Celebrating Equality and Embracing Equity – International Women’s Day 2023

Celebrating Equality and Embracing Equity – International Women’s Day 2023

Celebrated on 8 March, International Women’s Day marks the social and political achievements made by women – particularly in the past century. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. This means building a world where women are not only seen as equal but also included in all facets of life.

Four of our six employees are women, so they are central to the Kenno story. Specifically, our dynamic management trio comprises Head of Operations, Ray Pong, Head of Investments, Giang Nguyen, and Head of Investor Relations, Marcia Shen. “I am grateful to be surrounded by such a diverse and experienced management team. They enable the rest of us to deliver on our value proposition to clients and play a crucial role in Kenno’s success.” says Kenno’s CEO, Mikael Nastamo.

Bringing a wealth of experience to Kenno

Ray epitomises the concept of embracing equity. She is a seasoned business operations professional with over 15 years of practical experience in the asset-management and private-equity sectors, as well as with business start-ups. Ray is also a highly analytical decision-maker with a successful track record in M&A and experience in building finance, human resources, IT, and administration functions from the ground up. On top of that, she once ran a thriving F&B company in Singapore!

No plain sailing in the shipyard industry

Here’s a revealing fact about Ray’s fortitude – in the early 2000s, she worked in the traditionally male-dominated shipyard industry, contributing to a project that delivered the first modern semi-submersible rig in the Caspian region of Azerbaijan. As the only woman in the operations team, she faced numerous challenges: “Life was tough at the beginning, as there were no female colleagues I could turn to for advice and support,” explains Ray.

The harsh environment of the Caspian Sea was particularly challenging in the winter months, with temperatures dropping as low as -20 degrees Celsius. Yet, despite these obstacles, Ray persevered, and her experience in such a challenging environment has undoubtedly shaped her into the resilient and determined person she is today.

Why equity is priceless

International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that everyone should have equal rights regardless of race, gender or background. We must also strive towards closing the gaps in our society. Sometimes we will face adversity, but, like Ray, determination pays dividends.

Published 03/2023

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