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November 2022

Our Diversity Discussion Needs a Refresh!

A couple of months ago, Arnaud Despierre (迪安诺)and Kaifeng Wang hosted a series of discussions with over 30 leading CEOs on the need for Diversity of Thought and the relevance of new ideas and fresh thinking that can help move the needle on business performance. These findings were published by the Strategic HR Review.

The purpose of the paper was to provide a practical framework for business and human resources (HR) practitioners to drive diversity in their organizations in a manner that can promote better business results.

“The authors found an overwhelming alignment on how CEOs think about how to promote diversity of thought in their organizations. At a high level, the authors agreed that this is a complex issue that cannot be easily measured and needs to be tackled by using a holistic approach across several dimensions.”

These dimensions included:

  • The need to use a context-based definition of diversity
  • The pitfalls of measuring diversity by using an overly narrow lens (e.g., gender or ethnicity)
  • The requirement to create a bias-free culture where diverse opinions can flourish and be listened to
  • The need for supporting HR systems and processes.1

Last month, Kingsley Gate invited the CEOs to discuss the key findings of the paper and to evaluate the ongoing discussion on diversity. Below is a quick synopsis of the key findings and the ensuing result of the event.

Key Findings of the paper

  1. Your aim must be strategically inclusive of diversity
  2. Ensure an expansive and inclusive view of diversity
  3. Establish strong support systems within the business environment
  4. Culture, culture, culture – ensure diversity in spirit

An additional finding that came up through our CEO event in Singapore highlighted the most underrated dimension of diversity within Asia-Pacific: Disability.

Gender did not get a single vote which leads us to an important question, do we need to refresh the diversity debate?