People & Purpose Theatre

Creating a Safer and More Inclusive Working Environment

Day 1 : 15:00 – 15:50

This panel aims to unpack strategies for creating safety and inclusivity in the workplace, addressing key challenges and sharing actionable insights. Our expert speakers will discuss the importance of diverse representation, equitable policies, and proactive measures to mitigate discrimination and harassment. Attendees will gain practical guidance on cultivating a culture of respect and support within their organisations.



Kirti Lad

Meraki Executive Search & Consulting

Founder & Executive Director

Kirti is Founder and Executive Director of Meraki Executive Search & Consulting Limited.
Meraki has a very clear strategy and purpose, to increase and improve female participation in the workforce at the most senior levels.

Kirti’s expertise is in leadership hiring and development of both Non-Executives and Executives across the Asia Pacific region. Kirti is a Physics & Chemistry graduate from University College London and has worked in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting for over 20 years.
Kirti is the pioneer behind the Women’s Directorship Programme, a joint-venture with The University of Hong Kong Business School. Kirti also leads the Meraki Network, an Executive Women’s network in the region, is a regular speaker and contributor to conferences and media relating to gender diversity in Asia and is an active member of the Women in Business Committee at the British Chamber in Hong Kong.
Kirti was named as one of the Global Top 50 Diversity Professionals in Industry by the Economist Magazine over multiple years and awarded AmCham’s Women of Influence, Champion for Women award in 2024.
Kirti is the mother to two amazing children who have also found their purpose at such a young age by representing HK at the Children’s General Assembly in Billund.

My Sustainability Goals for 2024:

Hong Kong has an opportunity to lead in Asia in terms of Women on Boards. The HKEX is the only exchange in the world to mandate the removal of all male boards.

HK issuers who choose to hire more than the required one female INED will benefit significantly from the amazing and diverse female talents we have in Hong Kong. In the UK for example, “one and done” appointment of female INED’s had a negligible impact on company performance. In the UK, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform their industry peers. This research also evidenced that average employee productivity growth is higher for companies that employ three or more women at board level, compared to those that have just a single female director or none at all.

This demonstrates companies with greater female representation at board level are not only able to generate higher levels of productivity and profits, as measured by returns on equity, but also higher dividend payouts to investors. Perfect reason to hire more women on boards.

Donna Buckland

Prudential plc

Senior Director, Sustainability

Donna is Senior Director, Sustainability Strategy & Operation, having appointed on 1 April 2024. Donna is part of the Prudential plc’s Sustainability team where her key responsibilities include strategic transformation of the Group’s sustainability priorities.

With over 20 years of experience, Donna joined Prudential in 2014 with focus on transformation & governance. Since 2022, she serves as a Member of the Board and Audit Committee Member for Prudential Laos.

Prior to joining Prudential, she spent over a decade in various finance management positions in major Australasian financial service companies. Donna is a Chartered Accountant where she is the Vice Chair for Hong Kong Council of Chartered Accountant Australia & New Zealand, and also Co-Chair of its ESG Committee. She is also the Strategy Chair for UNESCO Hong Kong Association GPC since 2019 and appointed as a member of the Business Advisory committee for Hong Kong Baptist University in 2022.

Donna holds a Global MBA from the University of Manchester and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Auckland and University of Otago. She received further executive education from the Oxford Saïd Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School.

David Lee

University of Hong Kong Business School

Associate Professor

David S. Lee is an award-winning teacher at HKU Business School active in the areas of ethics, fintech, leadership, and corporate governance.

Prior to joining HKU, David worked in finance and also has experience as a lawyer, in consulting, and working with entrepreneurial ventures. He routinely engages, advises, and works with global organizations, start-ups, and government entities. He is currently engaged in a variety of book and research projects, and his commentary and writing regularly appear in a variety of publications, including the Harvard Business Review.

David earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Harvard University, completed post-graduate training at Cambridge, and his B.A. from Brigham Young University.

My Sustainability Goals for 2024:

  • Meaningful goals and clear, effective policies related to waste management, recycling, and reuse policies
  • Greater commitment to decarbonization, especially in the area of green transport, and overall improvements to more efficient and community friendly transportation management

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