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First Asia LGBT Index highlights Hong Kong’s most gay friendly businesses

First Asia LGBT Index highlights Hong Kong’s most gay friendly businesses

Winners of the inaugural Hong Kong LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index

Community Business, a not-for-profit organization focusing on diversity and inclusion in the corporate world, has today revealed the results of its inaugural Hong Kong LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index.

Earlier this year, companies were invited to make submissions for the Index, which follows the success of similar indexes in the US, UK and Australia.

However, compared with those countries, LGBT diversity and inclusion remains a more controversial subject in Hong Kong and wider Chinese society.

Indeed, Community Business warns that although its launch of an Index provides a useful starting resource for companies, much more work needs to be done.

For its first Index, a Community Business spokesperson told Gay Star Business that it has received 35 submissions – and 50 nominations for specific awards. By comparison, UK organization Stonewall published an annual Top 100 Workplace Equality Index, drawn last year from 397 entries.

Submissions assessed companies on a range of factors, including diversity training, equal opportunities policies, benefits and community advocacy. Companies were scored out of 100, with the average total score being 42.8 points, illustrating that there remains plenty of room for improvement.

Goldman Sachs received the Top Employer for LGBT Inclusion Award, ranking number one in terms of its performance with regard to LGBT diversity and inclusion.

‘Diversity and Inclusion has long been part of our cultural DNA at Goldman Sachs,” said Goldman Sachs’ Eiji Ueda, co-head of the Securities Division in Asia Pacific and the sponsor of the Asia Pacific LGBT Council.

‘There are productivity gains when an LGBT employee works in an inclusive environment and it is also a way of recruiting top talent.’

The organizations ranked as the Top 10 Employers in Hong Kong for LGBT Inclusion 2015 were:

1. Goldman Sachs
2. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
3. JP Morgan
4. Morgan Stanley
5. Bank of Merrill Lynch
6. Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
7. Barclays Capital Asia Limited
8. Nomura International (Hong Kong) Limited
9. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
10. British Consulate-General Hong Kong
10. British Council Hong Kong

As well as the top ten ranking, four specific awards were presented to individuals and organizations that are furthering LGBT diversity and inclusion in Hong Kong. These were as follows:

  • LGBT Community Impact Award sponsored by Goldman Sachs – Project Touch by Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong
  • LGBT Network Award – J.P. Morgan PRIDE Hong Kong Chapter
  • LGBT Inclusion Champion Award – Steven Chan, Vice President, Head of Regulatory, Industry and Government Affairs, Asia Pacific, State Street Corporation
  • LGBT Executive Sponsor Award – Laurence Bailey, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, J.P. Morgan
  • LGBT Trailblazer Award – Stephen Golden, Head – Global Leadership & Diversity, Asia Ex-Japan, Goldman Sachs

‘When I came to Hong Kong in 2008, many HR professionals told me that it was too early for their companies to focus on LGBT. Look at how far the needle has moved in just seven years,’ says Goldman Sachs’ Stephen Golden on receiving his award.

‘Each and every LGBT employee needs to feel they can bring their whole selves to work. One person feeling they need to be in the “closet” is one person too many.’

Commenting on J.P. Morgan’s appearance on the Index, and its winning of two awards, Andrew Butcher, J.P. Morgan’s Senior Country Office for Hong Kong and Chief Administrative Officer for Asia Pacific, told Gay Star Business: ‘J.P. Morgan believes in the power of a talented and diverse workforce. It is key to building a sustainable business and is one of the cornerstones of our corporate culture.

‘We also believe an inclusive and diverse workforce will enable us to hear, discuss and capture different approaches and perspectives.

‘I’d like to emphasize that one of the most important things we can do – for our colleagues and for one another – is to help foster a culture and society that embraces differences.’

‘We extend our congratulations to the organizations that have made it on to our Top 10 Employers in Hong Kong for LGBT Inclusion 2015 as well as the winners of our various LGBT awards,’ said CEO of Community Business, Mrs Fern Ngai.

‘In particular, we applaud Goldman Sachs for its outstanding performance and position as the number one ranking company,’

‘However, we also want to congratulate and acknowledge all the companies that took part in this Index – their decision to participate is a significant and critical first step.

‘Regardless of performance, all these companies have shown they are committed to creating inclusive workplaces for LGBT employees in Hong Kong and we urge them to use the learning and insights gained through this process to focus their efforts and drive continued progress.’

More information about the Community Business Hong Kong LGBT Index can be found on its official website.

The Index results were announced on the same day as Australian organization Pride in Diversity announced the results of its annual Australian Workplace Equality Index.

Ms Dawn Hough, Director of Pride in Diversity, said in a statement, ‘We are delighted to be announcing the results of our Australian Workplace Equality index on the same day as Community Business announces theirs.

‘We commend and congratulate Community Business for introducing this important measure of LGBTI inclusivity.’