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Pride exclusive: What firms in Asia are doing to celebrate diversity and inclusion



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In light of Pride month, Human Resources wanted to raise the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in organisations. Speaking to Dr Martha Tara Lee, clinical sexologist, Eros Coaching on that issue, she highlighted the two reasons for the push for D&I: “In the first approach, firms view diversity as a responsibility and commitment to address existing social inequalities which are reflected in their workforce, as well as to promote inclusion of underprivileged populations into the workforce and in management.”

“In the second approach, firms present diversity as an important ingredient for exchange of different perspectives, and collaboration with the final objective of encouraging innovation and corporate performance,”

With that said, we reached out to different firms across Asia to hear their efforts and views in this push for D&I in the workplace.

“We believe it’s important to celebrate initiatives that recognise the significance of diversity and inclusion. This year, to celebrate Pride month, we are fortunate enough to be hosting Theresa Goh, Singaporean swimmer and medalist at the 2016 Summer Paralympics, who will interact with our staff and share her perspectives on various issues. Theresa is an ambassador for the LGBT community in Singapore and is passionate about helping young people in Asia understand that they can be comfortable and open about who they are.”
– Princess Gerona, head of human resources, QBE Singapore

“We at Lunch Actually Group adopt a unique company culture that focuses on job flexibility, collaboration and innovation to make work more fulfilling, purposeful and empowering for or associates. With that, we know the importance of having diversity (ethnicity, gender, age national origin, sexual orientation, education and religion) in our company to bring fresh and varying perspectives when it comes to problem solving or new ideas for any aspects in the company. We use this as leverage to benefit our business.

For example, in Lunch Actually Group, our associates have a diverse age group (60% are in their late 20s to mid-30s, 30% are in their early to mid-20s, and 10% in their 40s) for that objective. They also come from diverse nationalities and background such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, India, Vietnam and even South America! Plus, our senior management team consists of equal number of male and female associates.”
Violet Lim, co-founder, Lunch Actually

“Gender wise, we are definitely not short of women in tech (in GovTech). If we look at the technology associates we’ve hired; there’s bound to have two to three women in each cohort (of 10). If we’re going to address recruitment of people with disabilities, we do have visually-impaired professionals working in key roles such as project management. In fact, we are currently working on partnering with SG Enable on how to we can create suitable roles so that more people with disabilities could join the workforce.”
– Evangeline Chua, chief people officer, GovTech

“Diversity should be promoted from the board level down; and diversity of thought as well as with gender and sexual orientation. For example, having younger people on a board where they can bring digital knowledge and experience might be a way of promoting more diverse thought as companies become more digitally conversant.”
– Michael Crompton, general manager, Criticaleye Asia

Photo / 123RF

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