In the dynamic landscape of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), according to Andrews Partnership, the role of leaders in Asia is undergoing significant shifts, reflecting the global evolution of DE&I strategies.
Changing Leadership Dynamics
In response to economic uncertainty, global companies experienced a surge in DE&I hires in 2020/21. However, recent trends in the United States saw prominent figures stepping down from key roles, citing economic conditions. In contrast, Asia's growth in DE&I leadership has been more stable, with a focus on aligning global strategies with local expertise.
Challenges Unique to APAC
One common frustration among APAC leaders is the tendency for global approaches that overlook the region's cultural, societal, and legal nuances. The DE&I landscape in Asia is diverse, requiring tailored strategies for LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equity, financial inclusion, mental health, and more. Despite increased budgets, leaders face the challenge of delivering impactful initiatives with limited resources, leading to a call for better support from companies and search firms.
Talent Resourcing and Key Skills
DE&I hiring in Asia has shifted from a checkbox exercise to a critical driver of business success. The talent pool has grown, drawing from HR, NGOs, consultancies, and increasingly, internal communications professionals. Successful candidates share key transferable skills, including strong leadership and communication, data analytics proficiency, geopolitical and cultural understanding, and a strategic mindset.
As highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article, metrics play a crucial role in DE&I efforts. APAC leaders emphasize the importance of turning data into actionable insights to drive organizational change. Metrics cover employee demographics, retention rates, candidate profiles, and equal pay, allowing companies to demonstrate the impact of diversity on the bottom line and focus efforts efficiently.
In the face of evolving challenges, DE&I leaders in Asia are navigating complexities with resilience, striving for a balance between global strategies and localized expertise.
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