D&I: Singapore too 'hung up' on hiring quotas

Leaders are urging local firms to drive a cultural shift to attain authentic D&I at the workplace

D&I: Singapore too 'hung up' on hiring quotas

Singapore companies must drive a cultural shift to improve diversity and inclusion, rather than focus on a numbers game, urged HR and digital transformation leaders.

Speaking at a recent panel discussion hosted by Workday, the leaders addressed reports that Singapore lags behind other global organisations in terms of D&I.

Some companies in Singapore may be placing too much emphasis on meeting quotas, said the panellists. This can create a situation where hires are made just to meet targets, instead of bringing in talent who can bring the most value to a company over the long term.

“Diversity and inclusion needs to serve a purpose so that it does not come at the expense of the company’s bottom line,” said Merle Chen, Chief Talent Officer at The Lo & Behold Group.

“Diversity and inclusion is important because it helps to challenge common views and prevent group thought. Having a non-traditional person on the team can help lead to innovation with divergent thinking.”

Panellists also urged companies to take a forward-looking approach to hiring talent. As more companies unlock value through building diversity and inclusion, traditional hiring approaches, based on relevant past experience should be reviewed.

“We need to look into the future and hire people who can add value to the organisation based on their diverse skillsets and not just related past experiences,” said Larissa Tan, CEO at Vanda Electrics.

“True diversity and inclusion is not just about fulfilling gender or nationality quotas but how hiring people of diverse skills, experience and cultures can add value to an organisation.”

Looking ahead for 2019, the leaders said that a close partnership between the public and private sectors is key to driving diversity and inclusion agenda forward in Singapore.

“Singapore is still at the start of its diversity and inclusion journey,” said Dion Groeneweg, managing director at Cape Group. “To propel the country’s agenda forward, it is important for both the government and companies to pull multiple levers to make things happen.”

Singapore’s D&I efforts have recently been in the spotlight as the country shows slow progress: Singapore’s gender gap at its worst in 10 years

Recent articles & video

Manulife offers staff extra paid day off

The shocking bias stunting career growth

Back to office workers show super low morale

Fun Friday: Trending career hashtags on TikTok

Most Read Articles

Singapore to move back to ‘phase 3’

Gay Olympics: HK leaders label event ‘disgraceful’

Facebook gives staff option to go fully remote