11 Jun 2020

LGBT+ Workshop 5: Establishing Consistent LGBT+ Priorities Across your Organisation

This workshop will help organisations understand how consistent and strategic communication can drive an LGBT+ inclusive community culture. They will gain insights into how organisations ensure buy-in from all levels


In 2015, Community Business launched the Hong Kong LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index - the first benchmark of its kind in Asia, and a number of associated awards.  This initiative was a huge success - propelling LGBT+ inclusion into the spotlight in Hong Kong and positioning the leadership of Community Business in this space. Through engagement with key stakeholders, Community Business decided to run the Index every 2 years - giving more companies the chance to prepare or make progress.  The second iteration of the Index was therefore run in 2017 and a third took place in 2019. 

The Index has proved to be a game changer in Hong Kong, and as part of our goal to promote the adoption of best practice and drive greater progress on LGBT+ inclusion in Hong Kong, Community Business is committed to sharing learnings and best practices with the business community. From November 2019 to June 2020, we aim to help organisations of all sizes and from all industries to drive LGBT+ inclusion internally and in the wider Hong Kong through our Raising the Bar: Continuing your LGBT+ Inclusion Journey workshops addressing different key aspects of the Index.   

The target audience for these workshops includes: 

  • Those who participated in any or all iterations of the Index and are looking to make progress 

  • Newcomers to the Index looking to find out how to get started 

  • Corporate representatives from both multinational and local companies 

  • HR, D&I professionals 

  • LGBT+ inclusion executive sponsors, champions and network leads 

The workshop will consist of below sessions: 

  • Introduction to the Index​ 

  • Insights on the topic from the 2019 Index​ 

  • Best Practice Panel: 3-4 speakers to share insights ​ 

  • Q&A​ 

  • Table Group Discussion​ 

  • Informal Networking 

The specific objectives of this workshop are to: 

  • Highlight the importance of consistently communicating, reviewing and updating an organisation's LGBT+ approach, and how to ensure this drives an LGBT+ inclusive culture for employees.  

  • Give insights into best practices and how organisations ensure buy in not just from the senior management and from the LGBT+ employee network, but throughout the organisation. 

  • Provide participants with specific advice on how to make LGBT+ issue a consistent priority across the organisation. 

  • Share experiences from companies who have been successful in their efforts in Hong Kong - including challenges and triumphs. 

Event Speakers

  • Michael Thillaivasan

    Michael Thillaivasan

    Legal Operations Manager, Disputes
  • Florence Sai Wing Chan

    Florence Sai Wing Chan

    Asia Pacific D&I Leader
  • James Tong

    James Tong

    Managing Director, citibank

Legal Operations Manager, Disputes

Michael Thillaivasan

Michael is the Legal Operations Manager for the Disputes team across Asia. He comes with a wealth of experience from both legal private practice and Big4 consultancy (EY).

Passionate about helping lawyers navigate an ever changing legal landscape, Michael is able to use his skills to manage large scale cross border disputes; use innovation and technology techniques to provide client focused solutions; and facilitate training workshops, round table discussions and presentations in areas such as management skills, technology and team dynamics.

Coming from a multi cultural background, Michael has lived and worked in London, Frankfurt and Auckland. In Auckland, Michael worked as a technical director at Maori Television, the indigenous broadcasting station for New Zealand, where he learnt first hand the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Michael is also a member of the HSF LGBT+ committee (IRIS). Identifying as LGBT+, Michael is a firm believer in ensuring issues and challenges facing the community are addressed in a considered and thoughtful way. Through the encouragement of inclusivity for all employees, the committee strives to educate and empower individuals in their own journeys.

Michael has day to day hands on experience of managing culturally diverse global teams whilst adopting grounding breaking techniques in mindfulness; AGILE working; Design Thinking; coaching and mentoring.

Asia Pacific D&I Leader

Florence Sai Wing Chan

Florence is a UK qualified solicitor with comprehensive experience in the legal sector. Her experience covers human rights, employee rights as well as criminal law. Over the years, she became increasingly involved with Pro Bono, CSR and D&I work and she is a Community Business alumni. Florence is now the Asia Pacific D&I Leader for EY, a proud mum of a 1 year old and on the committee for Planet Ally, TedxTinhauwomen and is a volunteer coach for the HKFC Crusaders, a team for youth with special needs. She is a proud “B” in LGBT+, pronouns are She and Her and supports HK Rainbow Families.

Born in the UK, raised in both UK and HK, Florence speaks Cantonese and is fluent in English and Mandarin.

Managing Director, citibank

James Tong

Mr. James Tong is the Regional Head of Global Shipping & Logistics for Citi in APAC & Japan. He is a shipping specialist in Citi primarily responsible for the shipping and marine logistic relationship portfolio including shipping, deep sea offshore and ports & terminals in this region. James has more than 2 decades of rich and solid global banking experience and 17 years of which he has specialized in the global shipping industry sector.

In 2013, James co-founded and co-chaired Citi HK Pride Network. He has since then become the main Business Executive Sponsor for the Citi Pride Network which champions LGBT diversity & inclusion within the Bank in HK and Asia Pacific. James is the senior representative of Citi at the forefront of the LGBT diversity and inclusion in Asia. In 2017 year, he has been appointed as the APAC regional representative of Global Pride Steering Committee of Citi led by Jamie Forese, then the President of Citi, and Bob Annibale, Affinity Leader, to drive strategy and key priorities for making Citi a more inclusive organization for the LGBT+ colleagues. He has been a panel speaker representing Citi at the Economist Pride & Prejudice Conference in the last consecutive 2 years. He was also a Board Director of AIDS Concern, a HKSAR Government approved NGO for education and testing of HIV.

James holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales in Australia with a double major in in Accounting and Finance.