HR Policy Global members gathered to examine how diversity is interpreted differently in Asian countries, where racism and race are often intrinsically linked to complex notions of identity where “race” is the least identifiable. In addition, members shared how to create DE&I programs that effectively support and engage employees in Asia. Global members can view the replay here.
The concept of race does not always translate well in Asian cultures and workplaces, according to recent research by Community Business. Rather, Mr. McGregor noted, differences are better understood through specific attributes such as skin colour, religion, accent or dialect, class or caste, and appearance and dress. Even in countries such as Japan and China, where the majority of the populations come from one racial group, employees experience discrimination in the workplace based on these factors.
Company DE&I responses should be crafted for the marketplace to drive effective employee support and engagement, Ms. Page shared in discussing Kyndryl’s strategy for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Asia Pacific. She emphasized that company leaders should continue to focus on eliminating systemic barriers and creating an environment where employees feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. Finally, our speakers highlighted the importance of establishing a safe space for employee dialogue that recognizes the importance of harmony and nationalistic sentiment prevalent in some Asian cultures.