Perceptions of LGBTQ+ Talent in Singapore – Insights & Analyses
12 January 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
SICC Members' Room
We had an engaging event discussing Chamber member Achieve Group’s late 2022 survey of how businesses in Singapore perceive LGBTQ+ talent. The context was the recent repeal of the discriminatory section 377A of the Singapore Penal code.
Achieve Group’s first survey on how businesses regard LGBTQ+ talent took place in 2018. Magdalene Ho from the company presented the results of the 2022 survey and compared them with those of 2018. What was most interesting was that there were more neutral responses in 2022 than in 2018. What does this mean? Does it mean people think asking businesses if they have negative or positive perceptions of LGBTQ+ talent is a non-issue? Does it mean people are not bothered or is it because they are not sure?
A panel comprising of Ms. Low Peck Kem representing SHRI, Mr. Alex Goh, a lawyer in private practice whose role was to explain legal issues, Mr. Joshua Yim, CEO Achieve Group and moderated by Mr. Victor Mills, Chief Executive SICC discussed this and other questions among themselves and with the audience. Key messages from the dialogue are:-
1. Businesses are pragmatic and need to be equal opportunity employers to attract all talent in a tight labour market to achieve their objectives.
2. The workforce is a reflection of the diversity of our society and, therefore, of every business’s client base.
3. Inclusivity takes continual work from everybody.
4. This is not a case of Western values versus Asian values. It is, pure and simple, a question of basic Human values: treating everyone with equal respect and focussing on their ability to do the job they are employed to do rather than on their sexual orientation, age, gender, race or any other factor.
5. Individual values or beliefs are valid to the individual concerned but have no place in workplace culture. Instead, everyone needs to abide by the values of each business and the behaviours which demonstrate those values which enable a safe, positive environment for everyone.
6. Functioning whistleblowing mechanisms need to be available so that each business can help those who are treated unfairly and, at the same time, intervene to help the person whose behaviour and actions caused the mistreatment of a colleague.
The Chamber wishes to salute the Achieve Group for its courage and for continuing to shine a spotlight on the importance of positive workplace culture for everyone. Our thanks, too, to the panel members and the audience for a respectful and useful dialogue.