The Equal Opportunities Commission, established in May 1996 is a statutory body to implement the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), the Disability Ordinance (DDO), the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) and the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) in Hong Kong. It works towards the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, disability, family status and more. The EOC also aims to eliminate sexual harassment and harassment and vilification on the ground of disability and race. They promote equality of opportunities between men and women, between person with and without disabilities and irrespective of family status and race.
In their mission to create a pluralistic and inclusive society where there is no barrier to equal opportunities in Hong Kong, the EOC seeks to establish partnerships with all sectors in the community and in their efforts to do so, the Commission created a Charter to get employers to join in on their mission.
As a part of their broader mission, the EOC has convinced the first batch of eleven enterprises to pledge to establish a diverse and inclusive workplace by signing the Racial Diversity and Inclusion Charter for Employers (Charter) launched by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) on 6thDecember 2018.
The Charter developed by the EOC for providing guidance to employers who intend to build a diverse and inclusive workplace, consists of a list of nine guidelines that cover three broad areas, namely policy, culture and work environment. The EOC will act as an advisor of the participating companies to help with the formulation and implementation of the suggested good practices on racial diversity and inclusion. In this manner, the EOC aims to encourage businesses in adopting measures and recognise the racial diversity and inclusion commitment of the organisations. Since the EOC embarked on this Charter, many organizations have expressed their interest to join the movement and it is expected that there will be more signatories in the near future.
While officiating at the Inaugural Ceremony on Thursday, the EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming said, “Many businesses now attach great importance to corporate social responsibility. They hope to help the ethnic minorities to get into the work force and integrate into the society, and eliminate racial discrimination. Different cultural backgrounds of the employees can also bring a positive cultural change to the business and boost creativity and productivity, and eventually leads to a win-win situation for both employers and employees. The EOC hopes that more businesses will join the Charter. Together we create a pluralistic and inclusive society free of discrimination where there is no barrier to equal opportunities.”
Mr Watson CHAN, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Policy & Business Development) of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce delivered a keynote speech on “How racial diversity benefits business.”
At the panel discussion, representatives of AXA and Holiday Inn Golden Mile looked into the challenges and benefits of promoting racial diversity and inclusion in the workplace, while ethnic minority employees from Fairwood Holding Limited shared their work experiences.
Companies registered with Business Registration, charitable organisations, education establishments, medical institutions, chambers of commerce and professional bodies, etc. are eligible and encouraged to sign the Charter. As a signatory of the Charter, the company can display the official signed Charter in the office and use the dedicated Racial Diversity & Inclusion logo on their publications, job advertisements, etc to identify itself as a signatory of the Charter.
Interested companies can contact the EOC at 2511-8211 for enquiries about signing the Charter. For details of the Charter, please visit the EOC’s website at http://www.eoc.org.hk/eoc/graphicsfolder/showcontent.aspx?content=content
As of now, 11 participating organisations which have signed the Charter, include:
- CLP Holdings Limited
- Community Business
- Fairwood Holdings Limited
- Hiu Kwong Group
- Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong
- Jardine Aviation Services Group
- Manulife (International) Limited
- Shun Tak Holdings Limited
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