EOC Launches First-ever Equal Opportunity Employer Recognition Scheme in Hong Kong: Equality and Inclusion Crucial for Resilience against Pandemic
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (4 November 2020) the launch of the Equal Opportunity Employer Recognition Scheme (the “Scheme”), as the Commission is heading towards its 25th anniversary in 2021. Organised for the first time by the EOC, the Scheme – open for application from now until 31 January 2021 – is the first-ever employer recognition scheme on equal opportunities in Hong Kong. Designed to give recognition to companies and organisations that have excelled in the implementation of equal opportunity employment policies, the Scheme is set to take the standards of equality, diversity and inclusion in Hong Kong’s workplace to a new level.
EOC Chairperson Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin said, “The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace cannot be overstated, given their real, tangible benefits, such as increased staff engagement, creativity and productivity. In organising this Scheme, the EOC aims to raise greater awareness of the benefits of equal opportunity employment policies and practices, and encourage more employers to tap into these benefits. We hope the Scheme will shine a light on the importance of these values, and the strategic and financial advantages they bring, motivating employers in Hong Kong to create a safe, equal and inclusive work environment for their employees.”
“What employers can gain from this Scheme is not just to be recognised as the employer of choice, but also benchmarking, branding and connection to further build their business and hone their competitive edge. Indeed, as businesses are presented with unprecedented challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty, it is important that they continue to build on rather than pull back their efforts on advancing equality, diversity and inclusion, which will be crucial for business resilience and recovery. In fact, studies1 in various places already confirmed that diverse and inclusive companies fared better in recession.”
Participation in the Scheme is entirely free of charge and is open from now until 31 January 2021. Companies and organisations in both public and private sectors may enrol on any one or all four categories of the Scheme, namely Gender Equality, Equality for Diverse Abilities, Family Status Equality and Racial Equality and Inclusion. All they need to do is submit the completed application form(s), along with the supporting documents, to the EOC before 31 January 2021.
Upon initial screening and shortlisting by the EOC, a judging panel will consider the shortlisted applications and select the Equal Opportunity Employers in each category. Judging criteria include: the commitment of the management to equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion values, the implementation of relevant policies in the organisation and the innovativeness and sustainability of these policies, as well as the benefits of the policies.
Organisations that have excelled in all of the four categories may win the Equal Opportunity Employer Gold Award. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) which have adopted impressive equal opportunity employment policies may also be given the Outstanding SME Award. Announcement of the results is expected to be made in late April/early May 2021.
Awardees of the Scheme can use the logo of the Equal Opportunity Employer Recognition Scheme in their promotional and marketing materials. They will also be invited to participate in training workshops, seminars and publicity programmes organised by the EOC.
The EOC has created a dedicated website on the Scheme (https://www.eoc.org.hk/s/eoemployer/en/index.html). Public can find out details of the Scheme and download the application form from the site.
1 The 2019 ranking of the 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity by Great Place to Work® in partnership with Fortune.
Photo caption: The first-ever Equal Opportunity Employer Recognition Scheme in Hong Kong launched by the Equal Opportunities Commission is now open for application.
Equal Opportunities Commission
4 November 2020