IWD 2021 – #choosetochallenge interview with Aymeric Lacroix

I hope that you have had a smooth March 2021. Thank you for supporting this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) kickoff of the 2021 theme of #ChooseToChallenge which we marked with 2 landmark campaigns: A collaboration between the NAA and the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) team from INSEAD with a series of knowledge sharing; and a #IWiBchallengesyou2021 social media challenge in solidarity across all INSEAD Women in Business (WiB) Alumni Clubs to raise awareness of IWD and its 2021 theme.

IWiB (Singapore) will continue to carry the theme of Choose To Challenge across all our events this year, starting with a Private Conversation with Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO of Skin Inc, on 15 April. This is jointly organised by RCLG, Entrepreneurship and IWiB (Sg) Alumni Clubs, and is a great opportunity to hear the secrets of this groundbreaking business leader who had chosen to challenge and conquered the worlds of skincare, tech, and female entrepreneurship all at once.
Alongside this, we are pleased to share with you some thoughts on Choose To Challenge from our RCLG Alumni Club President, Aymeric Lacroix EMBA’17Dec, Managing Director Asia South at DFS (LVMH).

Aymeric is the golden eye of the retailing and luxury brand management across our region, and has countless successes under his belt combining his passion for capturing the hearts of consumers, the art of using technology, and creativity driving business growth.

“Hello, Aymeric,” I started. “What do you think of this year’s IWD theme “Choose To Challenge”?” Aymeric leaned slightly and blinked his clear brown eyes once as he began to speak. “There are plenty of initiatives from Public to Private sectors celebrating March 8th as IWD. Hopefully this creates more consideration around diversity and inclusion at large.”
His brow arched as he continued, “As a Leader, March 8th forces us to create head and mind space about the topic and make sure that we talk about the role of women in the workplace without any taboo. We then create a voice that can be echoed within all departments of the company.”

“In the industry I am in, luxury retail, and the company I have worked with or currently working, men are outnumbered by women.”

“However,” Aymeric emphasized, “the efforts that must be made is about a bigger representation of women in managerial and leadership position.” He gestured with his arms open in front of him, visually showing the gap that he spoke about.
“I see myself as an ally and a supporter to promote more and better diversity starting with my team. I am a believer that the future belongs to women!” Here, Aymeric smiled his easy dazzling smile and his expression softened. “Maybe,” he admitted, “it is because I am a father of two girls and an admirer of my wife for carrying successfully so many critical roles at the same time: a great Mom, a professional Investor, and a loving Wife.”

I nodded and asked, “Given the world that we are in right now, what would you choose to challenge and why would you choose it?” Aymeric replied decisively, “I would challenge the fact that “we, men and women, can only be good at one thing”. I would like people to start thinking that we, especially Women, can be multifaceted.” He fixed his eyes on a future target and quietly but firmly said, “Like a precious stone, every facet has a story to tell and one unique way to shine. It is up to you to have a close look at it and see how beautiful it can be.”

“Are there collaborators and/or resources that we need to make this happen?” I asked. Aymeric nodded. “I would say that everyone’s voice counts. There needs to be some key ingredients to push our agenda forward.” He counted out 2 fingers, “First, openness and willingness to challenge the status quo. Second, it requires accountability and responsibility to turn the nice slogans into actions beyond March 8th. Being part of the INSEAD community, I am glad to see the efforts made by the entire school to call for action and push for progress.”

In closing, Aymeric left us with this pragmatic truth: “Ultimately, this is a journey and we need everyone to embark with us to be successful in our quest of a better world.”

Thank you, Aymeric, for sharing your time with us.

Li Lian Liew EMBA’13Dec – President INSEAD Alumni Club Women in Business

IWD 2021 – #choosetochallenge interview with Jaz Athenia Chua

In support of International Women’s Day, Li Lian Liew EMBA’13Dec, President of the INSEAD Alumni Club Women in Business, captured some thoughts on IWD from Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan, Business Operations Director, Growth Markets, Paypal, and current President of the Association.

“Hmm, that’s a good question,” mused Jaz, her eyes twinkling, as I asked her what experiences made her the Jaz that we know now. “I think I was fortunate to grow up in Singapore,” she said, after some thought. “Here, we are quite lucky – I never felt that my gender got in the way of competing against boys.”

Jaz was a math whizz, who took Additional Mathematics in middle school years, and often tutored her peers. On top of her school work, she developed a strong personality and discipline, as an alumnus of Hwa Chong Institution, National University of Singapore, and later INSEAD. This would stand her well.

“INSEAD was an eye opener,” she shared. The diversity of background, ethnicities and ways of thinking opened up her perspectives. However, “going international” had its own quirks. Classmates from all over the world saw gender differently. She began to appreciate how women were treated differently from men in different cultures, from very conservative norms where female classmates’ opinions were ignored, to daily micro-sexisms that were meant to be flattery.

Although she had not grown up in those environments, this sparked Jaz’ passion to change the way things were. This eventually led her to join the INSEAD Women In Business (WiB) Alumni Club in Singapore, and led her to her current presidency.

“Choose To Challenge is close to my heart,” she said. Jaz tapped her finger gently twice on the table, listing the 2 things that she would champion and choose to challenge: unconscious bias and gendered roles. These affected everyone to the detriment of the society they live in. It could colour the way people were hired, the way people perceived themselves as being good enough, the way money and property changed hands, and even national institutions. More than that, it could create an invisible barrier which women had to continuously strain against, just to be on equal footing.

“I support this year’s IWD theme of #choosetochallenge together with our fellow alumni across the world,” Jaz beamed.


IWD 2021 – #choosetochallenge interview with Cintia Tavella

In support of International Women’s Day, our outgoing INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore President, Cintia Tavella MBA’07D IDP-C’20Jun, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Expedia Partner Solutions, recorded her thoughts.

“As an INSEAD Alum, I choose to challenge,” Cintia said as she sat down with Li Lian Liew EMBA’13Dec, President of the INSEAD Alumni Club Women in Business, for a chat on her perspectives as a leader.

Li Lian: When you see this year’s IWD theme, what comes to mind? How does it make you think about gender diversity and inclusion matters?
Cintia: I think women can and should choose to challenge in all areas that matter to us – whether it is at work, for climate change, or more. I was a synchronised swimmer, and I believe that women can come together in that kind of synergistic teamwork to make a real difference in the world.

Li Lian: Can you give us some background on what experiences has created the Cintia of “now” who sees the world this way?
Cintia: I was born in Argentina to a modest family. Going to INSEAD changed my life. Despite my humble beginnings, winning access to a good education was key to what I have achieved.

Li Lian: Given the world that we are in right now, what would you choose to challenge and why would you choose it/them? How would you turn this into tangible changes?
Cintia: I would choose to challenge men and women (and myself) to make small incremental changes every day. Every little thing can add up to a great impact over time – we cannot aim to make huge leaps all the time, but we can influence the things around us.

Li Lian: Are there collaborators and/or resources that you foresee would help you achieve this/these change(s)? How could we make this happen?
Cintia: We are each other’s best resources. We also need to come together to challenge each other to be better. As long as men and women work together to keep challenging the status quo on the things that matter to us, we can come out better.

Li Lian: Cintia will be relocating to USA soon to take on more and bigger challenges – we wish her the very best! Stay safe


IWD 2021 – choose to challenge

International Women’s Day, IWD, (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, as the world and our alumni communities come out of 2020, which has been one of the most disruptive and challenging year in decades due to COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic certainly will have a lasting impact on us all.

We would like to encourage your participation on 2 initiatives that we are running to commemorate IWD this year:

  1. The first is a survey and knowledge sharing initiative on gender equity initiated by DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) team from INSEAD to build awareness and knowledge around this topic. The team has also created an insightful list of reading suggestions (see below) to accompany this effort. This initiative from the school would run for two weeks until 22 March.
  2. The second initiative is a global initiative from INSEAD Women in Business (WiB) Alumni Club that is now running globally. This initiative called Choose to Challenge is meant to raise awareness against biases and encourage a call to action from us all.

Reading Suggestions

Week 1

  • Day 1 – March 8

Disruption as a Force for Good? Gender Balance and COVID-19 | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | May 20, 2020

Key takeaway: The pandemic may disproportionately affect women around the world, but it need not imperil the hard-earned progress towards gender balance.

  • Day 2 – March 9

From Insight to Action. Gender Equality in the Wake of Covid-19 | UN Women 2020

This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls.

  • Day 3 – March 10

Making the “New Normal” Better for Women | Benjamin Kessler, INSEAD Knowledge Managing Editor | July 2, 2020

Key takeaway: How can individuals and organisations keep progressing towards gender balance, in this disrupted world?

  • Day 4 – March 11:

Women at the core of the fight against COVID-19 crisis | Policy brief: OECD 2020

  • Day 5 – March 12:

Foundations for Gender Balance Can Be Built at Home | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | November 13, 2020

Key takeaway: If we want a robust economic recovery and a fairer world, we must stem the tide of women fleeing the Covid-19 workforce.

Week 2

  • Day 1 – March 15

Strategy and Leadership Lessons From the ‘Notorious RBG’ | Chengyi Lin, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Founder, Henderson Advising, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2021: Strategy & Leadership lessons from “The Notorious RBG”

  • Day 2 – March 16

The Powerful Leadership of African Women | Lucy Quist MBA ’05J, INSEAD Board Director | March 6, 2020: Six women leading the way and inspiring others to realise their potential

  • Day 3 – March 17

Challenging Assumptions About Flexible Work | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Principal at Henderson Advising | February 24, 2020: How a female CEO built better work-life balance in the gruelling property industry.

  • Day 4 – March 18

Promoting Gender Balance Wisely | Benjamin Kessler, Asia Editor and Digital Manager, Clarissa Cortland, INSEAD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2018: Researchers are identifying powerful, yet sometimes nuanced interventions that can improve outcomes for women and the businesses and societies they serve.

  • Day 5 – March 19

Integrating Diversity Into Business Education | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour; Modupe Akinola, Columbia Business School; Ashli Carter, NYU Stern; Michael Norton, Harvard Business School; and Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School | September 16, 2019: An example of women leading the integration of diversity conversation into business education in collaboration with men.

Meet our new team!

Thank you to the 155 members who voted electronically for our 2021 AGM. We had a strong voter turnout of 21%. An overwhelming majority reviewed the annual report and approved on these motions:

  1. 2020 AGM minutes
  2. 2020 Financial Reports
  3. Elect the following:

New Board Members at 2021 AGM:

  • President: Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Secretary: Bradley Fraser MAP’18 Apr
  • Board Member (Diversity and Inclusion): Boby Johnson EMBA’16Dec
  • Board Member (Lifelong Learning and Career Development): Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S
  • Board Member (Mentorship): Brenny Wang TIEMBA‘20Jan

Re-Election for a second term for:

  • Board Member (Marketing and Communications): Jean-Francois Legourd MBA’12D

Meet our new team


  • President: Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Treasurer: Amy Xu MBA’14
  • Secretary: Brad Fraser MAP’18Apr


  • Social Events & IAF: Virginia Brumby MBA’09J
  • Clubs & Groups: Julie He MBA’13D
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Boby Johnson EMBA’16Dec
  • Marketing & Communications + Career Development & Lifelong Learning: Jean-Francois Legourd MBA’12D
  • Career Development & Lifelong Learning: Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S
  • Professors & Companies Events: Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Mentorship Program: Brenny Wang TIEMBA’20Jan


  • Thomas Friis-Hansen MBA’99J
  • Gordon Anderson MBA’88D

Thank you to retiring Board Member President Cintia Tavella MBA’07D, IDP-C’20Jun, and Honorary Auditor Jisun Min MBA’11D for years of limitless contributions to the Association! Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours.

For more info, click here.

Announcing Winner of ‘Business as a Force for Good Award – 2021’

After several rounds of consideration, we are pleased to announce that we will confer the Business as a Force for Good Award Singapore – 2021 Edition to Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd. We were particularly impressed by the impact it made in helping rural communities improve healthcare and education conditions. We were also impressed with the business model which is built from the ground up with social impact in mind.

Christian Patouraux MBA’03D is the CEO of Kacific Broadband Satellites Group – a company he founded in 2013. Driven by the belief that “there is only one internet” – and that therefore access and quality level should be universal, Christian assembled a team of satellite and telecom industry veterans to build Kacific, a company that would design and launch an advanced telecommunications satellite and offer reliable satellite broadband to underserved parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific – at low cost, no matter where and to whom.

Christian Patouraux MBA'03D

Christian Patouraux MBA’03D, CEO Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd

In December 2019, Kacific launched Kacific1, its first “high-throughput” geostationary satellite which covers 25 countries in South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands with powerful spot beams, delivering reliable, high-speed internet service to communities that were previously out of reach of affordable or high-quality internet.

In the wake of COVID-19, Kacific increased its presence in schools, hospitals and remote communities. In Indonesia, the Philippines, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and many more countries, patients can now be treated at rural clinics instead of congested central hospitals, students can pursue further studies remotely from their villages, and communities have access to better resources on gender equality, and family planning. At the same time, provincial governments can stay in touch with state authorities regarding nationwide programs such as early warnings and disaster recovery, leading to better coordinated emergency response as in the case of COVID-19.

Some of the social impact projects involve connecting 118 clinics & 200 schools in remote and rural areas of Vanuatu, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to connect over 7,000 users to high-speed internet which helps with efficient stock management, online consultations, remote education and emergency situations. Kacific also connected over 2,000 users including Timor-Leste’s central medical warehouse facility and 68 pharmacy and health clinics sites across Timor-Leste allowing medical professionals to access national patient databases, access logistics and distribution software for vital medicines and medical equipment and improved healthcare systems nationwide.

Kacific plans to augment its current services as well as extend its reach towards Central Asia as it plans the launch of Kacific2, a second geostationary satellite that would replicate, expand and enhance the model of Kacific1.

With the many lives changed through having access to high speed internet, we are proud to say business can indeed be a force for good.





Dean Ilian Mihov presents BAFG Award to Christian Patouraux MBA'03D

Dean Ilian Mihov and Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan present BAFG Award to Christian Patouraux MBA’03D at INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore’s Annual General Meeting on 26 February, 2021

We would like to thank all participating companies for their time and effort in building businesses which provide societal impact and enrich the world!

2021 judging panel: Amy Xu MBA’14J, Anne-Ev Juette-Enzmann MBA’01J, Brad Fraser MAP’18Apr, David Mair MBA’96J, and Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan