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Champions of Change: Commitment to the UN SDGs

Champions of Change: Commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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From championing meaningful causes to harnessing tech for good, our colleagues are finding creative ways to create a positive impact in their communities. People of Temasek is a content series that celebrates the diverse individuals who make up Temasek, and their individual commitment towards building a better world.

 

Sustainability is at the core of Temasek, and we look to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide our work in helping to shape a better and more inclusive world of hope and opportunities. Some of our colleagues are going the extra mile by taking personal ownership of the SDGs, making the 2030 Agenda a reality in their personal lives.

SDG 5: Life at Work — Building Equality Through Mentorship

 
Fazeela Rashid of Temasek

“Standing up for minority rights and gender equality is something that has always been close to my heart. I remember back in my university days in the US, less than 30 percent of people in my chemical engineering class were women. Within the engineering faculty in total, the numbers were closer to 10 to 15 percent. Minority racial groups also had limited presence. That was when I became very involved in the Society of Women Engineers, where there were initiatives that created opportunities and supported women — not just for myself as a university student and female engineer, but also high school students. We would often go to high schools and help spread the word and encourage more women to join the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field.”

 
Fazeela Rashid wearing UN Women T shirt

“I think Temasek is unique in the sense that for a finance organisation, we have many women working here. When I first started in banking, I was working at a company where there were only three women in my whole group, one at each level. There were very few female mentors, so I looked around and thought: if I can't find mentors, can I be a mentor? Can I help other women to realise that this could be a career for them, and make my role more visible for them and help women in the organisation whether they are peers, juniors or seniors?”

 
Fazeela and team at Angkor Wat

Temasek's Fazeela and her team catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

“I've been with Temasek for about 10 years now, and I've had multiple different roles over that time. Currently, my job is a lot about understanding people and bringing them together — not just the companies we invest in and their strategies, but also our teams. I'm very much a people person, and I enjoy all aspects of my job, managing teams and people across sectors and geographies. I've been in the organisation for quite a while, and I've benefited both from being mentored and mentoring. I have mentored a few people and I think the most memorable experiences are when mentors and mentees turn into friends.”

“Most people think of mentorship as one person providing advice to someone younger, but when you have built a level of trust where your mentee is comfortable giving you advice, it can be very eye-opening. When my mentee gave me advice, it made me realise that mentoring shouldn't be a one-way process. As I've gotten more senior, I've also realised that you have to look around you — not just above but also below — to guide how you lead.”

– Fazeela Rashid is our Managing Director for the Americas. She is an active passionate about gender equality including increasing women’s economic empowerment and volunteers at various organisations, including the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN) and the US National Committee for UN Women, Metropolitan New York Chapter.

 
 

SDG 15: Life on Land — Advocating Animal Welfare

 
Temasek’s Ng Jie Ying

“I have two pet rabbits, Aloy and Heidi. I've been shifting my diet away from meat since I first adopted Aloy from the House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS) in 2013. I'm now a pescatarian. Rabbits are farmed for meat in certain countries, and this made me think twice about eating meat as I consider Aloy and Heidi to be my family members. Their addition to the family made me realise that all life is equal. This logic naturally extended to other livestock. I'm still in the process of eliminating seafood from my diet, but this can be tough because my family is not vegetarian, and it can be inconvenient when I'm eating out.”

 
Ying's pet rabbits

Aloy (left) and Heidi.

“Buying a pet did cross my mind at first, but while researching pet rabbits, I came across many articles on how animals are often subjected to inhumane treatment in the pet trade. So I thought to myself, why buy? Understanding how to take care of the animal is important, but knowing how and where the animal came from is very important as well.”

“Through the adoption process and getting to know the officer at HRSS I was assigned to, I found out that the non-profit society, which is entirely run by volunteers who all have day jobs, was facing a shortage of manpower. So I decided to help out. I have been volunteering at HRSS for about six years now, and I help with rehoming rabbits and grooming them, and take part in events where we educate the public on rabbit welfare and raise funds."

 
Temasek’s Ng Jie Ying volunteers at HRSS

“Through my work here at Temasek running our digital marketing and engagement campaigns, I see a lot of opportunities for using the power of digitisation to improve HRSS’s operations and to reach out more to the online community. Awareness around animal welfare, not just rabbits, is generally low in Singapore. For example, most people do not know that it can take up to two years for us to rehome a rabbit as the process is very rigorous. It's not as if we rescue a rabbit now and it'll be rehomed next month; a lot of hard work and effort goes into it.”

“HRSS focuses a lot on education and I really support that. I believe that with the right mindset and knowledge, irresponsible pet ownership and instances of abandonment will not happen as often.”

– Ng Jie Ying, a Senior Associate in our Public Affairs team, has two pet rabbits. She spends her free time volunteering at the House Rabbit Society Singapore.

SDG 14: Life Below Water — Diving for Ocean Awareness

 
Jensen Loke of Temasek

“I'm fascinated by diving and marine life. I started diving about four years ago, and as divers, we are taught not to destroy the natural environment. It’s also common to pick up litter when you see it in the water. Most people aren’t educated that way, and they don't think about what happens to their trash when it gets out to the sea. While I can't say that I have personally witnessed big changes in coastal environments, I have been on diving trips where others have shown me the videos of the place many years ago, and I can see the changes that have taken place since. Much is the result of climate change, but it’s also because of changes in the concentration of salt in the water due to waste being thrown into the sea.”

 
Jensen diving

“Last year, I joined my colleagues on a trip to Les Village, a seaside community in the northern part of Bali, as part of Project GO, organised by our own Sustainability and Stewardship Group. When I saw that the trip involved coral reef rehabilitation, I thought that was really meaningful and I wanted to take part. A lot of us shrug our shoulders and think that there's nothing much we can do if reefs are destroyed or bleached. But this trip has shown me that it is entirely possible to contribute to saving the environment and when we get together to do it, the result can be really beautiful. The local fishermen took a long time to regrow the reefs, trying time after time despite failing at first. Three to four years after their initial attempt, they finally managed to regrow a significant part of the reef. And after 10 years, wild marine life has taken back control of the area: there is now an abundance of different species of fish.”

 
Jensen at Les Village

“I hope to drive awareness that we can all do more for the environment, and lead people on a few recreational dives. There’s a whole other world under the ocean — it’s a lot bigger than you think. When you can see the natural environment, you can then better understand the sort of impact you can have, and it makes you want to care about it more than the average person. I think through exposure, more people will be willing to take an active step around proper trash disposal and environmental conservation, even supporting enterprises that are sustainable.”

– Jensen Loke, an Associate Director in our Digital Technology team, is an enthusiastic diver and aspiring conservationist.

Stay tuned for our upcoming article on Fazeela as she takes us through her journey in promoting a more equitable workforce.

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