Empowering Employees & Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion

Empowering Employees & Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion

Yohanes Jeffry Johary, Chief Executive Officer, OCS Global Services Indonesia, 0

With over 27 years of experience, Jeffrey excels in leading change and navigating organizational turbulence. He enhances agility and adaptability across talent management, lean organization, and performance management domains.

In an interaction with Bimlesh Prasad, Correspondent at CEOInsights ASIA magazine, Jeffry highlights D&I's significance while addressing gender norm challenges in Indonesia advocating women in leadership, accommodating needs, and ESG's role in future D&I and sustainability. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview –

Describe diversity and inclusion in short. In a business environment, what does it mean to you?
Diversity and inclusion hold a vital place in the business environment. They form a part of the social impact within the ESB, akin to the commitment to ESG initiatives. This year, the focus is on ensuring the significance and ease of access to gender equality. This includes providing opportunities for women to assume management roles, particularly in senior leadership positions. The effort extends to increasing the number of women in senior leadership teams, as well as, within the managerial staff.

In the context of our organization's operation in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, certain gender norms prevail. Typically, men take up blue-collar roles, and it's essential to shift these norms and create a more balanced workforce, especially in white-collar positions. Diversity and inclusion are central to our agenda, aligning with our ten-year sustainability program. These aspects are not limited to gender diversity alone; we are equally committed to promoting diversity in terms of race and ethnicity and creating job opportunities for those in need. With a workforce comprising 13,277 employees, spanning both blue-collar and white-collar workers, it is crucial to provide opportunities and promote inclusivity across the organization.

What is the biggest challenges D&I professionals are currently facing & how to overcome them challenges?
The key challenges faced by diversity and inclusion (D&I) professionals currently revolve around deeply ingrained societal norms. In many regions, including Indonesia, patriarchal structures persist, assigning traditional gender roles where men primarily handle jobs while women are relegated to household responsibilities. This pattern remains prevalent today, posing a significant hurdle to achieving D&I goals.

Moreover, this challenge is exacerbated by the persistence of such norms in leadership positions, hindering the promotion of diversity within organizations. To address this, global companies are increasingly recognizing the need to proactively place women in leadership roles. For instance, notable figures like Connie Hang, who serves as the CEO of Unilever, exemplify this shift towards diversity at the helm of major organizations.

Overcoming this challenge demands a concerted effort in talent acquisition and recruitment. It necessitates creating equitable opportunities for both men and women, acknowledging their diverse potential. Initiating this process from the recruitment phase is crucial to mitigating these cultural and empathy-based challenges in the journey towards greater D&I.

How should diversity and inclusion within the organization be prioritized, and what initiatives should be implemented to foster the same in workplace culture?
To enhance prioritization, organizations can begin by revamping their talent acquisition processes to embrace diversity and inclusion as core principles. Ensure standardized recruitment guidelines, offering equal opportunities for all genders and ethnicity. This commitment is essential, especially considering unchanged management roles and emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Maintain a long-term focus on sustaining a diverse and inclusive workplace. Uphold an equitable hiring process with clear anti-discrimination protocols integrated into company regulations.
Support female employees by accommodating their needs during significant life events like childbirth. Offer flexible arrangements and breastfeeding facilities, even allowing infants at work, setting an example for gender equality. Accommodating religious obligations fosters inclusivity and sets a precedent for other organizations. Prioritizing diversity and inclusion while implementing these initiatives can create a more harmonious workplace, fostering inclusivity for all.

What are the KPIs you monitor for the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives, and how do these metrics identify areas for development about the overall goals and objectives?
When evaluating the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives and their alignment with broader organizational goals, several key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. Firstly, it's essential that commitment to these initiatives originate from the highest levels of leadership, setting the tone for the entire organization. This top-down approach ensures that diversity, equity, and inclusion become integral priorities, cascading throughout the company. Leading by example is another crucial aspect. Demonstrating a wholehearted commitment to these principles in both word and action establishes a foundation. This commitment should be ingrained in standard operating processes to ensure consistency.

It is necessary to create equitable opportunities for both men and women and acknowledge their diverse potential.

Monitoring KPIs such as the recruitment of women across various roles, including blue-collar positions, aids in assessing progress. However, it's worth noting that some regions may have unique demographics, influencing the choice of KPIs. Regular discussions and collaboration with other companies in the industry can provide valuable insights and foster collective growth. Welcoming feedback from the entire team promotes a culture of continuous improvement. Ultimately, success in achieving diversity and inclusion goals goes hand in hand with broader sustainability objectives and a commitment to health, safety, and nurturing young talent across all departments.

What steps do you take to stay ahead of industry trends to ensure that the organization remains at the forefront of innovation and technological advancements?
To remain at the forefront of industry trends and foster innovation, organizations, regardless of their sector, must take strategic steps. In the dynamic landscape of facility management, where we act as intermediaries between suppliers and discerning customers, staying ahead necessitates a focus on innovation, digital transformation, and ESG initiatives. Being a pioneer in these areas not only earns customer loyalty but also sets you apart from the competition.

To achieve this, we initiated the Milky Way Project from November 2021 to November 2022. This project leveraged technology and AI to optimize operational designs, ensuring competitive pricing for our customers while contributing to ESG objectives. Our efforts extend beyond profit; we actively engage with local communities and non-government organizations to drive environmental and climate progress, especially in remote regions of Indonesia.

Furthermore, our commitment to diversity and inclusion aligns with industry standards. Therefore, it's crucial to pinpoint which ESG aspects can provide a unique edge in local markets like ours, differentiating us from competitors. By championing innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, organizations can establish themselves as industry leaders and trusted partners in an ever-evolving business landscape.

What do you see as a major event, trend, or change that will change diversity and inclusion in the next five years?
In the next five years, the landscape of diversity and inclusion is poised for significant transformation. Sustainability has emerged as a critical focus, impacting social responsibility. This shift will drive global companies to incentivize green certifications. Consequently, the pricing structure for opportunities will evolve. With ESG gaining prominence, diversity and inclusion play a vital role in addressing environmental and climate risks while advancing social development goals. Action is imperative to enhance quality of life and foster a positive work culture, as skilled talent increasingly seeks motivation within organizations.

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