Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
IWD 2024: 8 stories to inspire diversity & inclusion in your workplace

IWD 2024: 8 stories to inspire diversity & inclusion in your workplace


In this edition of our IWD series, HRO is excited to bring you stories and inputs from leaders from SingPost, Mastercard, TikTok Malaysia, and many more.

We're keeping the ball rolling with even more insights as to how leaders across the region are inspiring inclusion in the workplace — after all, diversity and inclusion efforts should not be limited to just one day.

As leaders championing the way in your workplace, it is important to keep finding new ways to create a work environment where individuals feel valued. In doing so, it is key to constantly be on the lookout for fresh actionable insights, especially from your fellow people leaders. 

In this edition of our International Women's Day 2024 series, we are excited to bring you stories and inputs from eight leaders from organisations such as SingPost, Mastercard, TikTok Malaysia, and many more! 

Sehr Ahmed, Group Chief People Officer, SingPost

As an Asian woman born in Pakistan and having lived across 10 countries and 12 cities, I deeply value diversity at a personal level. My journey as a single parent while managing a demanding global corporate career has strengthened my belief in fostering inclusive and vibrant workplace cultures. Having been the only woman in past C-Suite roles, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of representation in driving meaningful conversations. These experiences have shaped me into a passionate advocate for promoting environments where inclusivity and diversity thrive.

At SingPost, as we expand globally, our dedication to embracing diversity becomes even more crucial for driving innovation and generating new ideas. It is through the diversity of thinking, experience, cultures and backgrounds that we enrich conversations and drive superior decisions and business performance. At the same time, it deeply touches my heart to witness multiple generations of team members and family members working together at SingPost. This creates a special sense of camaraderie that extends beyond the workplace and into their personal lives.

In this dynamic digital era, fostering digital competencies and a forward-thinking mindset is key to prevent exclusion. We prioritise ongoing learning and development in digital skills, empowering our employees with the tools to excel, driving our pursuit of exceptional service delivery. In pursuit of fostering a culture of mutual learning, we are thrilled to introduce a novel initiative: a reverse mentoring programme. In this innovative programme, younger employees will have the opportunity to mentor senior leaders, enabling a dynamic exchange of knowledge and perspectives.

Promoting diversity and inclusivity is an ongoing journey. We are dedicated to making progress and fostering a work environment where individuals feel valued, respected, and proud to be a part of our team at SingPost.

Alicia Cheong, Co-founder and COO, Geniebook

(Our company's products are) rooted in the belief that everyone possesses unique strengths. We honour these differences, fostering a culture where team members are encouraged to share their opinions and perspectives with courage. Emphasising the 'best idea wins' mentality, we ensure that every individual feels empowered to contribute their distinct talents, creating a collaborative environment where innovation thrives.

Capt. Ashish Mediratta, Head of Crewing, A.P. Moller Maersk

In Maersk we promote inclusion through empowering every employee to bring their true self to work, and by actively supporting a 'Speak Up Culture'. Maersk is on a mission of building a work culture on inclusion and respect. It is about creating a common vocabulary to address and appreciate diversity and create an inclusive work environment that prioritises psychological safety every bit as much as physical safety. We do this, as 'ONE Team, Together'.

Aisha Islam, Senior Vice President, Customer Solutions Center, Southeast Asia, Mastercard

As the APAC Lead of the Women’s Leadership Network at Mastercard, I focus on creating programmes that empower female trailblazers at all levels to inspire success, enable career enrichment, and encourage leadership. We launched the 'Women Achievers Programme', a podcast for women to share their accomplishments and inspire others. Being on the Women in Payments ASEAN Advisory Board also allows me to collaborate with women across the industry to develop future female leaders.

Lin Lin, Vice President, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls

My approach to inspiring inclusion at Johnson Controls is to elevate each employee’s mindset and responsibility to contribute to our DEI culture. By providing the right programmes, we are embedding our culture in our workplace, and in our employees’ hands. For example, we have several activities and channels that enhance employees' engagement and sense of belonging. Our business resource groups empower every employee to take an active role in creating a culture that values uniqueness, celebrates creativity and drives innovation.

Esther Eng, Senior Director Human Resources, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, DXC Technology

I believe inspiring inclusion goes beyond gender diversity or simply increasing the representation of women in leadership and senior roles within the workplace. Whilst this is a non-negotiable first step, for me, inspiring inclusion takes the form of encouraging conversations across the organisation on growth, bias mitigation and equality. At the same time, I value every idea from our people on how we can apply technology to improve the communities we work and live in to drive positive social change.

Nur Azre Abdul Aziz, Partnerships Lead, TikTok Malaysia

TikTok is vibrant thanks to our diverse community of employees, users, and brands on our platform. We welcome people as they are, value diverse viewpoints, and aim to harness unique strengths while celebrating each other's differences.

Diversity and Inclusion is not only about a singular dimension of identity, culture, or what’s on your resume, but also about welcoming people's diverse qualities, perspectives, and experiences.

We recognise the value that a diversity of cultures, backgrounds, experiences and thought brings to our workplace and products - allowing for greater creativity to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions as a business.

Karen Kim, CEO, Human Managed

At Human Managed [HM], there are no barriers to entry. Your past, background, or other attributes do not matter; we prioritise the value you bring to HM and its ecosystem, including customers, partners, and employees. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean allowing the work to speak for itself. This embodies inclusion by default.

Our workplace celebrates diversity in various forms, including gender, skills, generational and cultural diversity. We believe in providing equal opportunities for all individuals to thrive and contribute their unique talents and insights. We recognise the immense value that different perspectives bring to the table, enriching our collaboration and innovation.

  • Women hold approximately 50% of leadership positions, including CEO, Director, CFO and Head of Design Ops, demonstrating our commitment to gender equality and inclusion at all levels.
  • We embrace diversity in skills with a multifaceted team encompassing engineers, programmers, designers, creatives, architects, business experts, strategists, and operations professionals. This diverse skill set enables us to approach challenges from multiple angles, fostering innovation and creativity in our solutions.
  • Our team spans generations, with representatives from Gen X to Gen Z. This generational diversity infuses our workplace with a blend of experiences, ideas, and approaches, ensuring that we remain dynamic and adaptable in an ever-evolving world.
  • We champion cultural diversity in our workplace, with our distributed team hailing from India, the Philippines, and Singapore. We have implemented accountability and backup responsibilities across countries to encourage collaboration and mutual understanding among our diverse team members. This approach promotes cross-cultural collaboration and teamwork, enhancing our collective effectiveness.

Our organisational culture revolves around openness, inclusiveness, and transparency, facilitated by a flat organisational structure and open communication channels. Everyone has access to one another, and there is transparency regarding company operations, fostering trust and cohesion within the team.

One of the critical aspects of our approach to diversity and inclusion is the flexibility in roles and responsibilities. Individuals are not confined to fixed roles; instead, they can explore and contribute to various functions across the platform based on their skills and interests. Several of our employees have taken on roles different from their education qualification, previous job or experience. This empowers our employees to take ownership of their work and drive initiatives that align with their passions.

Ultimately, our focus remains on the work and the job to be done, valuing each individual's contributions and fostering an environment where everyone feels respected and appreciated. This inclusive mindset underpins our success as a diverse and vibrant team.

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

All images / Provided

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