Leading Singapore Companies Champion Inclusion And Diversity As They Sign Up For Inclusive Business Pledge Asia
Singapore, 12 May 2022 - Even though a study by the Singapore National Employers Federation showed that about 70% of Singapore-based firms have yet to instate formal diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies, research has shown that in Singapore alone, 60% of employees want their employer to be more inclusive. The Inclusive Business Pledge, launched in 2018, aims to address this by highlighting awareness of the issue, whilst responding to a call from employers for more customised support. Webinars, self-assessment tools and the Inclusive Careers Lab are now part of a comprehensive support system pledging companies can avail themselves of, in addition to Pledge badges and programmes.
The Inclusive Business Pledge (IBP) is the first programme in Singapore to encourage businesses to actively commit to having Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies that help and support LGBTQ people, persons with disabilities, minority women, and other underrepresented groups. Organisations stand to benefit when they help employees feel respected and that they belong - their diverse perspectives valued, regardless of who they are, how they appear, their ages or backgrounds.
Barriers to entry are low, it is free for any organisation, no matter how big or small, to pledge. Companies can also choose from the Professional and Professional Plus Packs- both are paid tiered packages that include a 90-day Inclusion Action Plan, complimentary webinar access, a self-assessment tool, amongst other tools. The Professional Plus Pack includes addition to the Inclusive Careers Lab 2022 calendar and access to a step-by-step implementation roadmap.
Multinational and local companies signal commitment to diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces in Singapore
American streaming company Netflixwas amongst one of the first to pledge its support this year. "At Netflix, we want to entertain the world. To do this well, we need our leaders to lead inclusively and our workplace to be as diverse as our members across the many countries and cultures that we serve. As part of our commitment to building an inclusive workplace, we’ve invested in leadership coaching and grown our employee resource groups here in Asia Pacific. We have more work to do but we’ve made progress. Signing the Inclusive Business Pledge - which supports an environment where diverse perspectives are respected and supported - is another step towards a more equitable and inclusive workplace." commented Heather Matla, Head of Talent (HR), SEA/ANZ/TW, Netflix.
British multinational design, engineering and business consultancy Arup has been a strong advocate for DEI for many years, and see being a part of the IBP as a natural extension for their Singapore office. “Arup’s focus on diversity and inclusion started years ago, but we are on a trajectory to evolve and do more. The Inclusive Business Pledge is an important platform for conversations around a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment. People form our core identity and DNA. Hence, we recognise that a diverse and inclusive workforce will only serve to bring unique strengths to our work, and we will continue to shape a better workplace for all,” said Tan Yoong Heng, Director, Singapore Country Leader.
Homegrown leading classifieds marketplace in Greater Southeast Asia, Carousell, is also on board, and they hope to inspire other local companies to step up. “Having a diverse workplace with people from varying backgrounds and experiences is valuable, because they bring different perspectives to the table. Building a world-class team with the right values and talent is essential to serving a global community. While we have already been making efforts to drive diversity and inclusion in Carousell, we joined the pledge this year to reaffirm our commitment and hopefully encourage more companies to join.” commented Marcus Tan, Co-founder, Carousell.
Over 35 organisations– ranging from small businesses to corporations– have signed the 2022 pledge, with many others expressing interest and are curious to know what pledging entails. The founder of Inclusively Asia, the social enterprise behind the Inclusive Business Pledge, Laurindo Garcia, reflected on its growth and evolution, “We created the Inclusive Business Pledge to support businesses who believe in inclusion, but don’t know how to start their journey in an impactful way. Over the last two years of the pandemic, many local inclusion champions approached me for help to translate their global commitment to inclusion with practices that responded to the local cultural context in Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, several conversations with local employers who told me they were interested in the Inclusive Business Pledge that I founded in 2018, but needed more customised support to fulfil their commitments if they chose to participate. I saw an opportunity ahead.”
Inclusively Asia plans to host a robust series of monthly webinars with experts around the region, case studies, and guidebooks tailored for the local and regional cultural and legal environment for IBP. The first Inclusive Careers Lab kicks off in June 2022, and is a collaboration with Pink Fest, a commercial festival celebrating Global Pride month in Singapore.