From the Dean
The principle that people should be hired for positions, and promoted or rewarded, solely on the basis of their talents and performance, and not because of their gender, ethnic origins or other functionally irrelevant demographic attributes, is widely accepted today. But beyond a sense of being on the right side of social progress, does employing a more diverse workforce boost performance?
In this edition of Biz@HKUST, the founders and senior executives of four notable companies describe the benefits that come from having a broader range of skills and perspectives within their teams, as well as some of the challenges they have faced when attempting to realize their goals. They include three members of our School Advisory Council, Mrs Betty Yuen So Siu Mei, Vice Chairman of CLP Power Hong Kong; Dr James Thompson, Chairman of Crown Worldwide Group; and Dato’ Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Chairman of Value Partners Group. They are joined by Mr Xu Xiaoliang, Executive Director and Co-President of Fosun International.
Meanwhile, our Head of the Department of Management, Professor Gong Yaping, together with the Head of Talent Solutions of Aon Hewitt, Ms Mary Yu and Chairperson of Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission, Professor Alfred Chan Cheung Ming, in another series of interviews, share the insights they have gathered from research and practices into the underlying aspects of this important topic.
In another feature, four of our outstanding female alumni talk about gender diversity and equality in the workplace. They are two corporate leaders, Mrs Christine Ip, CEO – Greater China of United Overseas Bank and Ms Sophia Leung, Asia Pacific CIO of J.P. Morgan; together with two entrepreneurs Ms Zhou Yunli, Managing Director of Tiantu Capital and Ms Gesche Hass, Founder of Trailblazer Ventures.
In a world with unprecedented social and economic changes, and where innovation holds key to success, ignoring any available pool of talent makes little practical sense. In the Business School and throughout HKUST, we endeavor to create a more diverse and inclusive faculty and student body. That’s not only because we think it will help us attain better educational and research outcomes, but also because we believe it’s the right thing to do. One of HKUST’s five core values focuses on inclusiveness, diversity, and respect for individuals from different races, genders, cultural backgrounds and religions.
We do practice what we preach. In the Business School, the national, ethnic and gender diversity of many of our academic programs enriches the experience for all participants. That diversity is often cited as a significant draw by potential applicants around the world.
Our Department of Management offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses which look at the theories and research findings pertaining to diversity, as well as cross-cultural management. Faculty in the department are active in diversity research, focusing on cultural diversity in particular. In this edition, five faculty including Professor Melody Manchi Chao, Professor Christy Zhou Koval, Professor David P. Daniels, Professor Zhu Jing, and Professor Jaee Cho update us on their findings and ideas about how a company can best use the expertise and knowledge of a diverse team.
Professor Tam Kar Yan