EMBRACING diversity is creating an inclusivity in the workplace that enables employees to celebrate each other’s differences in culture, habits, lifestyle, and opinions.
The clock has begun ticking for companies to start advocating equality and ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) become an organisational priority.
In fact, companies are paying much greater attention to equity and inclusion, even when they are relatively diverse.
Carlsberg Malaysia believes in championing DE&I to better take care of tomorrow and ensure a healthy and thriving organisation.
“Operating with a diverse workforce has proven to be more crucial for Carlsberg Malaysia’s success today, especially in the depths of the pandemic. Our broad range of ages, backgrounds, cultures, and views allow us to think differently, offer fresh insights and ideate problem-solving in creative new ways,” said Carlsberg Malaysia’s managing director Stefano Clini.
“DE&I is one of the strategic priorities that we aim to bring to life. We believe in the need for collective ownership at all levels in attracting and engaging a diverse workforce for higher innovation, collaboration and performance,” he shared.
This ties back to the brewer’s founder J.C. Jacobsen’s vision of brewing for a better today and tomorrow, striving to brew better beers with quality, innovation and pride that stand at the heart of moments that bring people together.
“All our people have unrestricted and equal access to learning, development and progression irrespective of seniority. Moreover, we encourage the practice of a flat hierarchy, honest feedback, and open dialogue,” Clini added.
The company ensures ongoing communication, awareness and training to embody DE&I at the top of its employees’ mind.
For instance, the brewer has organised a good mixture of activities and further emphasises the importance of DE&I with the leadership team sharing their very own perspectives.
In line with the Group’s global DE&I initiative, Carlsberg Malaysia’s human resources director Pauline Lim shared that the company has outlined and successfully conducted several awareness campaigns and learnings, including unconscious bias awareness and women leadership forums.
“In a traditionally masculine industry, to-date, 63% of the management team are female at Carlsberg Malaysia, from 25% in 2016, which showcases the brewer’s commitment to promote inclusive leadership with diverse representation at all levels right from the top,” Lim noted.
Carlsberg Malaysia is also proud to be a member of the 30% Club Malaysia, a local chapter of the global business-led campaign focused on building an ecosystem of organisations that promote DE&I with emphasis on gender balance within boards and C-suites.
In an effort to balance gender diversity at Carlsberg Malaysia, the company has introduced a DE&I referral programme to further incentivise employees who referred a successfully hired female candidate, on top of the existing referral incentive. YTD, 36% of all employees recruited through referrals are female, versus 20% last year.
Lim also highlighted that the company has looked into enhancing its inclusive policies and practices to enable employees to feel valued, accepted, and respected in a high performance-based culture such as at Carlsberg Malaysia.
For instance, on top of enabling a working parent-friendly environment through the introduction of family care leave as well as increase in maternity and paternity leaves, Lim noted that the company has this year implemented enhancements to the existing Flexi Working Arrangements (FWA) including work-from-home, flexi working hours and also time off arrangements.
“This FWA policy aims to support the needs of the employees as they go through different phases in their lives.
“The company believes that a flexible workplace will lead to increased levels of employee engagement, health and wellbeing of employees; and ultimately create a high performing workforce who feels empowered and valued,” Lim added.
To make new joiners feel welcomed, valued and part of the Carlsberg family, the company has started a buddying system to guide and facilitate inclusion of new staff.
In a nutshell, DE&I is like beer brewing: beer recipes comprise of diverse ingredients such as water, malt, hops and yeast. Together, these quality ingredients will produce the best brews. As such, the Group values and embraces a diverse representation throughout the entire organisation, up to the management team.
Out of the eight directors, between the ages of 36 and 55 years, there are three male directors versus five who are female.
To enable an inside-out and also outside-in perspective, five out of the eight directors are Malaysians, while the three other directors are from Italy, France and Germany. Two out of the five Malaysian directors are local university graduates, showing that Carlsberg Malaysia promotes equal opportunity for all, independently from their educational background.
Carlsberg Malaysia advocates internal movements to retain its own pool of talents, and to provide opportunities for employees of different ethnicity, race, age group for an internal career move or performance-based promotion. YTD, internal movement versus external hire stood at 68:32.
The company is also giving job placements externally to young talents via Carlsberg apprenticeship, internship and management trainees programmes, which in turn also ensure a constant good inflow of young talents.
Furthermore, its DE&I initiatives and ambition are clearly in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 5 of achieving gender equality.
This is coupled with the UNSDG 10 of reducing inequalities, by way of empowering and promoting social economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status; and to ensure equal opportunity for all by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and actions.
Come 2022, Carlsberg Malaysia is looking to do more and not only making DE&I a conscious choice, but also an intrinsic value for its people.
“We will continue to reiterate the importance of DE&I and look into giving equal opportunities and priorities to everyone.
“We are here to celebrate diversity, celebrate all cultures, going beyond just giving out incentives to attract and retain a diverse workforce,” said Lim.
“Taking a step at a time, we will extend the unconscious bias training for all people managers in the upcoming year and subsequently for non-people managers in 2023,” Lim shared.
The company is in the midst of gathering inputs and feedback on its current flexi work arrangement policy for any further enhancement or fine-tuning.
“We are looking to explore other flexi benefits to appeal to a more diverse groups of people with different needs at different life cycle because we believe in ‘Leading with Care’,” Lim concluded.