Content360 2023
Study: Majority of APAC consumers care about diversity, equity and inclusion

Study: Majority of APAC consumers care about diversity, equity and inclusion

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The majority of APAC consumers expect companies to act and communicate about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Meanwhile, only 3% of them noted that they remember getting information on the topic from their employers, survery finds. 

Conducted by FleishmanHillard’s in-house research and analytics practice, the study surveyed 5,106 people across the APAC in September last year, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, revealing their consumer perceptions and needs regarding DE&I.

The study found that 51% of respondents agreed in the importance of “making people with different backgrounds more included in society” versus 11% who preferred to keep the current societal structures. 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 recognised DE&I topics such as gender, social status/ class, cultural background and religion.

Additionally, 94% of respondents cited at least one action that companies could take to showcase an authentic commitment to DE&I. It shows that organisations taking actions on DE&I are being prioritised over those without commitments or plans in APAC today.


“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.” said Lynne Anne Davis, Asia Pacific regional president, FleishmanHillard. 

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The report showcases the need for organisations to 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.

“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. 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,” said Leela Stake, FleishmanHillard FH4Inclusion lead and co-lead for the True MOSAIC DE&I practice.

With 90% of respondents expect companies act and communicate about DE&I and only 3% of respondents noted that they remember getting information on the topic from their employers, FleishmanHillard suggested a few steps for organisations to take around DE&I in APAC such as define the strategy with a plan and actionable goals with commitment, communication and transparency and engage in conversation around DE&I topics and invest in additional training and education. Furthermore, companies can tailor communications for each market and speak to the elements of their global DE&I strategy that resonate in that market.

“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 discreet, actionable plans to improve their organisations and workplaces,” said Michael Rinaman, managing director of TRUE Global Intelligence in APAC and global analytics lead at FleishmanHillard. 

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