Creating More Impactful DEI Programs: Lessons from Leaders in Europe, Asia 2023
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Creating More Impactful DEI Programs: Lessons from Leaders in Europe, Asia 2023

April 13, 2023 | Report

Executive Summary

Employees, customers, investors, and regulators throughout Asia and Europe are increasingly expecting employers to elevate DEI as a strategic priority and to demonstrate real commitment through concrete actions. An acute shortage of talent has led companies to introduce more inclusive DEI policies to enhance their employer brands and employee value propositions. The Conference Board’s 2022 Asia-Europe Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Dialogue brought together more than 200 business leaders from across Asia and Europe to share their strategies and identify workplace trends in four areas: Gender, Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Generational Diversity, and LGBTQ+ Inclusion. This publication summarizes key observations and implications from the conference presentations and discussions.

Insights for What’s Ahead:

  • Employees are increasingly holding leaders accountable for embracing and driving diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, external stakeholders such as consumers are also making purchasing decisions based on how organizations respond to social and racial injustice. 
  • Inclusive leadership is now seen as a critical success factor for future leaders. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has listed it as one of its stated super skills—skills-sets that are expected to be in strong demand by industries in the coming years.
  • DEI strategies must go beyond just strengthening internal cultures and extend to customers, partners, brands, communities, and society at large.
  • Gender equity has been prioritized by many companies over decades, yet it remains an elusive goal for many. Robust parental leave and flexible work arrangements can improve retention and expand talent pools.
  • Addressing generational diversity by building a more age-inclusive culture is a powerful step toward improving retention, engagement, and reducing intergenerational conflict. 
  • The evolution in self-identity - particularly among Gen Z workers - means that rigid categorization and generalization about outlook and behaviors are becoming outdated. Policies and practices that enable employees to feel included regardless of their sexual or gender orientation, are key to retaining invaluable talent.
  • Playbooks on race and ethnicity in many multinationals are created through a Western lens, and often do not resonate well locally. Country-specific materials and resources are critical in creating impactful and relevant solutions.

AUTHOR

SandhyaKarpe, PhD

Human Capital Center Leader, Asia and Program Director of Asia Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Asia Human Resources Council
The Conference Board


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