MTR, driven by its purpose to Keep Cities Moving, was established with the vision of enabling progress and mobility for cities and their people. The company strives to create sustainable value for all stakeholders, including customers, employees, the supply chain, and the community. Recognizing the significance of innovation and diversity in fostering societal progress, MTR remains committed to attracting and retaining a diverse pool of talented individuals, placing them at the forefront of its focus.
We spoke to Bosco Leung, Social Responsibility Lead and Alan Kwan, Chief Operations Manager – Light Rail and Bus, Hong Kong Transport Services to share their practical and pleasant experiences of their Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) journey.
📍How did your organization begin the D&I journey in Hong Kong? And why did you decide to participate in the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment – CareER Thriving Grass Career Development Program (Thriving Grass Program)?
MTR Corporation has always been a strong supporter of D&I. In the 2020 strategic review, the company incorporated goals of inclusivity and sustainability into its overall strategy, in which “social inclusion” is one of the key focus areas. We have established targets for D&I and set key performance indicators (KPIs) to strive for and evaluate these goals on an annual basis. This demonstrates the company’s top-down commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment and its desire to promote these values within society.
We believe it is essential to set ambitious yet achievable targets. For instance, in 2021, a significant milestone was reached in the summer internship program, aiming for 10% of participants from culturally diverse backgrounds or individuals with multiple capabilities. Regular reviews and evaluations are conducted to assess the achievement of these goals.
Speaking of the Thriving Grass Program, CareER has been our long-term partner since ten years ago. Walter, the co-founder and CEO of CareER, provided consultancy services related to accessibility for our MTR Mobile division back then. Later, the company actively promoted D&I recruitment. CareER is now one of our 12 ESG Project Alliances and plays a crucial role in our Talent Wise (summer internship) program. They provide us with suitable resumes and support, from the regular recruitment process to other aspects.
📍What are the takeaways during the process?
Emphasizing our colleagues’ abilities rather than their disabilities has yielded unexpected benefits for us. Certain talents possess characteristics and traits that make them well-suited for specific positions, surpassing the capabilities of typical candidates.
Taking that initial step is crucial in recognizing and harnessing their strengths. We frequently collaborate with our non-governmental organization partners, benefiting from their stories, training, collaboration, and support. This integration process becomes faster, more effective, and contributes to business growth. These valuable insights stem from our past experiences.
I also wish to share our experience with employers. When given a genuine opportunity, Hong Kong has proven to have outstanding colleagues. They seamlessly adapt to our team’s work dynamics and establish good peer relationships. Moreover, tasks that would have typically taken a considerable amount of time are efficiently handled by their focused efforts, allowing us to complete and manage them within shorter timeframes.
📍What’s your feedback on CareER and the intern after the Thriving Grass Program? Will there be any next steps?
This is the first time for our Light Rail and Bus team to have an intern with special needs. However, when Theo joined our team, his presence was indistinguishable from that of a typical colleague. As an employee with ADHD, his exceptional focus and patience pleasantly surprised us. We assigned several significant projects to him, and his outstanding performance impressed us a lot.
With Theo’s assistance, we efficiently handled the normally time-consuming task of preparing for and presenting route restructuring at the District Council, completing it within a few weeks. The positive outcome was the recognition and approval of our proposed changes by the Tuen Mun District Council, enabling us to enhance our services to the community. Additionally, Theo’s dedication was evident in his contribution to a video promoting safe public transportation for elderly passengers, quickly bringing our storyboard to life. The video was widely shared, benefiting elderly citizens across Hong Kong. Furthermore, Theo’s involvement extended to our popular Light Rail tours, where he not only assisted in planning but also served as a proud tour guide, receiving heart-warming feedback from the public.
In summary, Theo’s arrival brought immense value to our team. His unwavering focus, efficient work ethic, and ability to adapt quickly allowed us to achieve remarkable results in various projects. We are grateful for his dedication and the positive impact he has had on our endeavours and we are ready to welcome him back to our big family after his graduation. With Theo as a very good example of the Thriving Grass Program’s intern, we are happy to have more CareER members as our employees in the future.