A virtual way of celebrating cultural diversity?

  • Emel Güngör
  • 25 May 2020

Emel works as a senior consultant for Risk Advisory. In addition to her daily activities, she is committed to creating an inclusive working environment via the Risk Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Network. Cultural awareness and learning from each other's culture is part of this, and they recently did this with a virtual Iftar.

‘Last year we organized an Iftar for Risk Advisory colleagues in a Moroccan restaurant in Amsterdam with the Risk Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Network for the first time. An Iftar is the meal that is consumed by Muslims during Ramadan right after sunset to break the fast. Normally you share an Iftar with your friends and family, but it is really valuable to do this with colleagues too. By gathering knowledge about the culture and sharing such a moment, you build a closer bond with each other. This year we had to solve it differently due to corona conditions, so we decided to organize a virtual Iftar.

To make it as easy - and fun - as possible, we decided to invite not only colleagues, but also their families. This allowed us to share the evening with about 70 participants.

We went through a number of agenda items together. A short presentation about the importance of inclusion and diversity and the Risk Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Network, a presentation about the meaning of Ramadan, a Ramadan quiz with baklava as the main prize and of course the Iftar.

I quickly noticed how interested colleagues are in the underlying stories and experiences of fasting colleagues. For example, the adjusted rhythm of fasting colleagues (who get up at three o'clock to eat) was discussed. It was also discussed whether it was okay to eat a sandwich in the office next to a colleague who was not fasting. I can share that I have no problems with that at all.

Risk Advisory Virtual Iftar 2020: A virtual way of creating, connecting and celebrating cultural inclusiveness and diversity.

What was also very remarkable is that colleagues who normally do not fast, fast that day to experience the full Ramadan experience. They also shared their experiences during virtual Break Out sessions.

Ordering and delivering meals for the iftar was the most difficult part of the organization. In addition to everyone's dietary requirements, we also had a challenge in distribution. For example, not everyone lives in a convenient food delivery area. And some delivery restaurants close early. Eventually we managed to reach everyone with, among other things, Turkish, Indian and Surinamese meals. We used the Zoom function with break-out rooms as a table setting. This way you could easily dine with your own table companions in a smaller group, which made the dialogue easier.

It was a success and we plan to organize the Iftar Deloitte-wide next year in collaboration with the Deloitte Cultural Diversity Network.

About the Risk Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Network

The aim of the Risk Cultural Inclusion & Diversity Network is: “We strive to have a work environment in which we connect, create and celebrate cultural inclusiveness and diversity within Deloitte Risk Advisory”. And we achieved this partly with the organization of a successful virtual Iftar. We only received positive reactions.

Within Deloitte, the focus is on making a positive impact on our customers, our people and society. And this is not possible without embracing cultural diversity. For Deloitte, diversity is about representing the world, equal opportunities and valuing differences in opinions and views. All this affects the development and well-being of our people. Our ambition is therefore to create an inclusive working environment in which all our employees are inspired to make the most of their career, in which they are guided and given opportunities to develop into leaders.

  • Iftar
  • Inclusion
  • Diversity

Emel Güngör

Senior Consultant Risk Advisory

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