As part of our series of 22 stories under the overarching theme of #ChooseToChallenge, the team at Human Resources Online has asked more than 60 HR leaders about their organisation's call-to-action in shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity.

In this fifth part of our series, HR leaders from AdNovum Singapore, AppsFlyer, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Datasite, Deliveroo, and Syngenta, tell us more.

Nicole Schwerdtfeger, Human Resources Manager of AdNovum Singapore

In the software engineering industry where it is largely male-dominated, AdNovum has been constantly seeking ways to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Currently, 29% of our employees in AdNovum Singapore are female – with 1 out of 4 (25%) in managerial roles. We recently recruited a female Chief People Officer onboard as well in AdNovum HQ, who would be taking charge of the overall HR initiatives.

AdNovum’s culture has always been transparent when communicating initiatives and information with employees locally and across all offices. Bi-annual surveys are organised to address pay gaps, current policies and employee welfare.

Special work arrangements are also being supported to accommodate the needs of employees in their different stages of life – at present, one part-time working mother and one towards gradual retirement. We believe that our flexible culture with a work-life balance certainly promotes gender equality, while ensuring employees’ physical and mental well-being.

Lisa Zaythik, Chief People Officer at AppsFlyer

Diversity is our strength. We are proud of AppsFlyer’s global diversity, which reflects a human mosaic of cultures, gender, generations, perspectives, and talent.

Promoting a gender-inclusive and equal workforce is part of our belief that our mission is best served by a culture, that fosters diversity and inclusion in all its dimensions, and equally elevates voices from different backgrounds and perspectives.

As an equal opportunity and people-obsessed organisation, we seek to recruit, develop and invest in the most talented people and embrace diverse cultures, perspectives, skills, and experiences within our workforce and beyond. We see this not only from our business perspective, but from a human responsibility perspective.

Theresa Ng, HR Business Partner, APAC, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)

The Center for Creative Leadership is committed to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) as we believe that it is central to our organisational mission.

Internally as an organisation, we strive to model EDI by approaching our work with an EDI lens and focus.

For instance, our people practices, and policies are committed to boost gender equity and fair process leadership. Furthermore, our talent acquisition, work life, compensation, talent development and performance management practices are based on a best skills fit policy. Compensation and job offer are also based on the skills, knowledge and experience and benchmarked to the role that employees are applying for and aspiring to achieve.

We believe that EDI is central to building strong corporate cultures that generate healthy returns and a positive value creation process within the organisation.

Deborah LaMere, Vice President of Human Resources at Datasite

We strive to operate in an ethical, accountable, and sustainable way, including promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion. We do this in several ways. For example, at the height of the pandemic last summer, we gave all our employees an extra two days off for mental wellness and to recharge. After weeks in crisis, employees needed a chance to step away.

This year, we updated our time off policy to provide a single bank of time off (25 days) for employees to use however they see fit. Additionally, next month we kick off a series of quarterly diversity events to ensure everyone at Datasite feels welcome.

We started with a virtual panel discussion on how to shape a more equal future and recovery from the pandemic to celebrate International Women’s Day. We also regularly celebrate our diverse talent. One of our female product managers recently led her team in the development of a new product that was named a 2021 BIG Innovation Award winner. We recognised this with a video on social media and internal channels.

Jamie Edwards, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (Interim), Deliveroo

While women make up about 61.1% of the workforce in Singapore, food delivery has traditionally been a male-dominated profession.

Deliveroo is all about building a definitive food company that everyone can belong and grow. Diversity and inclusion is a key part of who we are and that’s why we go to great lengths to ensure a fair and meritocratic system.

To increase inclusivity and eradicate gender disparity, we’ve rolled out several initiatives focusing on transparency, including publishing an internal quarterly gender pay gap report aimed at ensuring pay equity and increasing representation of women, especially at senior levels.

We’ve also implemented measures to mitigate bias in how we hire, reward and promote people, such as a largely algorithmically-driven approach to compensation reviews

We’ve also launched a mandatory, company-wide, unconscious bias training to help employees identify their own unconscious biases so that we can raise greater awareness and develop the necessary skills and shared understanding to build a more inclusive company. This is especially crucial, as unconscious bias can limit effective decision-making, particularly for under-represented groups in the way we assess, hire and develop.

Armaan Seth, APAC HR Director, Syngenta

To build a workplace that truly celebrates equality, we must first challenge our personal unconscious bias. This commitment underpins our D&I philosophy and culture at Syngenta in the APAC region.

Change starts from the top as senior leaders – both female and male – lead with vulnerability and share their personal encounters with unconscious biases in the workplace. They champion our organisational values by committing to eliminate bias and share their advice with our employees on how to mitigate their personal biases.

It is also important to have a framework in place to provide checks against potential biases. At Syngenta, we have facilitated several career development opportunities focused on our female employees to help fulfil their professional goals and succeed in leadership positions.

This International Women's Day, we challenge our employees to confront their personal biases and continue to be champions of equality in the workplace and at home.

Photo / Provided [ First row, L-R: Nicole Schwerdtfeger, Lisa Zaythik, Theresa Ng. Second row, L-R: Deborah LaMere, Armaan Seth, Jamie Edwards]

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