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  • Lena Wong

Race = Language x Color x Religion

Having attended The Zubin Foundation Conference ”What is the status of Hong Kong’s Ethnic Minorities?“, you would know why this article is titled as such. Making up a good whole 4% of our population (excluding foreign domestic helpers) in Hong Kong, ethnic minority often refers to non-Chinese descents and it is inseparable part of the city.

Growing up in Canada as someone who is of Chinese descent, I was proud to be an minority. In many aspects, our family could retain many Chinese customs, language and lifestyle there. As newcomers, we were placed into English as a Second Language classes with more supports on English while we remain in the regular classes of all other subjects, Math, Science etc. Canada is fairly diverse and very inclusive - I went to public school with students of different abilities in the same classroom. I was brought up with diversity and used to surrounded with people who are different.

Coming back to Hong Kong where I was born, I was shocked to learn that this is an extremely segregated city. We are no doubt a highly efficient city with good resilience to overcome many challenges throughout the years which is also what many people in the city are proud of. Our economy was thriving in the 80's and 90's with highly efficient ecosystem. To cope with this enormous growth, we were trained to streamline all the process to meet certain KPI which has become Hong Kong's competitive edge. We are living in a highly efficient city where things are extremely fast.

In the past 20 months, the world has been slowed down and waken up by the global pandemic that led to many administrations or organizations review the quality of leadership. Are productivity and efficiency the only metrics any organization aim for? Would there be other aspects of the business leaders should also attend to? Would there be a framework that can accustom to the goals of organizations, teams and individuals?

In recent years, I have developed vast interest and knowledge in United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) with the central transformative promise of “Leave no one behind”. It has become increasingly important for organizations and leaders to not only focus on their own KPI but also all stakeholders can also achieve their goals.

With regulations being in place, business community is paying more attention to ESG framework. Whether it is “tick the box” or “greenwashing”, regardless, we are all being pushed towards the right direction to take more steps to go beyond and above.

Putting things in perspectives, if people remain the strongest assets in any organization, we should allocate more attention on the “S” in ESG that it deserves. Leave no one behind is also a commitment in the military force that we are all in this together. If leaders want the organizations to continue to progress, they should change their mindset and also take into account the needs and wants of all others in the teams. Whether it’s race, gender, age or any kind of diversity, organizations need to be ready to embrace all the differences and work towards equality and inclusion. When it has become part of the DNA of leaders and organizations, we would accustom to this as our everyday life. By then we may no longer need to redefine what’s race or ethnicity as it’s integrated and blended in. We respect people by embracing all our differences and building a inclusive society.

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