Throughout the years, the STA Foundation Awards have recognized those who have made notable and genuine contributions to the well-being of individuals within the financial services industry. Ahead of this year’s awards ceremony and panels on Dec. 1, we’re talking with past recipients to find out what the STA Foundation Awards mean to them. Today, we speak with Tito Singh, who received the STA Women in Finance Ken Heath Award in 2019.
What was it like to receive the STA Women in Finance Ken Heath Award?
I was extremely honored and humbled at the same time. STA is a great organization and I’ve been working closely with them for many years. In fact, I was part of the original Women in Finance meeting at their annual conference years back. It’s great to see an organization that not only acknowledges but also highlights the integral role that women play in financial services, especially given that our industry has historically been male dominated. This organization demonstrates the need to pivot to pro-diversity efforts.
How do you assess the industry’s pro-diversity efforts? Where has there been progress and what still needs to be done?
I am the father of two daughters, ages 24 and 21. I want their future to be one in which they are considered equal and better partners. There has been a shift in pro-diversity efforts, but there is always more work to be done.
At my last job, I sat on an internal committee promoting gender diversity. At the time, I was only one of two men on the committee. However, gender diversity is not just a women’s issue. To create effective and long-term change, more men need to serve as allies for women, especially in financial services. We must improve who we are at an individual level to make strides at a corporate level.
We all have a vital role to play in empowering different groups at our organization, including equal pay and opportunities for advancement for women. Diversity of ideas allows for organizations to progress and thrive. And that comes with having gender and racial diversity.
Ken Heath was a passionate supporter of many charitable causes. Especially given the events of this year, what do you see as Wall Street’s role in terms of philanthropy and giving back?
Ken Heath was a legend. He promoted the advancement of women in financial services and gave so much back to his community. His legacy will live on. 2020 has been a very difficult year for a lot of people with the healthcare and employment crisis. For the fortunate ones with a job, working from home is taking a physical, mental and emotional toll. I am especially concerned about the Super Moms who were working two jobs, at workplace and home, now being always on within the remote working environment. We, as senior executives, managers and colleagues need to be sensitive and help harmonize their work-life balance. You look at what the average person on Wall Street makes compared to the income around the world, we are blessed to be in the global Top 1%.
Community service, volunteering, philanthropy, and society should be core elements that define where we work as well as ourselves as individuals. With these core elements at the forefront, we can make a huge difference within our ecosystems. Amid the pandemic, there are so many who have lost their jobs, homes, and loved ones. If I can help even two or three people in my network get placed, that’s a small victory. If we can each pay it forward, Wall Street can create a better future. If we invoke our inner Ken Heath, it will be a small step and win towards a larger purpose.