New FleishmanHillard Research Finds Asia Pacific Consumers Care About DE&I and Expect Companies to Act
The New Report Sets out a Framework for Corporations to Follow in the APAC Region to Act More Relevantly and Authentically to Meet the Local Needs of the Population
Hong Kong S.A.R. — FleishmanHillard’s Research and Analytics practice, TRUE Global Intelligence™ today launched DE&I Decoded: APAC, a comprehensive report focused on Asia Pacific consumer perceptions and needs regarding diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). The report showcases the need for organizations to drastically rethink the way they are engaging with stakeholders and provides a guide for brands that want to act more relevantly and authentically to meet the needs of stakeholders in the region.
“We’ve long known that DE&I is not a monolith in the Asia Pacific region, but with this new data we’ve gained the richest detail we’ve ever seen about what matters to which populations,” said Lynne Anne Davis, Asia Pacific regional president, FleishmanHillard. “From diversity of gender and religion to equity in important economic issues like housing and income, DE&I doesn’t look the same in any two markets in the region. It’s really important to understand these differences as a brand and as an employer to be able to deliver on these values with a range of stakeholder groups.”
The DE&I Decoded: APAC research found:
- DE&I is important in APAC. Definitions may differ by market, but APAC respondents expect topics, including race, ethnicity and gender to be a central consideration in all communications and business strategies. Fifty-one percent of respondents agreed in the importance of “making people with different backgrounds more included in society” versus only 11% who preferred to keep the current societal structures.
- Economics are a major factor in facilitating change. Across Asia the population is active in advocacy, with 84% noting that they advocate for at least one issue. Economic issues including economic status, employment status and income top the list, followed by more commonly recognized DE&I topics like gender, social status / class, cultural background and religion.
- Taking decisive action counts. Organizations taking actions on DE&I are being prioritized over those without commitments or plans in APAC today. Ninety-four percent of respondents cited at least one action that companies could take to showcase an authentic commitment to DE&I.
“What we saw in the data is a unique lexicon for DE&I that stakeholders across the business world, governments and beyond can use to build a more equitable and inclusive society,” said Leela Stake, FleishmanHillard FH4Inclusion lead and co-lead for the True MOSAIC DE&I practice. “While the language used to discuss these topics differs, the need for change is high. Especially when it comes to the elements needed for all to build a better life – education, income and safety. We saw respondents actively taking a stand and pushing for change in these areas.”
Steps organizations need to take around DE&I in APAC:
- Communicating about DE&I. APAC consumers (90%) expect companies to act and communicate about DE&I; however only 3% of respondents noted that they remember getting information on the topic from their employers.
- Defining the strategy with actions and goals. Meaningful action starts with a plan and actionable goals. They can be modest to start, but require commitment, communication and transparency.
- Prioritizing dialogue and education. Rather than one-way communication, organizations need to engage in conversation around DE&I topics and invest in additional training and education. Thirty-six percent of respondents expect employee training on the topic and 83% expect companies to have a DE&I leader.
- Customizing communications by market. While there’s temptation to send a single communication, language used to discuss DE&I varies greatly by market. Communications and plans need to be tailored for each market and speak to the elements of their global DE&I strategy that resonate in that market.
“The DE&I Decoded: APAC study’s results speak to how high the demand is for brands to take actions related to DE&I,” said Michael Rinaman, managing director of TRUE Global Intelligence in APAC and global analytics lead at FleishmanHillard. “Even though priorities are different depending on the population you’re speaking with, people in the Asia Pacific region overwhelmingly call for action from governments and from companies to improve society. This may come through training and education, or it may come through DE&I leaders in the region making discrete, actionable plans to improve their organizations and workplaces.”
Research for DE&I Decoded: APAC was conducted by TRUE Global Intelligence, FleishmanHillard’s in-house research and analytics practice, with survey fielding occurring from September 16-27, 2022. The report is based on a survey of 5,106 people across the APAC region, including population weighted samples for Australia, China, Hong Kong S.A.R., India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It revealed the unique needs of each market, along with compelling data regarding emerging trends in the region, information about where people consume information about DE&I and how economic equity influences action.
FleishmanHillard specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. FleishmanHillard was named 2021 PRovoke Global Agency of the Year, 2021 ICCO Network of the Year, 2021 Campaign Global PR Agency of the Year, 2022 PRWeek U.S. Agency of the Year and Outstanding Extra-Large Agency of the Year; 2021 PRovoke APAC Consultancy of the Year; 2021 PRWeek UK Large Consultancy of the Year; Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality 2018-2021; and to Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) “Top Companies for Executive Women” list 2010-2021. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, and has nearly 80 offices in more than 30 countries, plus affiliates in 45 countries.
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