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SGTech's approach to building an inclusive tech community

SGTech's approach to building an inclusive tech community


SGTech's Yean Cheong asks how HR, with the help of leadership, can integrate DE&I principles into everyday life in tech.

At SGTech, our mission is to create a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and able to do their best. As the world shifts towards a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we're asking ourselves: How do we take these principles beyond just words and truly embed them into our everyday work?

In my role as Executive Director at SGTech, I strongly believe that leadership sets the tone for inclusivity. SGTech brings together a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, experiences and skills, but we are all united by a common vision.

We are committed to continuous learning and transformation, emphasizing the importance of thinking differently, being open-minded and embracing emerging trends locally and globally. Inclusion is an essential element of our organizational ethos as we build our Secretariat and technical community.

Why inclusion fosters innovation

Innovation is at the heart of the technology industry.

From breakthrough software solutions to cutting-edge hardware advancements, innovation drives growth and competitiveness. But true innovation happens in environments where diverse perspectives come together. When people with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences come together, a wide variety of ideas emerge.

Implementing DEI initiatives enables technology companies to fully harness human creativity and ingenuity. Fostering diverse teams allows organizations to approach complex challenges with fresh perspectives, resulting in more innovative products and services. This culture of innovation not only keeps companies competitive, but also positions them for future growth and success.

Talent Acquisition and Retention

Attracting and retaining top talent is a perennial challenge for technology companies. In an industry characterized by fierce competition for skilled professionals, DEI initiatives act as a powerful talent magnet. Prospective employees are increasingly drawn to companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion.

SGTech is committed to supporting everyone looking to enter a tech career, regardless of their current qualifications, skill set, gender, culture, ethnicity or age. This commitment also extends to our team at SGTech, ensuring they embody the inclusive values ​​we advocate.

Experience has shown that achieving inclusion requires a multifaceted approach. In fact, we suggest promoting skills-based hiring, where individuals are assessed based on their capabilities rather than traditional qualifications. This approach promotes diversity and ensures that employees have the skills required for the job.

Additionally, it is important to foster a lifelong learning attitude within your organization. This involves encouraging employees to continually develop their skills and knowledge and fostering a culture where learning is valued and supported at all levels. These efforts help create a more inclusive and dynamic work environment where individuals can realize their full potential.

Fostering inclusion within SGTech

To foster inclusion within SGTech, we have implemented several key strategies.

We have a clear organisational structure and unbiased recruitment policies to ensure fair hiring practices, including defining roles and responsibilities to support right skills based recruitment. We aim to continually foster a culture of learning and development through annual programmes that encourage and reward upskilling and reskilling, enabling skills exchange, training and development within teams and across the organisation.

“Our experience shows that achieving inclusion requires a multi-faceted approach. In fact, we suggest promoting skills-based hiring, where individuals are assessed based on their capabilities rather than traditional qualifications.” – Yean Chong, Executive Director, SGTech.

At SGTech, we stay on top of changing workplace trends and always aim to walk the talk. Our now permanent hybrid work model fosters a more flexible and adaptable work environment, greatly facilitating a smoother transition for mothers returning to full-time employment, and promoting inclusivity and flexibility for our workforce.

Singapore recognised the importance of flexible working arrangements ahead of the latest tripartite guidelines which require all employers to establish procedures for employees to request flexible working arrangements. The guidelines aim to address Singapore's tight labour market and ageing workforce, and to facilitate the continued employment of caregivers and seniors who wish to remain in the workforce.

Read more: AI will change careers: How to adapt to the job market

Additionally, we are committed to retaining a wide range of employees, from recent graduates to those in their 50s and beyond, and we also welcome interns from higher education. We recognise and value the skills and experience each colleague brings to the table, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and accepted.

Our goal is to create a culture of lifelong learning and growth where every individual feels valued, respected and able to contribute to the fullest extent of their ability.

About the author: Yean Cheong is Executive Director of SGTech.

For more news and analysis on the latest HR and workforce trends in Asia, subscribe to HRM Asia and join the largest HR community in the region.




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