Leaders have a significant impact on the ability of their organizations to foster inclusive cultures and practices. Inclusive leadership and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are closely interconnected. There is a global trend towards DEI, and organizations across the Asia Pacific and worldwide are increasingly recognizing the importance of prioritizing an inclusive approach to their leadership strategy.

Inclusive leadership refers to a leadership style that values diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace. This now extends beyond traditional demographic characteristics such as race, gender, and ethnicity, encompassing visible and invisible differences such as diverse leadership and thinking styles, religious backgrounds, experience, age, culture, and sexual orientation. Inclusiveness is signified by how an organizational environment leverages the diverse talents and perspectives of its employees.

Boyd & Moore Executive Search (BMES), as a trusted partner of our clients in APAC and Vietnam, empowers our clients to make informed decisions regarding talent through services such as executive search, strategy planning, and leadership development. With seasoned leaders in total solutions, we frequently consult with clients on leadership strategy development.

Our clients understand that inclusiveness isn’t ‘just nice to have’, it enables organizations to harness the benefits of diversity, such as increased creativity, innovation, better problem-solving, decision-making, and collaboration.

Working closely with our clients, we focus on how the business can grow in tandem with the organization’s objective, highlighting the importance of people and collective efforts to drive overall success. Inclusive leadership initiatives must come from the top leaders – the CEO, the CHRO and other C-suite stakeholders. They play a crucial role in inspiring, encouraging, and implementing the desired culture, as well as investing in team development and individual growth.

Within BMES, our APAC offices boast representation from over 16 nationalities. Our consultants and leaders come from varied backgrounds, regions, and industries. We deeply understand the significance and influence of diversity in our teams and foster a meritocratic culture that values and embraces our differences.

Across APAC, Inclusive leadership and DEI are receiving more attention than ever. Employee attitudes towards DEI are also changing; people are more interested in how inclusion is being implemented and measured. This is more complex than quantitative measurement and requires qualitative data too. The requirement for results means that organizations must truly practice what they preach, with leaders taking accountability as drivers of change. Companies also understand the benefits of inclusive hiring, emphasizing fair selection processes that eliminate barriers preventing qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds from being considered for opportunities.

Recent surveys indicate that around 25% of employees across APAC intend to seek new positions in 2023. To mitigate this, leaders can foster a greater sense of belonging among their workforces, thereby boosting employee engagement and overall performance. Conversely, exclusion leads to disengagement and a rise in the trend of “quiet quitting,” resulting in costly replacement processes.

Navigating the complexities of a post-COVID, VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) reality requires different approaches to the challenges that lie ahead. By investing in our people, developing competent and resilient leaders, and embracing the advantages of a diverse workforce, we equip ourselves with the necessary tools to overcome even the most difficult obstacles. [C]

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Tim Burrill
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