Meet our inaugural Gender Advisory Committee

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The Accelerating Asia team is excited to announce our first Gender Advisory Committee. Made up of people with experience across corporates, non-government, startups, investment and not-for-profit, the Committee will provide strategic advice to the Accelerating Asia team on how we can take our gender investing initiatives to our activities to the next level next level.

Joining the Committee along with Accelerating Asia Co-Founder and General Partner, Amra Naidoo are:

  • Christine Amour-Levar, Philanthropist, Adventurer, Entrepreneur and Author
  • Jamie Hodgson, Business/Standards Analyst, B-Lab
  • Jenn Villalobos, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Prudential Life Assurance Public Company Ltd. (Thailand)
  • Liza Noonan, ASEAN Director, CSIRO
  • Nurul Jihadah Hussain, Founder, The Codette Project
  • Yolanda Lee, Serial Entrepreneur

Read on for the members’ bios and more details.

Why we created a Gender Advisory Committee

Well, for our first year of operations, we think we’ve done pretty well in promoting a safe, inclusive and diverse ecosystem, as well as initiatives that drive this forward. Our portfolio includes 40 percent female-led or co-founded ventures. We have an incredibly diverse team ourselves and are one of the few venture capital funds in the region (and globally) with a female General Partner.

But we know there’s still more we can do to recognise and remove existing barriers, moving closer to achieving equality of opportunities across every spectrum.  

For us, the Gender Advisory Committee builds on the work we already do. Read the full article on why we established the Gender Advisory Committee

Stay tuned for our future work with the Gender Advisory Committee and reach out to talk to Accelerating Asia about investing in female founders with us.

And, if you’re a female founder, apply to join Accelerating Asia Cohort 3

Christine Amour-Levar, Philanthropist, Adventurer, Entrepreneur and Author

Christine Amour-Levar is a French-Swiss-Filipina Philanthropist, Adventurer, Entrepreneur and Author. A passionate advocate of female empowerment and environmental conservation, she set up Women on a Mission (WOAM) and HER Planet Earth, two award-winning, not-for-profit organisations, to take all-female teams on pioneering expeditions as a way to support worthy causes. HER Planet Earth's primary objective is to raise awareness and funds for underprivileged women affected by climate change. At the same time, WOAM aims to support and empower women who have been subjected to violence and abuse.

More recently, between 2013 and 2018, she was responsible for Marketing & Communications at Temasek Trust and Temasek Management Services, two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Singapore's Temasek Holdings. Today, Christine is the Chief Marketing Officer of iRace Media, one of Asia's leading horse racing publishing and media companies. She is also a Consultant and Advisor in the areas of Sports Marketing, Sustainability and Tech for Impact.

Jamie Hodgson, Business/Standards Analyst, B-Lab

Jamie joins the Gender Advisory Committee with over a decade of experience in risk management and audit, business resilience, and disaster risk reduction in Australia and Asia. He has held a number of professional roles in consulting, corporate, government, and not-for-profit settings, providing a breadth and depth of insights across a variety of industries.

In addition, Jamie has led sociological research in the international development context to understand how communities in Nepal are involved in earthquake disaster planning programs. This research sought to interpret the intersectionality of factors such as gender, age, education, social group, and how they affected planning strategies and initiatives.

Currently, at B Lab, a global standards organisation, Jamie’s role is to assess the social and environmental performance of purpose-driven organisations seeking B Corp Certification. Through his work with B Lab, Jamie supports the building of a more inclusive and sustainable economy, maintaining a focus on furthering strategies to foster diversity and equity throughout workplaces around the world.

Jenn Villalobos, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Prudential Life Assurance Public Company Ltd. (Thailand)

Jenn has more than 20 years of experience helping brands recreate their marketing capabilities for sustainable competitive advantage in the digital age. Jenn has worked with global, regional and local organisations across Australia, Latin America and the Asia Pacific, helping them make the most of data-driven insights to creatively solve for business growth challenges, deploying Google digital marketing, cloud, enterprise and video platforms. This is where her passion for helping incumbents embark on digital transformation was born.

After 12 years, 3 continents, 14 offices, 3 global, 2 regional and 3 local roles, Jenn left Google to lead a high performing business development team at NTUC Income's newly created digital transformation office. She is responsible for the company's activation, execution and implementation of large scale digital partnerships.

Jenn holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, a Masters in Information Technology and an Executive MBA from the University of New South Wales. She is a mentor to numerous female founders in the tech space across SEA and sits on the advisory board of two corporate-backed accelerators in Singapore.

Liza Noonan, ASEAN Director, CSIRO

Liza Noonan is the ASEAN Director of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. In this role, Liza is responsible for supporting a growing portfolio of science and innovation programs spanning food security, sustainable energy, environment management and data science.

Before this role, Liza was the Executive Manager of Innovation at the CSIRO, and founder of the ON Accelerator- Australia’s first national science & technology accelerator supporting publicly funded research to accelerate real-world impact.

Liza has extensive experience in innovation and technology as the first employee and CEO OF Springboard Enterprises Australia - a venture catalyst for female-founded businesses in technology and life sciences and in several senior strategy and marketing roles across the ICT sector in Australia. UK & Europe.  

Liza is currently the non-executive Vice-President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. She has previously sat on the Executive Council for the IoT Alliance Australia and has served as a Non-Executive Director for the Canberra Innovation Network.

Liza holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of New South Wales and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Liza resides in Singapore with her husband and 3 children.

Nurul Jihadah Hussain, Founder, The Codette Project

In December 2015, Nurul Jihadah Hussain founded The Codette Project, a non-profit ground-up initiative to improve access and opportunities for minority/Muslim women in tech.

The Codette Project runs classes, workshops, panels, networking sessions and social events regularly, including Singapore's only women's hackathon. In 2018, she was selected as one of 115 global community leaders as part of Facebook's inaugural Community Leadership Programme. She wants to create better communities, networks and opportunities, and to diversify what success means in society – to prove that success can look like anyone.

Yolanda Lee, Serial Entrepreneur

Yolanda is a former Regional Head of Partnerships at Deliveroo turned entrepreneur. She is passionate about expanding the boundaries of her comfort zone, and this has taken her to live and work in over 16 countries across Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. She has embraced diversity in her career path working in retail strategy and the entertainment industry before diving into hyper-growth tech companies such as Rocket Internet, Uber and Deliveroo. Throughout her career, Yolanda has been a champion for diversity and inclusion in tech. She helped to found Deliveroo’s gender diversity task force and mentors female-led startups in Colombia.

In her most recent chapter, Yolanda is building her own startup, Uncommon, that aims to create a more inclusive career platform and community for underrepresented groups.

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