusive world.

We, as leaders, must spearhead the efforts to eradicate outdated norms and foster a culture of actionable change. It's about creating spaces where women don't just participate but excel and lead.

IWD2024-Barry-Sum

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