WBA Magazine

Embracing our differences for a brighter future

Boots Thailand’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey has big impact on team members.

By Caitlin Hodgson

Colleagues at Boots Thailand

This past year has been nothing if not paradoxical. On the one hand, we have seen acts of heroism and unity amidst the pandemic, people rallying together to protest for equal rights and we’ve engaged in open and honest conversations about topics that were previously thought of as off the table. Yet, amongst all that positive harmony have been shocking acts of hostility and racial hatred that makes one simply question what century we are in.

Boots Thailand are passionate about creating an all-embracing company culture that gives everybody the opportunity they deserve – building a brand that celebrates all backgrounds and makes sure everybody feels that they belong. To help realize this vision, Boots Thailand formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) campaign to actively raise awareness and help team members understand why DE&I is so crucial to the success of the company. Through activities and training sessions, Boots Thailand are giving everyone a chance to express their opinions, share their past experiences and be taught how to harvest an inclusive culture.

“Fundamentally, respect for DEI starts with human empathy,” says Boots Thailand’s managing director Dean Thompson. “The more open spaces we create for exchange of ideas equally, the more creativity occurs within the organization. No matter how you look at, it can only be a positive step in the right direction.”

Corporate communications manager Orawan Jitpugdee was one of the leading figures behind the campaign. To figure out how to make sure the purpose of the initiative resonated with people, she pondered on what narrative would work best. “From my perspective, the first step to successfully create a diverse and inclusive culture is to start with yourself,” Jitpugdee says. “Wherever you are in the workplace or surrounded by your loved ones, starting with self-awareness without faking is everything to help create an environment where different individuals can act in the ways that show their true selves. That way we made sure everyone was able to share their own journeys and put themselves in the shoes of others.”

 

Orawan Jitpugdee
Orawan Jitpugdee

 

To kickstart the campaign, souvenirs were designed by cancer patients at Art for Cancer by Ireal and by children with HIV from the Baan Gerda Foundation, which Boots has supported for over 10 years. The purpose of this was not only to get team members feeling excited about the artwork, but to demonstrate that Boots Thailand is already trying to foster an inclusive environment.