I am a passionate believer in the power of networks, partnerships, and collaborations to make a difference in creating social impact. For the last 6 years, I have been leading the partnerships team at AVPN, working with a range of government, private foundations and corporations to deliver on our mission to move capital for impact and build a vibrant social investment and philanthropy ecosystem across Asia.

AVPN is a ecosystem builder focused on increasing the flow of capital into the social sector in Asia and on ensuring that resources are most effectively deployed to maximise social impact.  Across the region, AVPN brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, including philanthropists, corporations, impact investors, financial institutions, policymakers, and capacity builders to collaboratively overcome the barriers in the local ecosystem and effectively deploy more social investment capital.

Caroline McLaughlin
Chief Partnerships Officer, AVPN

What inspired you to work in the international association sector? Would you recommend this career to others?

I have spent over 20 years creating and managing different networks in cities as diverse as Sydney, Vienna, London, Istanbul, Dubai, Atlanta, and Singapore. I would definitely recommend this as a career to anyone who has a passion to make change happen by connecting people, organisations, and ideas.

Can you remember a time when you needed to #BreakTheBias?

When I first started my career in a stockbroking firm in the 80’s, there were very few women working in the industry. We were young, had not experienced bias at university, and thought that equality had already been won. It was quite a shock to realise that we were considered a minority and that we had to prove that we could do the job just as well as our male counterparts. I have learned that proving yourself by showing up and doing the best you can is a powerful way to #BreaktheBias.

How important are diversity, equity, and inclusion for the future success of associations? Any success stories?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion will be the bedrock of successful workplaces – and associations should lead as role models for their members. We were recently able to increase female participation in one of our boards from 20% to 50%.