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vinika rao

Vinika D. Rao

Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Gender Initiative and Africa Initiative


Vinika Devasar Rao is the Executive Director of the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Gender Initiative and Africa Initiative, and the Asia Director of the Hoffman Global Institute for Business & Society.

Vinika’s doctorate from the Singapore Management University is in the area of gender diversity in corporate leadership, specifically the impact of male supervisory support on the self-regulating focus of mid-career female managers. Her other research interests are leadership diversity, millennials & inter-generational influences on the workplace, and emerging markets strategy. She is frequently invited to speak on these areas and has been quoted or published articles in leading business publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Economist, The Business Times, South China Morning Post and INSEAD Knowledge.

After completing her MBA from IIM Bangalore, Vinika started her career with a multinational bank in India. She went on to become General Manager of an American Asian JV in the field of industrial chemicals and later the Managing Director of an Indonesian conglomerate, before making a serendipitous transition to education. As Associate Professor at the SP Jain Centre of Management, Singapore, Vinika taught business strategy to MBA and EMBA students and conducted specialised programmes for corporate clients. She has also taught at the Melbourne Institute of Technology, Deakin University, Curtin University, Lembaga Pengembangan Management, Indonesia, as well as Murdoch University and Kaplan, Singapore. She has conducted numerous workshops and seminars for specific companies as well as open enrolment events.

You can follow Vinika on Twitter at @VinikaDRao or connect with her on LinkedIn at 

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Confronting Climate Change in Africa

V. D. Rao, P. Yadav

Experts discuss how the climate emergency is impacting Africa – and how leaders across the continent are taking action to mitigate it.

Economics & Finance

How DBS Became the ‘World’s Best Bank’

V. D. Rao, R. Speculand

The Singapore titan’s tech-charged quest to take the banking out of banking has paid off handsomely.

Economics & Finance

How Africa Could Astonish the World

P. Yadav, V. D. Rao

Already the most dynamic and youngest continent, Africa could be the world’s next growth miracle – with the right type of leadership.
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DEI When We Need It the Most

V. D. Rao, C. Trombini, Z. Kinias

Covid-related setbacks require redoubled DEI efforts, but are companies delivering?


Foundations for Gender Balance Can Be Built at Home

Z. Kinias, V. D. Rao

If we want a robust economic recovery and a fairer world, we must stem the tide of women fleeing the Covid-19 workforce.


Disruption as a Force for Good? Gender Balance and COVID-19

Zoe Kinias & Vinika D. Rao

The pandemic may disproportionately affect women around the world – but it need not imperil the hard-earned progress towards gender balance.