Bloomberg Thought Leadership Series: People and Performance: D & I Driving Bottom Line Performance
Bloomberg’s People and Performance series, hosted in partnership with Elliott Scott HR and spearheaded by Jig Ramji, Regional HR Leader, was held in Singapore on Monday 30th May. Launched in 2015, this is the fifth event in the series and marks the second event of 2016.
The event provided the opportunity for over 100 senior-level HR professionals to network over drinks and canapés, before hearing insights from thought leaders on the challenges most pertinent for HR in the region.
The theme was on diversity and inclusion, and it addressed the issue that while many companies are focused on driving the bottom line through inclusive HR practices, not all HR teams or companies have the capabilities to do so. The event put the business case for D&I into a commercial perspective, providing the opportunity to hear about the latest best practices. Jig Ramji introduced the event by noting that D&I should not be cost-driven or a ‘nice to have’. It should underpin the business strategy in order to differentiate your organisation and ensure that the best talent is always available to you.
Hayden Majajas, Bloomberg’s APAC Head of D & I, moderated the event, which began with an armchair discussion with Andy Milnes, CEO, Integrated Supply & Trading, Eastern Hemisphere at BP. Andy said that organisations should utilise D&I to solve disruption in the marketplace, as speed of information has increased the need for greater innovation and creativity to stay ahead. Inclusive leadership that builds for the future and can energise your team is vital to this process.
A panel discussion followed, including Andy Hwang, Head of SMB, Asia Pacific at Facebook, Shilpi Agarwal, HR Business Partner at Barclays, and Sharn Bedi, Co-Founder at Embrace. Andy shared how Facebook builds teams with cognitive diversity, hiring people who can think about and solve problems differently. Building a workforce that looks like their customers is also key, and with over 1.65 billion users globally on Facebook, this means they require a particularly diverse workforce to reflect this. Facebook’s Managing Bias initiative aims to better understand and manage unconscious bias, which can affect the diversity and inclusiveness within an organisation and their hiring practises. Information on this program can be found at managingbias.fb.com.
Shilpi said that in order for a workplace to be truly inclusive, employees need to be able to bring their whole self to work. How this can be achieved is by being fully supported by the organisation and its policies. D&I should be part of everyone’s jobs and embedded in every conversation within an organisation. One initiative Barclays implemented was their This is Me campaign that deals with changing perceptions about disability and raising awareness of wellbeing. The campaign features Barclays colleagues talking openly and frankly about their mental and physical health aimed to show that disabilities don’t define who you are or what you can do and shouldn’t prevent you from doing a job, as long as you get the support that you need from your organisation and colleagues.
Sharn Bedi focused on concepts of positive psychology and neuroscience, whereby happy workplaces lead to happy employees, and better profits. With the main driver of an individual’s success being themselves and their emotions, female employees in particular may find themselves held back in their careers by their own lack of confidence. She also remarked that in order for HR policies to have the intended effect of fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment, the ‘employee’ themselves must also be trained to become a ‘better’ leader of self . “We must not become complacent to only look at 'equality' measures, but also 'quality' measures of the 'person's' experience at work and in life. This has a direct correlation with engagement, productivity and the bottom line.”
The panel concluded with questions from the audience followed by an opportunity to network. In his closing comments, Hayden said “ESG is continuing to be a leading factor for our clients when making business decisions. Bringing transparency to performance of companies in this space and addressing challenges as well as best practices is a role that Bloomberg takes seriously. As the armchair conversation and panel discussion showed, a significant part of this conversation is about talent; specifically around how companies create inclusive environments that drive innovation and better performance. #PeopleAsP&L.”
Elliott Scott HR would like to thank Bloomberg and the speakers for their contribution to making the event a success.
To find out when the next event will be held, or for more information, please contact Group Marketing and Communications Manager, Malinda Zerefos at email@example.com.