The Human Resources Online family wishes all our readers a Merry Christmas!

As we gather around with our loved ones today - be it to celebrate this joyful occasion, or to enjoy the year-end break, we'd like to take this time to reflect on the progress HR and companies have made in building a diverse and inclusive work environment.

We've seen so much happen this year - from extended parental leaves being introduced in companies, to women taking up more board roles, and are confident that the next year will bring even more progress across the region.

With that, in this special edition of the HR Bulletin, we are proud to present to you our top D&I stories in the past year, and we hope these foster greater discussions today and beyond.

1. Diageo rolls out parental leave scheme globally

In July this year, Diageo rolled out a minimum global standard of 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, and four weeks of paternity leave on full rate of pay in all its markets. Read all about it here, including an exclusive interview with Diageo's Sam Fischer, President Greater China and Asia-Pacific.

We're doing this because not only is it the right thing to do for our people, we firmly believe it will also give us a competitive advantage and help us to attract and retain the best talent out there.

Additonally, here are some other firms that have introduced extended parental leaves this year, including Bloomberg, HP Enterprise, and Societe Generale.

2. Career advice from women leaders to their younger selves

Ahead of International Women's Day (IWD) in March 2019, Human Resources Online spoke to more than 60 HR and women leaders, and asked: "If you were to turn back time and meet your younger self, what message would you convey to help yourself overcome the challenges of climbing to the top?"

This is what some of them had to say, in the first of our special 16-part special series on woman leadership and gender diversity.

Be your own biggest fan, and stay true to your strengths. Don’t try to win at somebody else's game.

3. How Millennials and Gen Z differ in their ambitions and concerns

The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, released in May, assessed the mood of respondents of both generations across five parameters (relating to the next 12 months): economy, social/political, personal, environment, and business. Human Resources Online broke down this data into country-specific points.

Check out how Millennials and Gen Zs in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand differed in ambitions.

4. What's your office personality type?

Are you the Workaholic or the Delegator? The Feeder, or Chatty Cathy? Knowing these traits will help you better understand how to help your employees in rough situations. Take the quiz!

5. If you could meet your younger self, what career advice would you give?

In this sixth part of our 16-part series on women leadership, and bridging the gap in gender diversity, see what career advice women leaders such as Carbon Black's Sandra O'Sullivan, HireRight's Ko Hui Yen, Johnson Controls' Yar Ai Lin, and many more would give to their younger selves.

Be daring to rise up to the occasion each time an opportunity presents itself. The mindset "I am not ready" has to go.

6. Indian and Malay candidates more likely to face discrimination for entry-level jobs: Survey

Seven different candidates applied for the same jobs. All had the exact same qualifications, all graduated from a local private university and had a three-month internship, and could all communicate in English, Mandarin and Malay.

The catch? The passport pics used in their resumés were of the exact same man and woman. The candidates all had the same physical features but were applied makeup to look the ethnicity and name provided on their resumé. Survey details here.

7. Why having an 'office mom' may make for a happier workplace

How does Denmark, the happiest country in the world continually rank in the top for job satisfaction? Daniel Baun, HR and Recruitment Manager, Trendhim, blames it all on mom. Be kind. Play nice. Say 'thank you'. The lessons we learned as children are as important now as ever. Here's why that is so.

It's having empathy and taking an active responsibility for each other that makes our workday more pleasant and keeps us coming back each day.

8. Get ready to step up: Why HR should prepare for corporate board roles

Whether mid-career or moving towards retirement, anyone in HR should look ahead to what could be a very satisfying next chapter working on a board, affirms Jenny Dearborn. She shares more.

9. Building diversity isn't an HR role: How leaders across the board invest in it

Driving the transformation towards gender equality like any other key business strategy, a zero tolerance approach to behaviour which can make a culture less inclusive, and mentoring women at different levels– these are just some things leaders are doing to build a gender inclusive environment in all aspects of their life.

Human Resources Online takes a look at what leaders from P&G, Verizon Media, and more, are doing, in this special feature.

10. Traditional wear in the office – yes or no?

Following a move by Sabah's ministry to allow traditional wear at work earlier this year, Priya Sunil speaks exclusively to 11 HR leaders to find out their take on what dress code works best.

Bearing in mind that traditional clothes are allowed or even encouraged at formal events, I’m all for it; but there has to be an understanding of what traditional clothes are accepted.

To all our CHRO friends across Asia: We’d love for a sneak peek at what motivates you, your favourite lunch menu, how you manage your time – anything that completes your day. If you’re keen to share, do reach out to Priya Sunil at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you enjoyed these interviews, you can also stay posted on our latest news and conversations by following Human Resources Online on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn, or signing up for our daily HR Bulletin.

Photo / iStock