(May 29): South-east Asia is a unique melting pot of people and cultures, so it comes as some surprise to discover that the region is failing to leverage the value of that diversity.

It is time that businesses across the region recognise the true value of difference, and embrace the business opportunity inherent in diverse cultures and backgrounds. These are the findings of Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) study, The Diversity Dividend in South-east Asia, exploring insights from over 6,100 employees in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

This study shines a spotlight on a potential annual cost of US$25 billion–US$30 billion ($35.5 billion–$42.6 billion) that companies across the region are exposed to as a result of failing to engage with diversity and inclusivity initiatives (D&I). BCG’s study found that companies across Southeast Asia are falling behind on their diversity programmes, yet those which have invested are reaping substantial benefits in terms of workforce morale and business opportunity. This sets out the significant moral and business imperative for organisations across the region to engage more deeply with diversity and inclusivity going forward.

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