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Hays’ 2020 report, Getting below the surface on the D&I iceberg, revealed that 60% of employees across Asia cite innovation as an outcome that can be positively impacted by diversity & inclusion.

This makes it the second-most highly ranked benefit behind company culture, the report states. And yet, D&I remains an area that needs more attention.

“The overall percentage of female line managers rose from 39% to 40% in 2019. At that rate it might be 2029 before parity is achieved, but at least that particular milestone is now in sight,” the report states.

While this is – at best – a modest gain, some areas of D&I also have a long way to go.

According to the report, “Ageism, too, is a major issue that concerns workers across Asia. Only 48% of respondents said their job-selection chances had never been hindered due to D&I issues, with 34% saying that age had been a barrier to their landing a role. Only ‘disclosure of a disability’ had lower lowest levels of perceived equality.”

But perhaps there is no area of equality is more vexed than LGBTQ acceptance in the community – and as a corollary to this, acceptance at work.

There is depressingly little in the way of empirical data on LGBTQ acceptance in Hong Kong, and Asia at large, but plenty of anecdotal evidence. None more notorious than a poster campaign by Cathay Pacific in May 2019, Moving beyond labels, one of which featured two gay men holding hands on the beach, that was promptly censored by two of Hong Kong’s biggest and most widely known companies.

The bans were only lifted following a public outcry.

In Asia, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or queer could result in a mix of challenges from discrimination all the way to criminalisation, despite the overall progress being made in acceptance, tolerance and advocacy of LGBTQ human rights. This vilification extends from public life right through to the workplace. 

And yet the time is ripe for change. A 2020 survey of Chinese University students revealed that just 12% of respondents objected to laws against LGBT discrimination – a significant drop from 35% in 2016.

To shine a light on this important issue, Human Resources Online is proud to unveil ShhOUT – LGBTQ advocacy in the workplace, a full-day virtual event on 16 June that seeks to nudge forward the discussion in the right direction. To find out more click here.

Are you ready to attend in-person HR events in the second half of 2021?

If so, what duration do you prefer?

shout tears for fears

Jam-packed full of insights from leaders, visionaries and LGBTQ advocates, ShhOUT seeks to shift the dial on workplace equality. So why not sign up and join the conversation?