“Embracing Equal Opportunities to Enhance ESG” Seminar

Level 22, Manulife Tower, One Bay East, 83 Hoi Bun Road, Ngau Tau Kok

Event Review

Practical tips for promoting mutual respect between genders,racial inclusion, and universal design in the company

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) organised a seminar titled “Embracing Equal Opportunities to Enhance ESG” on 28 February 2024 and aimed at exploring with enterprises how they could create an equal, diverse and inclusive workplace. The seminar received great support from Manulife and the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association (HKSMEA). Both supporting organisations have demonstrated their commitment to ESG strategies. Manulife is one of the founding signatories of the EOC’s “The Racial Diversity & Inclusion Charter for Employers” (“the Charter”). In addition to signing the Charter, the HKSMEA co-hosted the “Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” Forum with the EOC and is also one of the supporting organisations for the EOC’s “Universal Design Recognition Scheme 2024/25”.

EOC Chairperson, Mr. Ricky CHU Man-kin, highlighted that ESG, which stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance”, has become a core strategy for long-term and sustainable development in enterprises, serving as an important operational indicator for listed companies. Other stakeholders along the supply chain, including small and medium enterprises, could enhance their competitiveness and sustainability by putting ESG in place. 

Speakers from the EOC discussed three important topics related to social and governance aspects within the ESG framework. These topics included preventing workplace sexual harassment to create a safe and respectful work environment, promoting racial inclusiveness to foster a diverse workplace culture, and adopting universal design to accommodate diverse user needs.

On preventing workplace sexual harassment, Ms. Susana SOO from the Anti-Sexual Harassment Unit of the EOC especially pointed out the risks of liabilities enterprises would face and reminded participants the reasonably practical steps that they could take. At the same time, Ms. SOO introduced to participants the EOC’s support for enterprises in implementing equal opportunities and anti-sexual harassment strategies in various ways, such as policy development guidelines, training and consultancy services provided by the Anti-Sexual Harassment Unit.

The EOC also encouraged participants to join the EO Club, where they can stay updated with the latest information relating to the anti-discrimination ordinances and participate in networking activities.

The EOC’s sincere gratitude goes to Manulife, the HKSMEA and all participating enterprises.  We believe this seminar or events-alike in the future will drive changes in the workplace, raise enterprises’ awareness of social responsibilities and corporate governance, and foster their implementation of policies that promote diversity, equality and inclusion.