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Is unconscious bias in Hong Kong limiting diversity and holding back progress?

Kirti Lad, Director at Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC and co-leader of the Women's Directorship Programme

A growing number of organisations are aware of the benefits of a diverse team that does not discriminate on ethnicity, gender, age or sexuality, but they are potentially being held back by unconscious bias among managers and hirers.

A top-down approach, tailored training, diverse hiring process and fair talent management process are some of the methods that can be used to eliminate unconscious bias and promote a more inclusive corporate culture.

According to the Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016, which represents the views of more than 1,250 global HR Leaders, only 40% of HR professionals in Hong Kong are satisfied with the diversity of their organisations. This is 18% lower than the global average, proving that there is much that still needs to be done. 

Even those companies fully committed to addressing the diversity of their workforce are struggling to achieve results. There are many complain about a shortage of suitable candidates from minority groups. Is this really the case, or is an unconscious bias causing suitable candidates to be rejected, holding back progress as a result?

To read the article on Kirti's view on how unconscious bias in Hong Kong is limiting diversity and holding back progress, please click Human Resources Journal_Unconscious Bias in HK_June 2016.pdf