SINGAPORE: A recent report by Workday has revealed that a significant majority of businesses in Singapore have elevated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to the top of their priority lists in the past year.

The survey, which involved 2,600 business leaders, highlighted a strong commitment to DEI initiatives, with 72% identifying it as a major focus.

The report found that over half of the respondents, precisely 52%, are intensifying their investments in DEI efforts for the current year. Among the initiatives undertaken by organizations, DEI training and support programs for development and promotion emerged as the top two priorities.

Furthermore, the report disclosed that an impressive 88% of Singaporean firms have dedicated budgets for DEI initiatives, surpassing the global average of 85%. However, a quarter of these businesses indicated that their budgets were allocated solely for short-term initiatives.

Pannie Sia, the General Manager at Workday ASEAN, emphasized the pivotal role of embracing diversity in business success. Sia stressed the need for organizations to adopt a mature and robust approach to DEI efforts, with shared ownership and commitment emanating from top leadership.

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Internal pressure was cited by 62% of respondents as the primary driver for implementing DEI initiatives, while employer brand emerged as the most compelling external factor pushing businesses towards DEI integration.

The report underscored the consensus among 90% of respondents on the importance of leadership diversity for the effective implementation of DEI initiatives.

76% of respondent businesses are now measuring the business impact and perceived value of DEI initiatives, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s 26%. .

However, the majority admitted to grappling with the recording process.

Ms Sia suggested, “Singapore organisations need to equip themselves with the right technology tools. This will allow leaders to collect more nuanced data and leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to effectively measure outcomes and further DEI efforts.”