This year’s Canal Parade of PRIDE Amsterdam has been a phenomenal experience to be part of. Despite living in Amsterdam since 5 years it was the first time for me to join this celebration of diversity heroes. I knew Amsterdam was a special city, but participating in the Canal Parade and experiencing the energy in the canals from our Deloitte boat once again reminded me about the special DNA and culture of this city – and at the same time showed me another part of my colleagues and hence the company I work for.
When mentioning my participation I received comments like “Why are YOU on the boat? You are not gay.” or “But isn’t this just some branding stuff?”. Let me share some thoughts on this.
Why did I join?
Simply because I believe in the power of support and inclusion. Period.
Whether in society, groups of friends, a company or a project team – Being open to people who are in one way or another different than you increases your awareness about other perspectives and challenges and helps you become a more inclusive person. I find it important to not lose curiosity about the people around me and to collaborate in a way which respects different personalities. This allows all members of a team to bring in their unique package whilst at the same time having a sense of belonging and feeling valued.
Maybe. But mind you – the participation and organization of the Deloitte Pride boat was not initiated by our marketing department but by our LGBTQ community network, called GLOBE, which makes sure attention is paid to the topic internally throughout the year. The deafening applause at the end of the day went to the organizing committee, the crowd and crew on the boat - not to our marketing department. So yes, the logo of Deloitte was on the boat but as long as there are colleagues on it who connect with each other and who proudly celebrate diversity and inclusion – Why does it matter?
To me participating at PRIDE, whether as an individual or company, is about the message of not just accepting but positively embracing and valuing differences – and obviously having lots of fun together.
I work as a managing consultant within Deloitte’s Technology Consulting Enterprise Architecture practice in Amsterdam. I have joined Deloitte in 2016 and since then worked on various projects ranging from corporate data management programs to setting up a digital bank and fostering corporate innovation through technology, data and customer centricity. Next to my regular job I am currently participating in One Young World (OYW) through a global leadership program by Deloitte which is a great opportunity to grow and work on societal initiatives with people of different backgrounds from all over the world.
My academic background is in economics and international business with a major in strategy and innovation which I combine with my work related to technology-driven transformations and (commercial) data strategy. What I like most about my work is the varied team work, sharp focus on delivering value to our clients in an effective and well-balanced way as well as the autonomy and freedom in steering towards roles and projects that challenge me and give me energy. Before joining Deloitte I have worked at IBMs global consulting practice in Amsterdam.