Vippy Wong is APAC Consulting Lead at Refinitiv. In her 2021 Spotlight Series Interview, she discusses the pandemic’s effect on diversity, her 2021 mantra and much more.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born in Hong Kong but spent much of my life in Canada and the US and have been living in Hong Kong for over ten years. While my career has been spent in the financial services industry from the very beginning, I consider myself very lucky to have worked in many different areas within the industry, including Management Consulting, Strategy, Investments, Exchanges, FinTech startups, and Data & Technology. This has given me a very diverse range of experiences in Finance and has satisfied my innate curiosity and love of new challenges.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and have been exploring Hong Kong’s beautiful countryside and hiking trails over this past year. In normal times, I love to travel and cannot wait to explore new destinations in a post-Covid world.

2. What drew you to a career in finance? What has motivated you to stay?

When I was in university and considering a career path, I was intrigued by finance’s excitement, fast pace, and how it offered opportunities to work with like-minded people, as well as the potential for travel for work. I have always been very mathematically oriented and enjoyed analyzing and solving problems, and decided to take a job in a Management Consulting firm focused in financial services. This journey has taken me through many different countries, organizations and opportunities across many quadrants. Each role has been stimulating and exhilarating in its own way, not without its challenges, but I’ve always learned from each and every single opportunity. I continue to enjoy the complexity of finance and its ability to satisfy my intellectual curiosity over the years.

3.     Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?

While it’s always tempting to take on new challenges and opportunities, there is a lot of merit in staying and experiencing the ups and downs that is inherent in each role. I have definitely grown by leaps and bounds by experiencing a number of different opportunities, but as I’ve advanced in my career, I have realized that along with the benefits of new opportunities, some of my biggest personal growth has been from roles where I have gone through the lifecycle and experienced both the good and the bad.

Having worked in both large corporates and smaller startups, I’ve realized that the grass is always greener on the other side! When it comes down to it, it’s not the size of the organization that matters but the people who you work with, the nature of the work, and the ability to make a difference. I have learned a great deal with the myriad of different experiences I have had and have recently re-joined Refinitiv (which is now an LSEG business) and am now working at an Exchange again. So just be ready and life will always bring new and interesting challenges!

4.      This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and your company continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes?

Refinitiv (now part of LSEG), was one of the first to talk about how the pandemic has the potential to significantly set back gender equality in the workplace. We have implemented several initiatives, both internal and external, to not lose the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain.

Internally at LSEG, we have introduced global meeting-free times and meeting-free days, to help our staff avoid burnout. We also rolled out a framework to help team leads to account for the strains of caretaking – a large share of which are shouldered by women – in their team management.

And we have set hard gender targets. By the end of next year, 40% of LSEG’s broader leadership group will be female, up from 34% today. We believe setting measurable targets is an important step. What’s not measured, is much harder to achieve.

Externally, we provide the financial industry with transparent, comprehensive data on gender diversity and pay gaps. We maintain diversity benchmarks and indices, which enable the actual investments in gender diversity.

5.     What will be your 2021 mantra to keep you motivated, either professional or personally?

Keep learning and never settle. The market and environment is always changing; there is always something new to learn and grow from and new mountains to climb. On a personal level, my goal for 2021 is to do more exercise and to sleep more!