AuthorAlvina Fu

Diversity In Tech: It Starts With Respect

When it comes to diversity in tech, #TheStruggleIsReal. In an industry dominated by males spotting a couple of stereotypes, industry-leading organisations are calling for a larger focus on diversity and multiculturalism. Where recruiting any top talent has proved to be a major challenge any start-up founders would face, diversity has proved to be needful.

Facebook hired Maxine Williams as its global director of diversity in 2013. One of her most notable efforts was overhauling the Managing Bias training course to help individuals understand their possible biasness. Through real-world examples, employees were taught to work on pre-emptive solutions. Google, the first tech giant to publicly release its diversity numbers, has also pledged to “unite this dialogue around diversity in the tech industry”, its director of diversity and inclusion Yolanda Mangolini said.

You might be thinking, “Why the hoo-hah over diversity and multiculturalism? We are a small team and not all tech companies have access to resources like Facebook and Google.” You might also be thinking, “How can a small startup foster an environment conducive for minorities?” For us at honestbee, it starts with respect. Our experience in having a diverse team also bought about a positive impact on our business and the culture we are building. Here are some tips on how you can build a team that is diverse and multicultural based on our experience.

Respect Different Perspectives Diversity Brings 

Working with a team of individuals from different backgrounds, culture and education is great. This means that a broader range of insights and ideas will be brought to the table. For the team to work efficiently together though, mutual respect is key.

It is important that team members keep an open mind and open communication channel. Remember, different departments have to work together quite closely. It’s best that the working relationship is kept at optimum to be able to solve things more creatively as a team.

Integrating People from Different Backgrounds into the Local Culture

Starting a new job is difficult enough, let alone starting a new job in a new city and a new culture. You can imagine how nerve-wrecking or frustrating it must be when you step into an office where no one understands you. Think about this: no one knows what you’re saying and what you’re trying to achieve.

Here at honestbee, our social committee ensures that team members integrate well with each other. We encourage informal engagement sessions during lunch or after work so as to learn more about each other. We also take them out during the weekends for them to experience the fun side of Singapore, such as cycling, paintball and soccer sessions. Just a few weekends ago, we even had a little tour at Gardens by the Bay for the new joiners!

Talent Scouting in Different Places

Instead of going to the same universities for new talents, honestbee works with different colleges. We strive for gender balance and having a global team. We also hold culture interviews to ensure that potential employees have aligned cultural beliefs.

To date, we have dedicated employees from 29 countries across the globe, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France, Germany, Romania. Close to half of our employees are females.

Diversity and multiculturalism in tech is not a new conversation. It’s been talked about, and some companies have even been working on it for years. As a young company that’s barely a year old, we are definitely proud of our small gains. But at the same time, we are committed to improving and fostering a better work environment. Diversity brings so much more to our products and services. It adds so much colour, passion and nuances, which in return, benefits our customers.

We‘d be happy to engage in a diversity discussion. Hit us up if you want to speak!

Energise Your Brain with These Superfoods

Hint: Caffeine is not the brain’s best friend

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Repeat after me: “Caffeine is not the best way to keep your brain awake.” Its effects are short term. Besides, an overdose will make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Norma Jean has it right – “if you were observing all the rules, you’d never have gotten anywhere”. Are you betting on “veteran advice” for the golden hours of drinking black coffee to stay productive? Or perhaps the “tried and tested” herbivore diet to reduce the chance of food coma after lunch? Stop. You would probably end up hungry by 3pm everyday and eating more instead. That’s simply because black coffee temporarily increases your metabolism when you don’t really have much to burn anyway.

Though everyone absorbs nutrients differently based on their own unique biochemical identity, here are five expert-approved superfoods that freshen your mind and boost brain power to keep you energised.

  1. Berries – Protect brain cells from harmful free radicals

shutterstock_268783751“In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits have direct effects on the brain,” according to researcher Marshall Miller, of the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging. The large amount of antioxidants protects brain cells from being damaged by harmful free radicals. It also changes the way your neurons communicate with each other to improve movement control and function.

  1. Tomatoes – Great for preventing Alzheimer’s

shutterstock_141644017Tomatoes are well-known for being warriors that fight against prostate cancer because of its lycopene and beta-carotene content. Did you know that lycopene is also strong enough to fight against  free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s? Similarly, they are also good for the heart, the immune system, the skin and tissue lining… You know what, just eat tomatoes if you are not already doing so.

  1. Broccoli – Superstar packed with essential vitamins

shutterstock_166838546A study by researchers at King’s College London revealed that broccoli come high in lignans. It is a phytoestrogen compound that has been shown to benefit cognitive actions. If you have been experiencing short term memory, eating broccoli would be your express ticket out. In fact, broccoli is a superstar vegetable that not only tastes great, but is power-packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

  1. Avocados – Improve blood flow for a healthier brain

shutterstock_279523388“Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health,” says Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. Monounsaturated fat in Avocados are known to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, promoting better brain health. If you have been rejecting Avocados because you think they are too fatty, now is the time to put them back on the grocery list.

  1. Spinaches, Kales and Mustard Greens – Slow cognitive decline

shutterstock_291502325Spinach was the superfood Popeye relied on to save Olive whenever she was in trouble. Little did he know that while growing his muscles, he was also improving his memory. Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and his team conducted a study to find out how adding greens to our diet could help slow cognitive decline. The study examined 954 older adults for an average of five years. Results show that participants who consumed greater amounts of green leafy vegetables such as Kale, Spinach and Mustard Greens had the cognitive ability of a person 11 years younger than those who consumed none.

Get them now on honestbee!

These superfoods are available on honestbee via our latest farm to table partner merchants – Sustenir Agriculture, Thygrace and Pasir Panjang Fruits. Savour the best farm-fresh produce that are harvested and sent to you directly when you shop with us.

Enjoy Flexible Employment Opportunities with honestbee and Earn Up To $14 an Hour

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Creating sustainable and flexible income opportunities

honestbee is an on-demand grocery concierge service. We match demand and supply in the delivery of groceries and household products. Our nimble and efficient business model enables Singaporeans from all walks of life to earn money on days and time slots that best suit their schedules.

We engage Singaporeans to take on both shopping and delivery tasks. Since launching in July 2015, honestbee has engaged over a thousand Shopper Bees (as they are affectionately known) in Singapore and our workforce continues to grow each week.

Complete a quiz and attend a training session to become a Shopper Bee

honestbee is growing quickly and we hope to double the number of Bees registered with us by the end of this year. We are actively working with WDA, the CDCs and various social enterprises to offer career opportunities to job-seekers.

Shopper Bees should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Singapore Citizen or PR
  • at least 18 years of age
  • use an iOS or Android smartphone
  • able to lift up to 10kg

Signing up is quick and easy – eligible applicants can simply log on to honestbee.com/become-a-bee to complete a simple quiz. Successful applicants will attend a training at the honestbee office to learn more about the role and to be equipped with the necessary skills to be a concierge shopper.

Earn up to $14 an hour as a Shopper Bee

As our business is built around an on-demand model, compensation offered to Shopper Bees is similarly dependent on demand and available supply. The Bee compensation structure is simple and transparent, and we communicate this to shoppers on a regular basis. The prevailing basic pay is $5.00 per hour with an incentive of $0.20 for each line item picked correctly. Shopper Bees who are able to handpick up to 45 items an hour (around 80 seconds to locate and pick each item), will earn $9.00 in incentives, and a total of $14.00 on an hourly basis. This is significantly higher than the typical part-time wage of $7.00 per hour in similar industries.

The life of a Bee

Here’s what some of our Shopper Bees are saying about their experience so far:

“I love being a Bee because it keeps me connected with the community when I help customers to shop! Being a bee also widens my knowledge on products, some of which I didn’t even know existed. It improves my multitasking skills, ability to work fast without making mistakes and to stay calm under pressure.”

“As a new Shopper Bee on the honestbee team, the experience has been very fun and enjoyable. The job offers a good balance of pace and increases your grocery shopping skills to a whole new level. The honestbee shopper team is warm and welcoming and from all walks of life. Imagine working with a team of friends! This simple routine of shopping for groceries has made me more service-conscious and more task-oriented.”

Broader opportunities with honestbee

honestbee constantly aims to increase the productivity of our Bees by innovating and leveraging technology. Improvements to our technology enable us to better match supply and demand, as well as help our Bees pick faster and more accurately. This increase in productivity enables our Bees to consistently earn more money.

We also provide guidance and encouragement to our Shopper Bees through our app, which enables them to build skills and be better equipped to perform their roles. Shoppers who perform well are then given the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and earn higher hourly compensation.

On top of offering on-demand work opportunities, honestbee strives to identify talent within our pool of Bees. Shoppers who consistently show excellent performance have been identified and invited to join our company on a full-time basis as supervisors or coordinators, or even other available roles within our company.