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Here are 10 ways to create a safe space for all employees, no matter your industry

Here are 10 ways to create a safe space for all employees, no matter your industry


From courtrooms to eateries, diversity & inclusion is a constant ongoing effort for these 10 leaders from Setia Law, Chupitos Shots Bar CQ, and more.

We're sure you've heard it before — fostering a culture of inclusion isn't merely a checkbox on a to-do list; it's a cornerstone of success and progress.

In navigating the evolving workplace, it may be daunting to keep track of all the approaches to cultivating environments where every individual feels valued and empowered. It becomes especially harder when you have to take into account all the nuances that come along today. 

From courtrooms to kitchens, diversity & inclusion is a constant, ongoing effort for these 10 leaders across various industries.

Victoria Ting, Associate Director, Setia Law

This generation of female lawyers is indebted to the fortitude of the generations before. We’re fortunate to be practising at a time when to be female and a litigator is no longer an aberration, and in an industry where women make up half or more than half of new entrants. At the same time, the road ahead to true equality remains a long one, especially in the middle to senior ranks, as well as in certain specialisations (including my own, white-collar crime).

At Setia, as a boutique firm and close-knit team, we place a premium on creating an empowering, diverse, and inclusive environment. We make conscious and deliberate efforts aimed at cultivating female leaders, with the majority of our up-and-coming directors being female, not to mention implementing specific parental support policies.

In my personal capacity, I try to be mindful of role-modelling – to both find my own and role-model a way to operate in the highly contentious, male-dominated space of white-collar crime and litigation without wholesale adoption of traditionally ‘male’ attributes such as truculence. Conversely, I’ve found that traditionally ‘female’ traits like empathy and compassion can be highly effective at understanding my client’s concerns, disarming counterparties and ultimately, achieving better results.

Jennifer Siu, Head of Credit, First Plus Asset Management

As a young leader, it’s important for me to challenge barriers that women and men face through their leadership journeys. This starts with overcoming unconscious biases in the workplace. I embrace inclusion by promoting open dialogue, addressing unconscious bias (including my own), and respecting diverse perspectives. Ultimately, I believe that a safe environment where everyone feels valued and heard will drive creativity and productivity, delivering enhanced value to our stakeholders.

Sylvia Varela, Area Vice President, Asia, AstraZeneca

We prioritise inclusivity, empowering our workforce to thrive fully. Our commitment extends to ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls, with over 50% representation among both our employees and senior leaders. We actively promote allyship among men to foster an open culture where every voice matters. Together, we shape a future where everyone contributes to positive transformation.

Veronika Folkova, Senior Director, People Business Partners for Global Legal Organisation and APAC, Confluent

At Confluent, we inspire inclusion through education for our employees and our leadership team. This includes addressing issues such as the gender pay gap and unconscious biases. We promote initiatives like mentorship programmes and shadowing opportunities. Providing flexible working for all our employees is a big part of making our culture inclusive, while making female talent visible at all levels remains key. Above all, we create an environment where people can thrive and be true to themselves.

Supreeya Mokaramanee, CFO, Siemens Thailand

In my leadership role at Siemens Thailand, where our sustainability framework places an emphasis on equity, I am personally committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, recognising its vital role in our sustainable growth.

I actively advocate for authenticity, valuing diverse perspectives, and ensuring equitable career development opportunities for all. This commitment shapes my actions, creating an inclusive environment where everyone's contributions are valued and recognised.

Shyn Yee Ho-Strangas, Managing Director, Data and Software Solutions (DSS), PropertyGuru Group

Having driven DEI initiatives for more than a decade, I believe in the importance of allyship, recognition and guidance in inspiring inclusion. Having a supportive environment and allyship at PropertyGuru first set the foundation for advancing inclusion. As part of the leadership team, I am also responsible for partnering with the other leaders to ensure the alignment of our policies with our diverse workforce’s needs. Having benefited from mentors’ guidance in my career, I am also passionate about paying it forward to support women into leadership roles.

Koh Yan Ping, CEO, Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO)

At SCWO, we aim to foster an inclusive and supportive environment, to work towards our mission of 'Equal space, equal voice, equal worth', breaking gender stereotypes and fostering a spirit of partnership between women and men. We do this by unifying and amplifying the efforts of over 60 SCWO member organisations, shifting societal mindsets with our initiatives such as the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as mentoring aspiring female directors with our BoardAgender programme.

Kelly Cheong, Senior Human Resources Manager, PSGourmet Group

We are proud of our inclusive and diverse culture here at PSGourmet. Our team is made up of many different ages, cultures, genders, orientations and more. Our differences are what give us an edge and the ability to see through the eyes of the many rather than the few. Creating a space where everyone can be who they want to be is very important to us. Our staff are trained to be sensitive to everyone’s differences and value each other right from their first day.

Jamie Koh Founder & Owner, Chupitos, CQ @ Clarke Quay

Inclusion is very important to me. In a creative environment such as the F&B scene, it leads to greater exchange of ideas and innovation. No one likes an echo chamber, and a diversity of views lets you implement practices that serve both your employees and consumers better.

A company’s culture is its most powerful advantage. Diversity & inclusion has to be embedded within the fabric of an organisation and start from the ground up. Inclusive hiring practices that eliminate gendered language and having a diverse interview panel help you attract like-minded talent to create a harmonious working environment. It’s also crucial to create a safe space where everyone feels comfortable – we ensure that all our employees use respectful language that doesn’t undermine or exclude members of the team, and have an open-door policy when it comes to addressing issues any individual may be facing.

Karine Lee, Regional Head of Human Resources Asia, VP Bank

At VP Bank, inclusivity is actively integrated into our business strategies and decision-making processes. Throughout the Group, we are committed to a diverse talent pool, fair and unbiased practices, and a culture of open communication that fosters respect and trust for a collaborative and cohesive work environment. This is exemplified in our ongoing work through various policies and initiatives such as tailored learning and development pathways, enhanced benefits to increase overall productivity, employee wellbeing and talent retention, to meet the diverse and unique needs of our employees.

ALSO READ: International Women's Day 2024: It's time to #InspireInclusion

All images / Provided

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