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Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: RICE

Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: RICE

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RICE is a Singapore-founded independent communications consultancy with offices in Hong Kong and Myanmar. Across all of its offices offering its staff work-life balance – whatever that might look like for them given their background - remains a key pillars of its organisation.

RICE adopts a people-first approach and understands that everyone views work-life balance in different ways. Hence, it has plenty of flexibility for people to achieve that balance. Flexibility in working arrangements was something the agency has always offered, not just to parents but also to other employees who may need it as well.  Today, RICE takes pride in offering equal and fair opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship or disability. In fact, all employees at RICE are expected to respect this policy and it does not tolerate any sort of discrimination and are committed to conduct a thorough and prompt investigation of any claims of discrimination.

But building this culture of trust and balance requires a change in mindset and hiring process. For the agency hiring efforts include ensuring removing unconscious bias. It also practices blind hiring where names, gender, ethnicity and other personal details are not shared with hiring managers. At the same time, it also expands its hiring pool, going beyond PR talents and actively seeking out employees with a wide range of transferable skills.

To create a positive and nurturing work environment for employees, RICE prioritises an equal work-life balance among employees. It enforces flexible policies such as flexible working options, part-time roles, optional extended maternity and paternity leave. Furthermore, RICE also uses platforms such as Mums@Work to hire individuals. Other notable staff benefits also include above average leave entitlement for days, birthday leaves and an additional day’s leave for each year an employee spends with RICE.

Beyond remuneration and employee benefits, the company believes in recruiting and retaining talented individuals by providing opportunities for growth. To achieve this, the company has engaged an external consultancy to review and recognise areas for improvement. Also, it has invested in a comprehensive HR management system for employees' reviews, feedback and monitoring sessions.

RICE also aims to make diversity training compulsory for all employees by the end 2021. Subsequently, a diversity task force is in place to come up with monthly ideas and workshops. They include:

  1. Creating a client charter stating that RICE offers equal opportunity employment and has zero tolerance towards racial discrimination, harassment, bullying and microagressions;
  2. Unconscious bias workshop for the employees; and
  3. Carving a space for nursing mums and Muslims who need to pray.

To date, RICE has a percentage of 30% for male employees and 70% female employees. Majority of the senior team (60%), which consists of roles director level and above, are female. In the Singapore office, out of 35, there are nationals from 10 different countries. Across three offices, 14 languages are spoken.

Based on its 2021 internal staff survey, 100% of the employees felt proud working at RICE. As of 2019, the company has achieved 100% in terms of how the employees felt about having equal work opportunities from 97%. Employees have also been consistently motivated by strong meritocracy, respect for people and high work-life balance.

The agency also offers free professional therapy and counselling services available to staff as part of the program to enhance the mental health and wellbeing benefits.

To read the rest of the agency initiatives in the Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021, click here.

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