By: Richard Bates, Manulife Philippines President and CEO
The month of June sees the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) community and allies coming together to call for greater equality in the Philippines and around the world. As we transition to virtual events this Pride month to discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion through educational webinars, music, and art, there’s a greater opportunity for more Filipinos to participate.
For businesses in the Philippines, this is also an important time to reflect on how and what we can do better to ensure greater diversity and inclusion (D&I) in our workplace. At Manulife, we are also on a journey to do more for the LGBTQ+ community, raise greater awareness on the challenges they face, strive hard to help resolve them, and explore the right opportunities where we can show support and be a stronger ally.
Promote D&I because it’s the right thing to do
Our D&I aspiration is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace, in which all employees are inspired to bring their authentic and whole selves to work. This enables them to thrive personally and professionally and to best serve our customers, business partners, and communities.
Companies that prioritise LGBTQ+ inclusion also tend to perform better than those that do not. It’s no surprise that almost all Fortune 500 companies have LGBTQ+ affirming and non-discrimination policies.
Ensuring greater workplace D&I is really about creating a collaborative, supportive and respectful environment that increases participation and contribution of all employees – this reflects our corporate values: “Do the right thing” and “Share your humanity.” And this, importantly, moves us beyond the traditional economic argument for LGBTQ+ inclusion to taking principled actions simply because that’s the right thing to do.
A need for greater diversity, inclusion, and learning
We have a mission to make lives better and that’s why we are focusing on three core pillars to promote greater inclusion and equity in our workplace, as well as support our communities in which we live, work, and raise our families.
We all have a responsibility to ensure everyone feels included, respected, and safe – no matter where we live, no matter the colour of our skin, our gender, our sexual orientation, our religious beliefs or any other differences we may have from each other.
So, let’s resolve to make diversity, inclusion, and learning a foundational aspect of our workplace cultures, and let’s continue our journey to create a meaningful impact in our offices and help fight discrimination in society as a whole.
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