A new study commissioned by AXA Asia reveals that domestic companies in Hong Kong and Philippines trail behind their multinational counterparts when it comes to properly educating the workforce about LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
Meanwhile, nearly half of respondents indicated they’d be less willing to stay in a company that lacks proper education on inclusion and diversity.
The study was conducted using an online questionnaire involving select groups of self-identifying LGBTQIA+ members in the Hong Kong SAR and the Philippines. The opinions of five leading LGBTQIA+ influencers in Japan and Thailand were also incorporated to provide a rounded viewpoint on progress on relevant issues over the past 12 months.
The gap between the above figures and where employees expect their employers to be is a signficant one:
The survey revealed large differences between attitudes in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
While 61% of respondents in the Philippines made their sexual orientation public at work, in Hong Kong only 16% are ‘out’ to all of their colleagues.
Nearly one in five respondents (18%) in Hong Kong stated that no one at their workplace is aware of their sexual orientation.
Nearly a third of respondents (31%) in Hong Kong feel that being identified as LGBTQIA+ impacts their prospects and development. In the Philippines, the opposite is true, with respondents saying that being their true selves helps their careers in terms of their perceived ability/performance (64%) and relationships with colleagues (63%).
Unsurprisingly, so-called "harmless" jokes and comments are not harmless at all, and this is one area where employers could help educate their employees and make policies more clear:
Finally, the report found that working from home may have helped people to feel like they could be more like themselves at work: