A local paper is saying that Goldman Sachs here is making a specific recruitment call to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. The company is saying that its planned LGBT recruitment and networking (indoor) dinner at its Singapore office is merely a platform for attendees to “discuss issues and concerns regarding being ‘out’ in the workplace”.
Sympathetic voices chimed in to add that, given the labour crunch, companies should be mindful about closing doors on any specific group of people. After all, the official mantra has always been about welcoming one and all to the melting pot.
One minister flashed the homophobe card, declaring “Foreign companies here should respect local culture and context. They are entitled to decide and articulate their human resource policies, but they should not venture into public advocacy for causes that sow discord amongst Singaporeans.” No, it was not the newly minted Manpower Minister speaking, it’s the other general. As for discord, so long as the event is not a flag waving spectacle in a public plaza, no fair minded Singaporean will feel offended. Maybe some bigots, defined by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, thus:
Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred on the basis of a person’s opinion, ethnicity, evaluative orientation, race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.
Goldman Sachs is neither first nor unique in embracing diversity in the workplace. Credit Suisse and JP Morgan have had also organised LGBT networking programmes for employees in order “to have a good diversity of talent for their workplace, regardless of gender, sexuality or race”. The minister had stressed that discrimination “whether based on race, language, religion or sexual orientation” has no place in our society. Same message, different words. So why has the minister gotten his knickers in a twist?
MyPaper provided the clue: Goldman Sachs is sponsoring the coming Pink Dot event next month. Officially Pink Dot is deemed a LGBT advocacy movement by the higher ups, not just another picnic in the park. And you thought that all you need to do to stay out of trouble is to apply for a police permit.