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Diversity and inclusion workplace policies increasingly crucial for Singaporean workers

Purpose also featured largely among workers, with 64% mentioning the pandemic made them reflect on their purpose at work

More Singaporean workers are saying it is essential for companies to have diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies, with a significant number of younger Singaporeans saying they have experienced non-work-related discrimination.

Over two-thirds of respondents (76%) said that companies’ D&I policies are vital, according to Indeed’s ‘Future of Work’ report. A significant number (31%) of those interviewed reported being discriminated against at work because of their background, gender or other characteristics.

The number was higher among younger respondents aged 25-34, reflecting greater awareness of discriminatory behavior among the young in workplaces in Singapore.

“The report findings are not surprising. All over the world, fair and equal treatment has always been highly sought after at the workplace. In Singapore, in recent times, we see more willingness to speak about unfair and discriminatory practices at the workplace, and initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion are increasingly important to more people, especially among younger workers, as reflected in the study,” said Nishita Lalvani, senior manager for marketing in South East Asia and India, at Indeed.

“Like everywhere the pandemic made many professionals question their sense of purpose and whether they derived any satisfaction in their everyday jobs. In Singapore, where workers do some of the longest working hours globally, we did see people reflecting on their sense of personal purpose at work, indicating the impact the pandemic had over the population.”

The report surveyed 1004 employees and 258 employers in Singapore and was conducted in October 2021 using an online panel.

What are the report’s findings?

  • Purpose also featured largely among workers, with 64% mentioning the pandemic made them reflect on their purpose at work.

  • Another 57% said the crisis made them question their jobs. Older respondents also cited finding their purpose at work compared to their younger counterparts.

  • Almost 70% of workers consider flexible working and healthcare benefits to be among the topmost attractive benefits in a company, with more women seeking flexible work choices.

  • Two in five respondents (40%) cited ‘financial compensation’ as the most critical criterion in choosing an employer.

  • Data analysis, digital transformation and digital literacy skills were listed as the top three digital skills that companies should offer training on.

  • Changes in the workplace and increased digitization are the two main forces that will affect workers’ futures.

  • The study also revealed the general optimism Singapore’s workers have about their future career and professional prospects, and that the workplace should prioritize sustainable initiatives.

  • Changes in the work environment, increased digitization and the use of AI, followed by a volatile global economic environment, were the top three influencing factors on respondents’ views about their careers.

  • Human-centric labor practices and autonomous work styles came out as top priorities for the future, with more Singaporeans seeking a more employee-focused approach that allows workers to be self-governing in the way they work.

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