Firms urged to embrace diversity
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Firms urged to embrace diversity

The business sector is being urged to endorse the concept of gender diversity and join forces with the government to drive Thailand towards becoming an inclusive society.

Presided over by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Monday's "Business, Gender Diversity, and the Path Ahead" seminar organised by SET-listed Berli Jucker (BJC) and Big C Supercenter Plc addressed the topic of gender equality, with industry leaders and experts joining the event to discuss strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion in Thai organisations.

Mr Srettha, also the finance minister, said the government is eager to foster collaboration across all stakeholders from diverse fields to propel the country's society into one of parity and inclusivity, echoing Thailand's stance during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 2023.

He said gender parity is a basic human right and the government recently pushed for egalitarian marriage legislation under the Gender Equality Act.

"The government is committed to working towards a society that welcomes differences and offers everyone equal chances, looking for ways to give people more opportunities in education, jobs and healthcare in an environment where everyone feels accepted," he said.

Aswin Techajareonvikul, chief executive and president of BJC and Big C Supercenter, said that in the past, traditional gender roles in Thailand led to a disproportionately low representation of women in leadership positions, and there were challenges for transgender individuals in terms of societal acceptance.

However, equal rights have been openly discussed and implemented among operators in the business sector, such as BJC and Big C, he said.

BJC has a ratio of male and female employees of 40% and 60%, respectively, and has a ratio of 50% of women at all levels of the workforce, including all management positions.

Based on its internal survey of 9,852 employees, the firm also has 40% who define themselves as 2SLGTBQIA+, stating that the firm is a secure and safe working place for them.

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