“Cultural intelligence” will be more important than a high IQ when it comes to hiring staff in 10 years, says high profile lawyer Mai Chen.
Chen opened yesterday’s New Zealand Asian Leaders Conference at Vodafone saying being a foreigner was a benefit rather than a reason to be afraid of discrimination.
“Smarts are always important … but I predict that in 10 years’ time the most important characteristic in recruitment will be CQ – the ability to have the cultural intelligence to work with people who are not like you,” Chen said.
The graduate recruitment pool in Auckland was between 50 and 90 per cent Asian, and recruiters needed to see the differences in culture and perspective as an asset.
Other speakers included plastic surgery expert Swee Tan.
His presentation on research into strawberry birthmarks and potential cancer treatment was a conference highlight.
Asked about the challenges he had faced, Tan replied: “There were many obstacles – not having a track record for one.”
Tan would not consider leaving New Zealand despite the difficulty of sourcing funding for research and the possibility of getting greater support overseas.
Chen said the conference was an opportunity to network and hear from some of the country’s Asian leaders.