Innovation is no stranger to Cityray Technology, a Hong Kong company specializes in providing human resources solutions to clients. As a tech company, innovation is at the heart of everything the company does. And innovation can be driven by not only the employee’s creativity but also a human resources initiative.
“Initially I thought it made sense to implement D&I in the company as it aligns with our values,” Lawrence Szeto, Cityray’s Managing Director, says. “However, I didn’t think much of what sort of transformation it could bring to the company.”
It all began in 2016 when Cityray hired Hang, an SEN intern. After the internship, Hang encountered academic difficulties and had to quit school. Upon hearing the news and after consulting with internal stakeholders, Szeto decided to hire Hang as a full-time employee.
“Frankly, the whole thing was rather unexpected,” Szeto recalls. “However, Hang’s story was inspirational on multiple fronts. It’s really delightful to see how much Hang has grown over the years; at the same time his case really illustrates the connection between D&I and innovation.”
According to Szeto, innovation is about needs and demands in the marketplace. What D&I can do is to help companies to get an early insight into the demands and emerging needs.
“Take disability inclusion as an example, a disabled employee can help inform us of the perspectives of persons with disabilities in designing solutions for the marketplace. In essence, D&I propels us to think and innovate so that our solutions are genuinely user-friendly to everyone,” Szeto says.
In addition to innovation, Szeto points out that D&I helps to create shared values and promote a growth mindset in the company. “In fact, it benefits our senior staff members because the initiative validates their professional knowledge and skillset – by mentoring the younger generation, D&I invigorates them and makes them feel relevant in the workplace.”
While small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack the resources to have dedicated in-house support for D&I measures, Szeto points out that this shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle in promoting D&I among SMEs. In particular, he says SMEs can leverage the experience of organizations like CareER to make D&I functional in small workplaces.
“I have said that the CareER Jockey Club Thriving Grass Career Development Program plays an effective role in raising the awareness of inclusion in the workplace among SMEs. Not only does it help small businesses to gain access to an untapped talent pool but also propel them to get a first taste of what exactly D&I is,” Szeto notes.
It is understandable that companies are hesitant because of the lack of experience in hiring persons with disabilities, but Szeto thinks that companies should set an achievable goal and then take the first step to give it a try. Also, employers need to change their mindset – instead of focusing on what the employees can bring to the table, it is more fruitful to empower these employees and see what they can do for the company.
He adds: “The Thriving Grass Program can help you to open up your eyes to a new way of thinking, and I fully support this empowering program. I also plan to hire more talents through CareER.”
In sum, inclusion in the workplace shouldn’t be limited to big corporations and large workplaces. Even small companies can play a role in creating a shared future where society will be free from unequal treatment and where persons with disabilities can enjoy a rewarding working life.
CareER provides career development and campus supports for higher educated persons with disabilities and SEN, meanwhile, promotes equal opportunities and disabilities inclusion at the workplace.
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The CareER Jockey Club Thriving Grass Career Development Program is tailored for higher educated persons with disabilities and Special Educational Needs (SEN). During the program, participants will be given training opportunities to build self-confidence, improve personal competence, as well as develop leadership and communication skills. For more information, please visit: https://career.org.hk/key-program/
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