Category Archives: Woman Empowerment

Citigroup names Jane Fraser as first woman CEO – AFP, 10/09/2020

Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its next CEO, replacing Michael Corbat who
will retire in February Julian R. Photography/AFP

New York (AFP) - Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its next chief executive on Thursday, tapping a woman to lead a giant Wall Street bank for the first time.

She will take over the top job in February, replacing Michael Corbat who will retire.

Fraser, who has served as president and CEO of global consumer banking since 2019, will join the board of directors immediately, the bank said. She has held prior roles for Citi in Latin America and in investment banking.

"I am honored by the Board's decision and grateful to Mike for his leadership and support," Fraser said in a press release.

"Our balance sheet is strong and our commitment to serving our clients and communities is even stronger. I will do everything I can to make all our stakeholders proud of our firm as we continue to build a better bank and improve our returns."

The move comes as Citi pivots to a more challenging operating environment as large banks set aside billions of dollars to prepare for bad loans due to the coronavirus.

Other women have become CEOs of big financial companies or in related industries, such as Abigail Johnson at Fidelity Investments and Julie Sweet at Accenture. But in taking the helm of the fourth-biggest US bank by assets, Fraser joins a group of Wall Street CEOs that until now has been exclusively led by white men.

Her appointment to the top job had been telegraphed from her prior promotion in October 2019 to president and head of global consumer banking. Senior women at JPMorgan Chase are also in line to potentially take the top job to succeed Jamie Dimon, who is expected to retire in the coming years.

Corporate America is also under scrutiny over the paltry number of Black leaders in the wake of massive racial justice protests this year.

Industry faces headwinds

After stumbling badly during the subprime mortgage crisis, Citigroup recovered in the ensuing decade after the 2008 financial crisis.

From 2012 to 2019, the banking giant saw net income rise from $7 billion to $20 billion, Corbat said in the press release.

"We went from returning hardly any capital to returning nearly $80 billion in capital to our shareholders over the last six years," he said.

The improvement coincided with a post-2008 US economic expansion that ended abruptly with the coronavirus outbreak.

In the most recent quarter, Citigroup added $5.6 billion in reserves for bad loans, a factor in a 73 percent drop in profits to $1.3 billion. Large banks are also staring at a lengthy period of low interest rates, putting a damper on another source of profits.

"The pandemic has a grip on the economy and it doesn't seem likely to loosen until vaccines are widely available," Corbat said on a conference call with analysts.

The Scottish-born Fraser joined Citi in 2004 after earlier roles at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company. She has spoken openly about being a working mother in finance, recounting in 2016 how she worked part-time at McKinsey.

Having children "humanized me," Fraser said in the 2016 appearance at the Americas Society. "There is nothing like having children to help you understand where your priorities are."

Fraser also recounted her sometimes unorthodox career moves, such as exiting as head of the private bank in London in 2013 to oversee a turnaround of the mortgage business from St. Louis, Missouri in the midwest of the United States.

"Everyone thought I was completely nuts," she said. "I knew I would grow. I knew I would a learn a completely different skill set."

Shares of Citigroup were flat at $51.41 in late-morning trading.

Abused Hong Kong maid Erwiana ‘rises again’

Yahoo - AFP, Agus Purwanto, 28 September 2018

Erwiana now works on behalf of migrant workers

She was once the face of abused maids in Hong Kong -- imprisoned, starved and beaten so badly she lost control of her bodily functions.

But four years after her horrific ordeal made global headlines, Indonesian Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is a university graduate and fighting for the rights of domestic helpers in the southern Chinese city and beyond.

Erwiana completed a degree in economics this month -- the culmination of a dream that brought her to Hong Kong in 2013 before her life was turned upside down.

"Before I went to Hong Kong, I had been dreaming I could make enough money to study," the 27-year-old told AFP from her home in Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta.

"After the incident, I thought I might have to give up on that dream."

Erwiana's employer Law Wan-tung was jailed after pictures of her extensive injuries went viral in 2014.

Widespread media coverage of Erwiana's torture had one unexpected benefit -- she was offered scholarships to study.

"I'm happy but it's bittersweet because even though I graduated university there are still many migrant workers who are persecuted and treated badly," she said.

She chose economics partly to understand "why so many people in this world have to migrate" for work.

"People should be able to live peacefully in their own country without having to work abroad unprotected," she said.

Erwiana plans to take that message to demonstrations outside the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Bali next month.

Erwiana's horrific ordeal made global headlines

She now works on behalf of migrant workers, including pushing for the release of former Filipina maid Mary Jane Veloso who is on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling.

Most domestic workers in Hong Kong are from poor communities in Indonesia and the Philippines and are vulnerable to abuse by employers and employment agencies.

Migrants from both countries have also suffered injury -- or worse -- in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

In February, the death of a Filipina maid in Kuwait, whose body was found this year stuffed in a freezer, sparked outrage in the Philippines.

Also this year, Indonesian domestic helper Adelina Sau died in hospital after being rescued from her employer's house in Malaysia's Penang state, with wounds covering her body. Her boss was charged with murder.

It is these stories that prompted Erwiana to fight for workers' rights, and never give up on herself even when she doubted her chances.

"I never imagined I'd be here -- I almost gave up," she said.

"I was so sick, I was a failed migrant worker and my injuries were all over the media.

"But because my family and fellow migrant worker friends gave me strength, I finally had the spirit to rise again."

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih arrives at the Wanchai Law Courts to begin giving
 evidence against her former employer who is accused of abuse and torture, in
Hong Kong on Monday. (AFP Photo/Isaac Lawrence)

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Sri Mulyani Receives Best Minister Award During World Government Summit in Dubai

Jakarta Globe, February 11, 2018

(Reuters Photo/Christopher Pike)

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati received the Best Minister Award from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Dubai, during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday (11/02). The award was given to recognize outstanding government ministers for their exceptional efforts in implementing successful reform. 

Asian legislators support fight against graft

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Thu, 12/10/2009 10:42 AM

Delegates attending the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) in Bandung, West Java, celebrated Wednesday the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day.

Delegates agreed to three pillars against corruption: accountability, transparency and participation.

All countries attending the assembly have ratified the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

The APA president, who is also the Indonesian House of Representatives speaker, Marzuki Alie, said the country’s willingness to ratify the convention showed its commitment to fighting corruption.

During the session, the delegates issued a joint declaration that corruption “will not only create static countries. It will even create significant deterioration in countries.”

Marzuki said corruption was an extraordinary crime that could damage national country. “We expect nations to no longer protect corrupt officials who have run away from their own countries,” he said.

He urged countries providing asylums to exiled foreign corrupt officials to deport them to their countries of origin.

Marzuki spoke on behalf of 41 lawmakers and 16 observers from Indonesia. He said every country had to increase efforts to eradicate corruption to bring prosperity to their own people.

He emphasized good governance on public information access as a means of combating institutionalized corruption. This way, he added, those fighting corruption would not be marginalized.

The head of the Indonesian parliamentary delegation, Sidarto Danusubroto, told the assembly the countries needed concrete action to fight corruption.

“This assembly has to set a common strategy to be implemented in our respective countries,” he said. “Concrete action is the greatest challenge in combating corruption.”

In other APA developments, delegates from five Asian countries proposed the establishment of the Women’s Asia Parliamentary Assembly.

Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, an Indonesian delegate, said of the 26 member countries attending the assembly, only five had women delegates.

She said these countries were Bangladesh, Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia. “We are lobbying other delegates to approve this proposal on Thursday,” she said on the sidelines of the session.

She said the women’s assembly had to be formed because the number of women was increasing in parliaments in many countries.

“This formation is aimed at achieving gender equality in parliaments in many countries,” she added. The assembly has also been working towards a resolution for Palestine.

Marzuki said the assembly would approve the resolution, which said Israel had committed human rights abuses and war crimes.

President urges Indonesian women to help achieve MDG

Antara News, Monday, December 7, 2009 20:12 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged Indonesian women, especially members of the Dharma Wanita Persatuan, to play a more active role in helping achieve the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) by 2015.

"Achieving the eight MDG is the responsibility of the Indonesian people as well as the world community," President Yudhoyono said at the State Palace here on Monday when opening the Second National Congress of Dharma Wanita Persatuan, the association of civil servants` wives.

He said women, both individually and collectively, played a crucial role in helping achieve the MDG.

"I am happy and proud that Indonesian women are not passive or apathetic, but are engaged in constructive activities in national development. Women are not just spectators, nor part of the problem," he said.

The President reiterated that the eight MDGs included poverty and famine eradication, basic education development, gender equality and protection, reduction of the maternal and infant mortality rates, as well as control of infectious diseases.

In his opening remarks, the head of state also emphasized the importance of preventing violence against women and children.

He also asked the civil servants` wives organization to take concrete actions and improve its members` welfare.

The national congress is being held from December 7 to 9, 2009.

Among those attending the opening ceremony were First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, the Vice President`s wife, Herawati Boediono, chairwoman of Dharma Wanita Persatuan Nila FB Moeloek, and Women`s Empowerment Minister Linda Agum Gumelar.

Yudhoyono asks women’s groups for help on MDGs

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 12/03/2009 9:35 AM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked women’s organizations to help the country meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The President said, while officially opening the 23rd congress of the Indonesian Women’s Congress (Kowani), that at least three out of eight MDGs were related closely to women, namely those to pro-mote gender equality and empower women, to reduce infant mortality rates, and to improve maternal health.

Kowani claims connection with more than 80 women’s organizations, with a total of 30 million members nationwide. The congress, running from Dec. 2 to 4, is themed “Kowani and women’s commitment to achieving the MDGs”.

“I’m pleased [with the theme chosen] because it is what the government I lead has been occupied with days and nights — to achieve the MDGs,” Yudhoyono said Wednesday at the Presidential Palace, where he hosted congress’ participants from across Indonesia.

“Over the next five years, I want Kowani, with its [upcoming] leadership and structure, to accompany the government and, along with other civil society groups, lead efforts to help the country meet the MDGs,” he said.

In relation to the gender-equality target, the President reiterated his call to all state officials not to discriminate against women in implementing their education and health policies.

As for reducing the child mortality rate and improving maternal health, he said that although Indonesia now enjoyed much better conditions compared to 50 years ago, the rates remained “unsatisfactory“.

Yudhoyono said this was why he had appointed Endang Sedyaningsih — who earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in public healthcare at Harvard University — as the health minister in the new Cabinet.

“I appointed a health minister with a background in public health, because I wanted Indonesia to meet the MDGs, and see public health improved,” Yudhoyono said.

The President also called on Kowani members to support campaigns to protect the environment and fight global warming, with Indonesia among countries expected to be hardest hit by the greenhouse effect.

“If the global temperatures continue to increase and the polar ice caps melt, the sea levels will rise… We currently have more than 17,000 islands... would we want a few thousand of them inundated in several years from now?” he said.

“This is not to mention the impacts from climate change which produces long draughts and floods. That is why I ask you, let us show more concern toward the environment.

“We can plant trees, apply waste management, conserve water… Kowani can ask its members to play active roles,” he said.

Kowani was founded in 1928, and has often been dubbed a mere gathering place for wives of state officials.

However, its current chairwoman, Linda Amalia Sari, said the organization had been involved in the formation of new legislation affecting women and children, particularly over the past five years.

Linda, the wife of senior politician Agum Gumelar, was appointed as the state women’s empowerment and child protection minister because of her involvement in Kowani.

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Putting trust

The Jakarta Post , Fri, 12/04/2009 3:45 PM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hands over the Indonesian flag to the Indonesian Sports Council and the Indonesian Olympic Council chairwoman Rita Subowo, during an official ceremony attended by the Indonesian contingent for the Southeast Asian Games in Laos at the State Palace on Friday. Indonesia is sending 515 athletes, 99 coaches, 28 managers and 43 officials to the games, targeting for third position at the biannual games. Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf

Source: Antara