Heels of Steel, a BBDO diversity initiative, was first launched in Malaysia in 2017. It is a series of talks by prominent leaders aimed at inspiring and accelerating the progress of women in the workplace. Given the importance of this initiative, BBDO committed to launching Heels of Steel across other Southeast Asia markets this year. BBDO Singapore was the second agency to launch the event, which took place on 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.
In May, BBDO Indonesia and BBDO Vietnam both launched their first Heels of Steel event.
BBDO Indonesia invited Daphne Kuah, associate brand director and commercial leader for P&G Indonesia to be the first speaker. Daphne, whose impressive path to success has been full of challenges and opportunities, shared many of her personal stories and struggles with heartwarming honesty - encouraging the audience to always pursue the best version of themselves; and not to compromise. Her message resonated strongly with the audience prompting a lively Q&A session.
“We always knew Daphne as a trailblazer at P&G and respected her deeply as our senior most client. As BBDO Indonesia’s first Heels of Steel speaker, we got to know what makes Daphne who she is. We saw that her struggles are just like ours, her journey to the top has been as tough, her vulnerabilities as acute. She truly inspired us with her honesty and encouragement. Daphne not only wore Heels of Steel for the event, she also showed us her true mettle, and left us with this message: To live life fully, is the only way to live.” - Vaishali Sarkar, CEO BBDO Indonesia
“I continue to be very inspired that more and more companies like BBDO are taking not just active, but very creative ways to drive Gender diversity and equality. Absolutely love the concept of Heels of Steel (who can resist heels?) and can already see this can travel across borders, especially the informal yet comfortable setting that encourages intimate sharing and conversation," says Daphne Kuah.
BBDO Vietnam’s first Heels of Steel speaker was Thai Van Linh, Director of Operations and Strategy for Vinacapital, and Founder & CEO of Rita Phil. She has over 20 years of experience in the US and Vietnam and has held roles at early stage start-ups and large financial institutions. Her impressive journey to date was inspiring to the team, and showed that with commitment, hard work and passion, anything is possible.
“I am happy and honoured to be BBDO’s first speaker in the Vietnam Heels of Steel series. It is important that we all play a “pay it forward” role in helping tomorrow’s leaders rise to the fore. My advice to this energetic generation is, you must work hard, focus on the execution, and keep trying until you reach your goals - never settle and never give up!" says Thai Van Linh.
“By inviting some of the most influential women from all walks of life to share their inspirational stories, we hope these talks boost the confidence of our young female employees, as well as male, to reach further in their career," adds Giao Phan, managing director of BBDO Vietnam.
BBDO Singapore launched Heels of Steel earlier this year, and hosted their second event last Friday, 8th June, with special guest Stephanie Chai – Founder of The Luxe Nomad.
Richard Fraser, president BBDO SEA, said: “The expansion of Heels of Steel across Southeast Asia reflects our strong commitment to celebrating diversity and gender equality as a Network in all of the markets we do business, and fuels our ongoing commitment to inspire and motivate our people to create a diverse, fair and inclusive culture in our Agencies.”