Staff Writer
Dec 12, 2023

AOY Insights: DEI drives success at Dentsu Creative Hong Kong, winner of Best Place to Work in Greater China

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are among the reasons for high staff retention as Dentsu Creative Hong Kong eradicates the gender pay gap, champions mental health and well-being, and supports neurodiverse youth.

AOY Insights: DEI drives success at Dentsu Creative Hong Kong, winner of Best Place to Work in Greater China
AOY Insights is a series celebrating some of the top wins from Campaign Asia-Pacific's Agency of the Year awards. Join us as we take a closer look at the entries that struck gold this year.
Category: Best Place to Work – Greater China
Key clients: Manulife, Café de Coral, BMW, Nissin, Asahi, American Express, Ocean Park
New clients this year: Mercedes Benz, Garden Bakery, Pure, Hong Kong Resort Company, IFC  
Highlights: A new era characterised by rapid changes in technology and consumer trends demands innovative novel approaches, and Dentsu Creative Hong Kong worked towards putting this in place in the first year of post-pandemic recovery. 
The vision of creating a future-focused agency was built on the manifesto of “eight ways to the never before,” which included several unique approaches to inspire staff across the organisation, that paid off with a well-earned gold.
One of these approaches — “we make it real” — was amply illustrated by the agency’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dentsu Creative Hong Kong has taken on the mantle of creating a genuinely inclusive workplace, changing agency culture in the process. Within its work, Dentsu’s commitment to improving gender diversity in ads has also led to the launch of its dedicated female-focused practice.
Group CEO Simone Tam leads a team where women make up 63% of senior staff, with zero gender pay gap across the agency, an achievement that has earned plaudits from the judges. Tam is also the only woman CEO in Hong Kong among the top international communication holding companies. She also serves as the Dentsu Asia Pacific D&I Council neurodiversity champion, reflecting another tenet of the “eight ways,” which calls for a “team without limits.” 
This statement finds resonance in the agency’s support for Hong Kong’s LGBTQ+ community, such as celebrating Pride Month and supporting neurodiverse youth. Through collaborations with NGOs and schools, Dentsu Creative Hong Kong offers internships and full-time employment opportunities for those with special needs. In partnership with a non-profit called Game to Grow, the agency created Critical Core, a table-top fantasy role-playing game for autistic players.
Talent development at Dentsu Creative Hong Kong puts its people first with unlimited work from home, 30 days of work from anywhere, and wellness activities, including yoga and mental health days. Achievers are rewarded with internal awards and eligible for bonus schemes. Internally, this translates into historically high rates of staff retention (80%) at nearly double the regional average of 46%. 
Externally, it has meant client satisfaction and retention — 80% of the agency’s client relationships are over three years old. Dentsu Creative Hong Kong also scored 8.8 in client referral ratings — 15% higher than the industry norm. 
Despite the challenges facing the industry and the world at large, Dentsu Creative Hong Kong saw growth in sales, revenue, profit, and profit margin for the second year in a row. 
Judges say:
The panel praised the “clear and practical vision and objectives” that make Dentsu a “very good organisation” that inspires employees. The agency was commended for doing “a lot of work on the DEI front,” with the judges noting the weekly CEO emails to staff and the “Dentsu Speak Up” whistleblower policy as a key part of their winning formula for “enhancing staff wellness to create an amicable, inclusive workplace.”
*Dentsu Creative Hong Kong also won “Bronze: HK Creative Agency of the Year.”


Campaign Asia

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