Embracing diversity is the right thing to do and good for business, according to Sarah Legg, Group Financial Controller, HSBC.
Ms Legg was speaking at the Out Leadership Summit in Hong Kong – an event championing equality in the workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. She added: “Diversity is not – and should not be – just about business. It is also about fairness. It is about giving everyone the chance to fulfill their potential.”
Ms Legg welcomed the fact that attitudes had changed since her childhood. She said that young people today communicate online with people from a broad range of backgrounds and tend to be more open-minded than older generations. But she added that companies such as HSBC could not afford to be “complacent” if they wanted to understand how best to serve customers around the world.
Ms Legg concluded that if companies wanted to play a leadership role, they would have to “go beyond the basics” of putting inclusion policies in place, and face up to more difficult challenges. These included removing barriers to inclusion, clarifying the business opportunities that can be realised from equality, and accommodating the needs of a diverse group of customers, she said.
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