Step Towards Equality: Free Inclusion Toolkit Launches for Organizations and Businesses

29 May 2024
Executives may sometimes overlook the importance of inclusivity and the impact of unconscious bias or discrimination in the workplace, particularly concerning LGBTQI groups. The Inclusion Toolkit for Organizations and Business serves as a crucial resource, accessible to all members of the organization, offering comprehensive insights into the significance of fostering inclusion and diversity. Within this toolkit lie evidence showcasing the benefits of inclusion as a strategic investment, alongside a wealth of human resources policies, codes of conduct, and targeted training methods tailored to support LGBTQI communities. “The Inclusion Toolkit is a valuable resource that can help Thai businesses create a diverse, fair, and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” said Jiraporn Sindhupria, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. “I urge all business leaders to embrace this opportunity and use the resources to ensure everyone feels valued, empowered, and free to contribute their unique talents.” The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Embassy of Canada to Thailand, Sasin School of Management, and Workplace Pride joined hands to develop and launch an Inclusion Toolkit designed for organizations and businesses to foster inclusion and diversity on May 28. “The toolkit provides an entry point for the business case [to promote inclusion at work], demonstrating that happy employees perform better at work. It also offers an understanding of preferred policies for everyone,” remarked Professor Emeritus Vitit Muntarbhorn at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University and Former UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, who delivered a keynote speech on “Moving Towards a More Inclusive Workplace.” The launch event also featured a panel discussion on “Building a Culture of Inclusion: Strategies and Best Practices for LGBTQI Workplace Equality in the Thai Business Landscape,” with panelists including Viranon Futrakul, Vice President of the Global Partnership Office for Sustainability & Communications at Charoen Pokphand Group; Siriporn Phuangmarayat, HR Director at Dow Chemical, Thailand; Sunard Thanasanaksorn, Managing Director at Accenture Song & Rabbit’s Tale; and Natthineethiti (Nikki) Phinyapincha, Founder of Transtalents Consulting Group. Viranon Futrakul, Vice President of the Global Partnership Office for Sustainability & Communications at Charoen Pokphand, emphasized the critical role of the entire C-suite in advocating for LGBTQI rights in the workplace. He highlighted the Inclusion Toolkit as a valuable resource, empowering managers and HR professionals to effectively convey the significance of implementing an inclusive strategy within the company, especially when verbal communication may fall short. “The Inclusion Toolkit will be beneficial for CP by explaining the local context where you operate, which will help us function more effectively at the local level as well,” said Viranon. They also delved into Strategies and Best Practices for LGBTQI Workplace Equality in the Thai Business Landscape, during which Viranon talked about CP’s Human Rights report. This publicly available document outlines the progress of human rights due diligence for all business units, with LGBTQI inclusion being a significant aspect covered within it. Siriporn, HR Director at Dow Chemical, Thailand, highlighted its commitment to promoting inclusive behavior through its HR policies. She explained that during recruitment, the company ensures the presence of a neutral manager on interview panels to mitigate bias. Additionally, Dow addresses unconscious bias through code of conduct training and prioritizes psychological safety in the workplace. “Furthermore, we offer flexible benefits, including policies supporting LGBTQI individuals,” Siriporn added. She noted the significant contribution of Dow’s Office of Inclusion, where over 50 percent of participants actively engage in fostering an inclusive environment. “Our Code of Conduct ensures that all employees comprehend the consequences of violations, with disciplinary action taken as necessary,” she concluded. Psychological safety plays a crucial role in supporting LGBTQI groups in the workplace. “At Accenture, our Pride Ally program provides safety and support to LGBTQI individuals and allies alike,” said Sunard Thanasanaksorn, Managing Director at Accenture Song & Rabbit’s Tale. He noted its growth from 100 to 400 members, emphasizing the importance of eliminating discrimination in the workplace as Accenture’s Intelligent Operations Centre (AIOC) attracts more businesses and talent to Thailand. Sunard emphasized the recruitment process’s merit-based approach, focusing solely on performance without gender indication. “There is no gender indication in the recruitment process, we focus on how you perform,” he said. Additionally, he mentioned the Accenture Security Operations Center (ASOC) as a hotline for employees facing verbal abuse or assaults, ensuring a safe and supportive work environment. Natthineethiti (Nikki) Phinyapincha, Founder of Transtalents Consulting, emphasized that while companies engage in Pride Month campaigns, it’s crucial to ensure that management values more than just profit. This entails implementing programs to address everyday occurrences like microaggressions or jokes against LGBTQI individuals, which can lead to feelings of exclusion and inhibit authentic self-expression at work. Natthineethiti underscores that common challenges faced by most companies include directly addressing these issues. Therefore, she suggests that companies use data to assess the impact on their employees when implementing an inclusion strategy in the workplace. “Data is a very powerful tool for assessing the impact on your employees,” said Natthineethiti. The collaborative effort to launch the Inclusion Toolkit represents a significant milestone in promoting diversity and inclusion within Thai businesses. Through evidence-based insights, tailored HR policies, and comprehensive training methods, the toolkit equips companies to address the diverse needs of their workforce, particularly within LGBTQI communities. The discussions during the launch event emphasized the importance of executive commitment, proactive HR practices, and data-driven approaches in fostering an inclusive workplace culture. By embracing the principles outlined in the Inclusion Toolkit, Thai businesses can cultivate environments where every individual feels respected, valued, and empowered to thrive. Congratulations to Sasin Inclusion Ambassador Dr. Drew B. Mallory, Ph.D. and our incredible partners, experts, volunteers, and companies for bringing the Toolkit to life. Read more about the Inclusion Toolkit Download the Inclusion Toolkit
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