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Harnessing Diversity to Innovate in Asia with Prof Roy Chua of Singapore Management University

DIAN Professional Series - Highlight of the Month

>> Find out more about Prof Roy Chua of Singapore Management University who is running a DIAN Professional Series workshop titled ‘Harnessing Diversity to Innovate in Asia’ on 8 September in Hong Kong.   Click here for more details and to register for this workshop >>



Why are you passionate about diversity and inclusion?

Singapore is a multicultural and diverse society. Diversity and inclusion is critical to ensure harmony in such a diverse social environment and ultimately our survival. Most importantly, this is related to my research interests. Over the last 10 years, I have been focused on how individuals and organisations can innovate in a culturally diverse social environment. Therefore, I am passionate about D&I because I would love to understand how environment can foster or hurt creativity. Recently, I am interested in investigating this from a gender perspective.

When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion, can you share some of your achievements with us?

One of my biggest achievements is that I have brought in D&I topics to my executive classes and MBA classes. I am told that my students appreciated my classes a lot because they are different from most classes in Asia. Although many Asian countries including Singapore are socially diverse, D&I related issues are regarded as sensitive that students often do not have a chance to discuss in class.

Which workshop have you chosen to be a part of the DIAN Professional Series and why?

Harnessing Diversity to Innovate in Asia is what I will be facilitating because innovation and creativity are keys to individual and business success in the 21st century. Diversity can be a key driver with well management which upholds inclusion.

What do you think participants will gain from attending your session?

Participants will learn how to manage differences at the workplace to boost employee creativity and innovation. They will also learn about how Asian culture constrains and promotes creativity as I will share some insights from my Singaporean background.

What do you think is the next big thing in the D&I space in Asia?

I would say the foreseeable recognition of same-sex marriage in Taiwan or Vietnam. It would be a big deal for the region if same-sex marriage is legalized in Asian countries.

What is your single piece of advice for diversity and inclusion professionals working in Asia?  

Persistence. Since D&I is a relatively new concept in Asia, there is still a lot to work on. Additionally, the local cultures may pose specific challenges. For example, Asian cultures in general are relatively hierarchical than the west. Therefore solutions from the west apply here and culturally specific solutions are to be explored.

Are you/have you worked/working on anything that we can tell our members about?

I’m currently working on research on how women collaborate across cultures and more broadly how women innovate. Do contact me if there is interest.


Click here to register for Roy’s DIAN Professional Series session ‘Harnessing Diversity to Innovate in Asia’ on 8 September in Hong Kong.

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