Now in her third year as Chair of HSBC’s gender ERG, BALANCE, Melisa is working hard to support the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. Membership has tripled over the course of a single year, with a new team structure, working groups and the involvement of men. Melisa is proud of the new opportunities brought about by these changes, including leadership development for those heading up the new working groups and the ability to execute multiple effective initiatives simultaneously. Some of the group’s more recent initiatives include a ‘Balance for Better’ walk through the city to raise awareness for gender equity on International Women’s Day; a breakfast for employees and their sons and daughters; inspirational meet-ups with senior executive women at HSBC; workshops with women entrepreneurs in low-income neighbourhoods alongside a credit support initiative to support their projects; and a workshop with more than 80 students to discuss the gender pay gap and inclusivity in the workplace. Melisa is also mentoring and sponsoring a young professional woman at HSBC. Last year’s HERoes recognition encouraged her to help launch ‘Mujeres al Mundo’, Women to the World, to connect businesswomen with new markets and opportunities, taking advantage of HSBC’s international footprint. Alongside milestone successes with Mujeres al Mundo, Melisa participates in local female networks. In addition, she is involved as a mentor in an international mentoring program with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.