IWD2020: interview with Ting Smith

Author Fay Phillips-Jones
March 19, 2020

We proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2020. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Whilst we all know that gender parity within the workplace has improved over the past decades, we all also know that there is still a long way to go.

We interviewed Ting Smith, Regional HR Director, Asia Pacific & Middle East at Gensler. 

#IWD2020 #EachForEqual

What does equality in the workplace look like for you?

The key to creating equality in the workplace starts with the firm’s culture, the leadership and the people fostering an inclusive and equitable culture supported by best practices and open communication. In an ideal world, everyone has a responsibility to lead by example in a free from discrimination, bias and prejudice working environment through actively promoting a diverse workforce.

In reality, firms require rules to make this happen. So firms are expected to provide a solid platform to implement policies and guidelines, along with workable mechanisms to enable equality in the workplace that may include flexible working, coaching for paternity leave returnees and offer diverse career development pathways.

Do you feel social media has influenced a positive shift change for female leadership?

Social media has provided an immense platform to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to inspire the next generation of women leaders. There is more activism coming through with a huge appetite to shape society and challenge the status quo. People are taking more of a lead on culturally relevant issues by voicing their views, challenges and sharing personal experiences.

We have seen some positive movements with a new stage to rewrite the rules and expand their network to influence and make a positive shift, some less so. Regardless, I believe it has shone a major spotlight globally that firms cannot shy away from.

What have you or your business implemented to achieve positive changes for an equal workforce?

At Gensler, diversity is foundational to our firm’s culture. I am excited to share Gensler’s Communities of Leadership which reflects senior roles and rotations across all communities of our firm promoting equality. These rotational roles are an essential part of our One-Firm Firm and People-First culture through creating new internal partnership and global connections that help us drive our vision forward. They bring out the best in our people, sparking innovative ideas and enabling these ideas to flourish and provide them with unique insights.

More operationally, we have embedded equal employment opportunities for all talent and this is supported through transparent policies such as anti-harassment, code of conduct, equal opportunities, flexible working arrangements and working with local institutes in promoting women in the workforce.

Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organisation/company they are employed by. 

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