Our latest look at the many and varied networks that reflect the awesome diversity of our people is seen through the eyes of Sharon, Preeti and Anna Liu. They’re members of our Asian Colleague Advocacy Group. All of them share our belief in equity and inclusion. Each has their own story to tell about what this means to them personally and how it enriches our colleague experience.
Sharon Zhang is one of our Talent Operations Managers for our China region. She feels that celebrating Asian culture through immersive activities, such as food festivals, is one of many ways to bridge that gap between working and leadership styles across different cultures.
“Our Asian Leadership Campfire brought together senior leaders from diverse backgrounds. It was an opportunity for them to share their own experiences and inspire others. It sounds like such a simple thing. However, taken together, every event like this is yet another chance to build a more inclusive workplace, where everyone feels welcome and valued. Even something as simple as posting some beautiful pictures about the Lunar New Year to introduce the YuanXiao Festival on Yammer.
“Another key focus for us is continuing to raise awareness around unconscious bias. This will build on the workshop we held back in September. Addressing this is something that all Colleague Advocacy Groups have in common and can be amongst the most powerful solutions to breaking down barriers.
“It is so important that everyone feels able to be themselves at work. It’s something I take a personal interest in encouraging. I believe it supports us all in our journey to help inspire the builders of tomorrow.”
Preeti Kondkar is an Accounting Services Manager based in Mumbai. Along with Anna Liu, who we’ll hear from next, she is co-chair of the Global Asian Colleague Advocacy Group.
“We do a lot of things to help people learn about Asian people and our experiences. As Sharon has mentioned, hosting events and holding training sessions are great ways to reach out and it helps us learn. But we also have four core objectives: to build a social network and safe community; to explore the diversity of the Asian; to celebrate our culture and traditions; and to promote a workplace that is fair and equitable.
“While it’s true that equality is a qualitative trait, we also need to view it quantitively. This is how we’ll see changes as they happen. We need to use data to track out progress. For instance, the number or women in the leadership team or the number of Asians. Both these things are indicative of our success and serve as a beacon of encouragement to others to see what is possible.
“We want our Asian colleagues to feel more comfortable and supported. When we are, we have greater opportunities and feel more confident to reach out and share insights about us and our culture. This helps to underpin equality, diversity and inclusion, simply by knowing more about one another.
“I'm excited to continue working with the global Asian advocacy group. I take a great deal of satisfaction from creating a more inclusive workplace for us all.
“There is so much to do that needs to be done at pace. The next generation is so focused on wellbeing, mental health, purpose and equality when choosing the organisation and culture they want to work in. I'm excited to continue working with the Asian EAG. I take a great deal of satisfaction from creating a more inclusive workplace for us all.
Anna Liu Kjeldsen is a Manager at our Procurement Centre of Excellence in Billund, Denmark. She actually initiated this group, as she knew first-hand the challenges that Asians can face in different cultures.
“I volunteered to co-chair and establish this group because I’ve lived and worked in many different countries, Asians are a minority here in Billund, as well as across other LEGO hubs and offices outside the Asia Pacific region. This is an amazing way to support each other both professional and personally.
“We’ve received great feedback from colleagues all over the world, and we’re proud to be providing a valuable resource for our members.
“I am very proud of being part of the company who cares so much about children, colleagues, and sustainability. Working here is the best experience ever. It’s something we all want to be a part of.
“I’m hopeful that our Asian advocacy group can help to make the LEGO Group an even better place to work for everyone. We want to see more female and Asian leaders in the company. A culture where everyone is respected and valued, regardless of their nationality, age, religion, or race, is what we are striving for.
“If you’re interested in learning more about Asian culture and traditions, or if you’re simply looking for a supportive community of colleagues, I encourage you to join us. We always have a warm welcome for new members, so we’d love to have you. Just imagine, a ready-made support network, whether your journey here has already started or if it’s yet to begin.”