Advancing Diversity & Inclusion

Advancing Diversity & Inclusion

Advancing Diversity & Inclusion 900 675 Hugill & Ip
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marco Raccuia discusses Diversity & Inclusion and what it means for businesses in Hong Kong – in particular for a boutique law firm as Hugill & Ip. He touches upon success factors and hurdles within the different aspects of D&I with the ultimate goal of achieving equity.

In the next few weeks Hugill & Ip will be part of a series of internal and external events to highlight the importance of creating a more diverse and inclusive society. Later this week the firm joins over 80 other organisations in Hong Kong and the region for #PinkFridayPride, while next week it will support elements – Project Touch of BGCA for a live seminar and webinar on “Estate Planning Advice for Same-Sex Couples 同性伴侶遺產管理準備“. During the festive season, Hugill & Ip will bring some jolly fun and join Hong Kong Singers’ latest production “Sister Act“.


00:42 Success factors and roadblocks
02:17 Multiple aspects of D&I
03:17 Achieving equity


The final goal of D&I efforts is to give everyone a voice. Even though Hugill & Ip is a relatively small boutique firm of about 30 headcounts, we try to represent everyone.

We tend to avoid just promoting the concept of it and rather push the agenda to create a truly diverse and inclusive working environment, which benefits the firm internally and the society we live in. We focus on causes we feel passionate about and the ones that have a deep meaning to certain individuals, as well as the firm as a whole.

Success factors and roadblocks

Diversity is a critical competitive success factor in today’s business world, in fact organizations with culturally sensitive leaders are generally better positioned to attract the right talent.

Making D&I a clear and day-in-day-out business practice that also gets a strong buy-in from management is key. Organizations need to keep track of progress and create an ongoing dialogue within their structures, as well as searching for allies that can have an impact on other organizations and the society as a whole.

Many obstacles often prevent organisations from attaining the desired D&I outcome: not having time set aside for development, lack of structured training and programs, and lack of support from management are typical examples.

Studies show that diversity creates more innovation, greater profitability, increases market share and encourages intellectual thought. Such studies show the countless benefits diversity brings, yet some individuals and organisations seem to still be averse to diversity. Companies should be proactive, while taking a step-by-step approach.

It is also true that one person alone cannot be responsible for D&I: it takes a team effort and it can be very difficult. When facing hitches in implementing D&I policies we ought to think back about the hiring process, the talent and character component.

Multiple aspects of D&I

While a strong component of D&I has been focused on sexual orientation and LGBT rights there is still a lot of work to be done in Hong Kong. Promoting the benefits of D&I and all its aspects will help it carry more weight in traditional and smaller local businesses. We ought to influence leaders and employees of such businesses to take a stronger stand and encourage a wider level of conversation within their structures. A positive and inspirational influence can propagate throughout the business and have a positive effect in the long-term.

Along with sexual orientation, surely there’s much more to work on. Organisations should aim to push all aspects of D&I in a stronger way: gender and gender identity, family status, age, race, disability, religious beliefs, body shape or size.

Achieving equity

Equity takes Diversity & Inclusion one notch up. It encourages fair treatment and access to opportunities, while striving to eradicate the institutional and unconscious hurdles which might reduce the potential of diverse members.

Equity is about looking at an individual’s situation and not with a one-size-fits-all kind of approach, in fact we need to allow people to have a different springboard height in order to achieve success.

Luckily, many organizations are starting to understand that meritocracy alone does not guarantee an equitable environment.


This video is for informational purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal or professional advice.

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