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IRC Global Executive Search Partners convened a virtual roundtable featuring HR and D&I leaders representing top organizations across APAC and EMEA and moderated by Niamh O'Driscoll of IRC Ireland. The discussion centered on the leadership response to the SARS-CoV-2 threat that emerged in 2020, building a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline and the importance of D&I within a progressive and proactive environment, social and governance (ESG) framework.
In March 2021, the European Union (EU) began enforcing new ESG reporting standards to promote investment in sustainable companies and align the private sector with the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Companies that have adopted an ESG framework have generated better returns on several global indices, reason enough to embrace the more demanding standards, according to Nirmal Kumar, Global Head of HR, Customers, Products and Strategy at London-based HSBC. “We've made significant commitments on ESG, and I see so many progressive companies making the commitment, but key to that is inclusion.”

An inclusive organization isn’t just one that seeks an equitable gender balance and fosters diversity, it’s also one that encourages its team members to speak up, to challenge, question, point out excesses and wrongdoings, Kumar noted. “There are so many topics under inclusion, and fundamentally, it’s key to ensuring an equal and fair society for all...
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