Inclusive 100 啟動禮
Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for inviting me to join this launch event of Inclusive 100.
It is my pleasure to meet so many professionals and employers who are endeavouring to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At the EOC, we firmly believe that everyone can make valuable contribution to the society, regardless of differences.
In Hong Kong, there are over 500,000 persons with disabilities. The Disability Discrimination Ordinance, one of the anti-discrimination laws that the EOC enforces, offers protection for people with disabilities from discrimination and harassment in domains such as education, employment, and the provision of goods, services and facilities.
As a matter of fact, more than half of the complaints we handle each year fall under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, and the majority are related to the employment field. Various studies and surveys also revealed that people with disabilities experience higher levels of unemployment because many employers think that hiring persons with disabilities would involve a lot of effort and cost, and therefore are hesitant to employ them.
Here, I would like to extend my appreciation to Dialogue in the Dark Foundation. Their Dark & Silence Experience programmes allow visitors to learn through the experience of people with disabilities, such a good way to knock down the wall between people with and without disabilities.
More importantly and impressively, the Foundation takes the lead in hiring people of differences to unleash their potentials, demonstrating what a truly inclusive employer actually means.
We are thrilled to know that, the Foundation would like to further escalate their ambition to launch “Inclusive 100”, pledging to connect up to 100 enterprises with 100 people of differences. This initiative helps recognise the contribution of persons of differences, brings them to work in mainstream workplace, and offers guidelines to employers to build an inclusive workplace. We think this initiative is very timely, as Hong Kong returns to normalcy, and employers are bringing people back to the workplace.
As the business sector strives to seize the opportunities ahead, there are an array of benefits of recruiting people of differences, which outweigh the possible cost.
A more representative and diversified workforce is conducive to driving innovation and growth as companies can deepen understanding of a broader range of customer needs and expectations. Cultivating an inclusive workplace can also help retain talents as employees feel cared, respected and listened when their employers show commitments in ensuring the wellbeing of different employees.
To fully leverage the strengths of people of differences hinges on how we create an inclusive workplace by providing reasonable accommodation to unleash people’s potentials.
The EOC is willing to assist and offer training and consultancy services to companies which would like to enhance their recruitment and HR policies. We are grateful to know that Inclusive 100 is planning to make a toolkit for companies to learn about different good practices for people with disabilities. Later today, we will hear more examples and insights from both employers and employees in the sharing session and panel discussion.
In conclusion, I believe that as long as we work shoulder to shoulder, we can propel diversity and inclusion, and help eradicate discrimination and bias against people of differences in the future.
I hope all of you will enjoy the event. Thank you.