What a strong initiative the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) month has been for Deloitte. Next to taking our first steps towards awareness within Deloitte with regards to Diversity, and how we can leverage of each other’s uniqueness and the need for us to be a truly inclusive firm, we also had the great opportunity to position ourselves externally as a firm that really embraces that D&I is not just a theme but an utmost necessity for us to truly become the number one firm.
I have had the opportunity to speak about D&I and Deloitte's Cultural Diversity Network during the first networking day of employee networks in the Netherlands hosted by 'Diversiteit in Bedrijf'. Last week I attended the first Diversity Dinner hosted by Edzard Koolen and Young Global People. This event has been a pleasant surprise for myself. Credits go to Edzard Koole for pushing his vision based on his own experience and his will to really make a difference. As a white middle aged successful male, he has shown tremendous understanding and goodwill which has become a new found inspiration for myself.
Being able to meet so many young talented individuals with each their unique story has been inspiring. From Ouz who recently obtained his master’s degree after coming here two years ago as a Syrian refugee. To Imane who keeps true to her faith, conviction and culture and has immense resolve and intellect. And Ajay who puts himself out there leading The Netherlands' largest Hindustani student society. All these students have something unique to offer and value to add to the professional world.
Leaders of tomorrow
I heard the story of Amar Dawood (Amar was named best young professional of 2015) who had to prove himself time and again just because others did not think he would have success in his academic or professional life. I realized that some of these very capable students will be the leaders of tomorrow. They can only reach their potential if we truly ensure we are inclusive. No one should have to prove themselves more than another just because of an implicit preconceived idea of being different. It is important to give each and every one the sense of belonging without pushing anyone to fit in so they can be their true authentic selves (yes Arina, your quote is the best one I could have used). That is what inclusion is all about. My conviction is that diversity is a reality we all have to deal with. The real challenge is in becoming an inclusive firm and an inclusive society at large.
No one should have to prove themselves more than another just because of an implicit preconceived idea of being different. It is important to give each and every one the sense of belonging without pushing anyone to fit in so they can be their true authentic selves. That is what inclusion is all about.
Have you seen the different clips regarding diversity and inclusion at Deloitte? It makes me proud to be part of Deloitte seeing the enthusiasm of Deloitters on D&I month and the messaging we deliver. Sitting here behind my desk looking back at the Diversity month and seeing what we as Deloitte have achieved is rather satisfying. But thinking about the way we have to go and the challenges ahead makes me more resolute in my conviction and resolve to help make an impact that matters.
I am a Senior Manager within the Resilience & Crisis management team within Risk Advisory. Within the resilience team I am responsible for Business Continuity. We help companies prepare and respond to Crises furthermore we support companies in ensuring Critical business processes can keep running during a crisis event. Currently I am the lead for the Deloitte Cultural Diversity Network to create Awareness acceptance and empowerment of cultural diversity & inclusion.