Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
'I’m safe, I belong and I matter': 8 leaders share their journey of inspiring inclusion in the workplace

'I’m safe, I belong and I matter': 8 leaders share their journey of inspiring inclusion in the workplace


From mentorship and educational programmes, to ensuring voices are heard, here's how our interviewees from TDCX, ADM, Remote, BT Group, AWWA, Equinix South Asia, Adnovum Singapore, and Orchard Turn Developments are doing so.

Inclusion — this term has evolved so much to hold the meaning it does today, whether it's relating to gender, abilities, or more. 

In line with International Women's Day which passed on 8 March, HRO sought to hear from leaders and individuals in the region on how they are inspiring inclusion in the workplace. 

In the fourth edition of this special feature, let's take a look at how our interviewees from TDCX, ADM, Remote, BT Group, AWWA, Equinix South Asia, Adnovum Singapore, and Orchard Turn Developments are doing so.

Angie Tay, EVP and Group COO, TDCX

As a global customer experience solutions provider, we recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion, especially given our strengths in managing cross-cultural teams and serving international customers. We believe that having a diverse workforce not only creates a positive work environment but drives better business outcomes as we can better appreciate and meet the unique needs, cultural backgrounds, and preferences of the customers we serve.

At TDCX, our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives encompass training, organisational policies, and fostering an inclusive culture. For example, we have implemented an agile working arrangement policy that considers the needs of people with disabilities (PWDs) and working mothers when it comes to flexible work arrangements.

We actively engage in community outreach efforts, both internally hosted events and partnerships with external organisations, to educate employees about the importance of DEI. We also organise programmes such as mentorship and leadership development, and implement fair pay practices to support the advancement of women leaders. These efforts have resulted in women holding nearly half of the leadership positions at TDCX.

Lastly, we constantly measure our DEI initiatives to ensure their effectiveness for meaningful change.

Li Jingting, Talent Acquisition Manager, APAC, ADM

I believe a diverse workforce brings varied perspectives and creativity, enhancing innovation, problem-solving, and decision-making. Diversity thus stands as a strategic advantage for all companies. As ADM's APAC DEI&B council member, and drawing from my talent acquisition background, I aim to promote awareness of subconscious bias among internal stakeholders and ensure fair and unbiased hiring through interview techniques training.

We’ve also incorporated diverse interview panels in our hiring process and are actively engaging female talents in APAC, bolstering gender equality in our recruitment pipeline.

Barbara Matthews, Chief People Officer, Remote

From the beginning, Remote was built with inclusion in its DNA, with the fundamental goal to provide equal and global access to job opportunities and wealth building. We began working fully remotely and asynchronously and have continued till today as our team now sits in over 80 countries. Our workplace environment has been designed with care to ensure that everyone feels included, no matter where they are in the world.

Having flexibility and transparency is key to achieving this. We empower people to work at their best times and we trust our teams to deliver the best results. It’s all about life-work balance — acknowledging that life comes first fosters a culture of inclusion, where people with diverse life experiences, capabilities and needs can equally thrive.

Daphne Chee, Cyber Security Alliance, and Sales Strategist, & Security Lead for Public Sector SEA, BT Group

At BT, our commitment and work to inclusion and diversity (I&D) extends beyond women, ethnic minorities, and disabled colleagues. We want to help shape a brighter future for the next generation.

At the global level, this is evident in our partnership with UNICEF to ensure technology is available and accessible to children. This collaboration has since benefitted 2mn individuals across 23 countries. Locally, we are deeply involved with the Children's Wishing Well's annual learning journey. My personal involvement in guiding the children through the cybersecurity facets of BT Group has been an enriching experience. It enables young minds to enhance their confidence and deepen their understanding of digital tools and technology.

As a mother of two, such efforts are incredibly close to my heart. It's gratifying to contribute to the ongoing education of the younger generation, empowering them in continuous learning and support them in making the most out of technology.

Our role as an industry leader is pivotal in ensuring that the future of technology is not only inclusive but also diverse, catering to the needs and aspirations of every child.

Carolyn Zhuang, Care Specialist, Adult Disability Home, AWWA

Seventeen years ago, I joined AWWA, driven by curiosity in the social service sector and a desire to serve, and inclusion was not a buzzword then! I've supported the AWWA Special Student Care Centre, providing after-school care for youths with additional needs, and now I care for adults with disabilities in a 'home without walls' in the same organisation. My time in AWWA has strengthened my belief that inclusivity is achievable with an open mind and empathy.

Yee May Leong, Managing Director, Equinix South Asia

At Equinix, we believe that people are a force for good. We inspire inclusion every day by ensuring many voices, including women, to be heard, and employees can say, 'I’m safe, I belong and I matter'. For many years, Equinix has been promoting and empowering women through WomenConnect. Today, a third of our leaders in Asia Pacific are women, which clearly demonstrates our commitment to creating a diverse & inclusive culture of the company.

Susann Burki, Head of People Singapore, Adnovum Singapore

Beyond policies, Adnovum cultivates a thriving, inclusive culture where unique talents and perspectives fuel innovation. We empower our team through flexible work options, mentorship, and leadership development programmes. We aim to also foster a collaborative environment where everyone feels valued, heard and are able to thrive. Our commitment to inclusive hiring ensures equal opportunity for all, building a high performing team that break barriers in this traditionally male-dominated industry.

Yeo Mui Hong, Chief Executive Officer, Orchard Turn Developments

Creating an inclusive workspace isn't just a goal; it’s an ongoing journey. At ION Orchard, we believe that inclusivity drives ownership, innovation and collaboration. Every opinion matters and we hold regular dialogue sessions to seek feedback from our employees.

We strive to provide our employees with equal opportunities so that they can excel in their jobs and meet their career aspirations. Built on strong foundations of trust and open communication, we constantly explore new ways to improve our employees’ wellbeing.

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

Photos: Provided by interviewees

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