15 professional services firm commit to D&I Charter in Hong Kong

28 September 2020 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read

Two years on from the launch of the Racial Diversity & Inclusion Charter for Employers in Hong Kong, the document has nearly 50 signatories, 15 of which are professional services firms. 

The Charter – launched by Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) – seeks out firms that are looking to further their diversity & inclusion agenda, and provides them a checklist of policies and practice pointers that can help meet this objective. The voluntary nature of the agreement makes it even more promising that the list of signatories is growing, particularly when considering the size and scale of employers signing up.

Signatories came on board in three rounds, the first set being labeled the founding signatories. Engineering and design consultancy Arup is the only professional services firm that joined the founding signatories list, while a sea of others have come on board since.

Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY signed on in the second round, accompanied by fellow accounting and consulting giant BDO. Also signing on in round two was FDM – a London-headquartered professional services firm that offers consulting, resourcing and IT services, among others.

Arup, BDO, EY, FDM, Arcadis, Edelman, Herbert Smith, KPMG, Linklaters, Daly & Associates, Synpulse, Tricor, Cornerstone, Bridge Partnership, FELIZ Consulting

The biggest wave of signatories came in round three, with eleven new members. In the mix were engineering consultancy Arcadis and communications consultancy Edelman. Global law and professional services firms Herbert Smith and Linklaters both also signed on, while Hong-Kong-based Daly & Associates was also among the law firms to join in at this stage.

KPMG became the second Big Four accounting and advisory firm to participate, and Tricor – an Asia-origin leading provider of integrated business, corporate, investor services, human resources & payroll solutions – has also signed on. Adding further value is global staffing and recruitment leader Cornerstone.

The remaining two firms on the signatory list are Bridge Partnership – a UK-headquartered firm specialised in organisation change and development that operates with a 15-strong team in the Asia Pacific region, and Feliz Consulting, a boutique training and coaching company based in Hong Kong. The firm specialises in interactive corporate training, coaching and consultancy services.

So participation from the professional services sector is strong, while broader participation in diversity & inclusion initiatives is also skyrocketing. According to Ricky Chu Man-King, Chairperson of the EOC, concrete policies and results are crucial to furthering the diversity & inclusion (D&I) agenda.

“While reasons of social justice and regulatory pressures may spur many companies to endorse diversity & inclusion goals, it ultimately has to be the strong compelling evidence of D&I’s positive business impact that will make this movement sustainable. We sincerely hope that many more will join this movement and reap the benefits of racial diversity and inclusion,” he said.

A recent study from McKinsey & Company shed some light on the business case for diversity & inclusion. The researchers found that companies with gender diversity and ethnic and cultural diversity in their leadership manage to financially outperform their peers.