Staff Writer
Mar 23, 2023

Fostering DEI in the workplace from a leadership perspective

Eva Weng of EssenceMediacom China discusses how she has developed a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace to boost business success.

Eva Weng, managing partner of EssenceMediacom China.
Eva Weng, managing partner of EssenceMediacom China.
PARTNER CONTENT
This article is part of a content series on diversity, equity, and inclusion for Campaign Asia-Pacific and Greater China’s Women to Watch, created in partnership with EssenceMediacom.
 
From facilitating global mobility to embracing team members’ individual skill sets and ensuring employees feel seen, Eva Weng — managing partner of EssenceMediacom China — takes us through the day-to-day realities of fostering an empathetic, people-driven workplace from a leadership perspective.
 
How important do you think it is to promote a diverse, equal, and inclusive work environment? How can leaders effectively establish such an environment for their employees?
 
Establishing a diverse, equal, and inclusive work environment is critical because businesses must provide their employees with a strong sense of security and trust in order to foster a more symbiotic connection, which is the most essential cornerstone of team stability.
 
Team leaders must have the fortitude to listen to the truth and be empathetic in order to establish such a work atmosphere. The first step in making employees feel accepted is to listen. Employees will be more eager to offer their thoughts if a safe, equal, and inclusive work atmosphere is created in which they feel heard. As a team leader, I frequently draw inspiration from what team members offer in order to improve the organisation. Although many variables need to be considered — and not all opinions can be implemented — at least it allows employees to voice their ideas and requests, and helps them feel heard and cared for.
 
The second step consists of inspiring individuals to think differently and, through listening and communicating, establishing common values and shared goals. Our team’s common goal is to create value for our clients. With this purpose in mind, we promote and appreciate the vibrancy and innovation that come from multiple viewpoints and backgrounds, build diverse team combinations, and provide our employees with the room to thrive, so that they would feel respected and have a voice in the company. 
 
Can you explain how, as a leader, you have boosted the business growth of clients through DEI?
 
It can be viewed from two perspectives. For the company internally, a diverse, equal, and inclusive work environment promotes team stability and helps reduce turnover, while providing a diverse perspective and a broader range of experience to the team. Externally, diversity and inclusion will encourage diverse points of view and ideas, which will drive innovation and present our clients with more innovative and superior solutions. A staff with diverse nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and work styles will better represent the company to a wide range of clients.
 
Due to the fact that each employee’s personality and ideas are unique, I always try to help each of my team members play to their individual strengths and assist them in achieving long-term objectives so that they feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. For instance, some employees initially performed direct customer-facing work, but based on my observations, I determined that they may be better suited for strategy; some employees who have stronger social skills are adept at interacting with clients and identifying their needs, so I would help guide them to responsibilities that align with their areas of expertise. When each team member believes they are growing in an environment where their unique qualities and personalities are not only seen but appreciated, they are in a position to contribute to the improvement of the business growth of our clients.
 
How do you believe the organisation can better support employees that have a strong commitment to work-life balance?
 
My guiding principle for leading my team is “understanding and accommodating, supporting and coordinating, and being adaptable." One of our team members had to move abroad to be with their spouse, but wanted to retain their job. Thus, I facilitated their transfer to our branch office in the relevant country, allowing us to remain on the same team and enabling our valued team member to continue to excel in their role without having to start from zero in a foreign country. We also had an amazing employee who had to prioritise her family after having a baby. Recognising that she needed to focus more on her family life, we provided her an appropriate quantity of work and a reasonable income. When she was ready to rejoin the team in full, I readjusted her objectives.
 
As a team leader, I spend a significant amount of time researching how to provide proper career planning for employees and how businesses and employees may collaborate to increase productivity for team growth based on mutual trust.
Source:
Campaign Asia

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