“For the last seventeen years I’ve been living as an expat, the last seven of which in The Netherlands. In the first months I lived like a tourist, traveling to and from the office in taxis. It was only when I started to explore by riding bicycles, going to local market and using public transport that I got integrated to this new home.
What I liked about Netherlands, is that people keep it simple, that they are warm and that I also never felt being treated differently. Even though at first I wasn’t sure about that. I thought people avoided sitting next to me on trains because of the way I look. It turns out that Dutch people fill the empty seats first before they sit next to someone else on trains, a big difference from my home country where people just sit in the first spot they see.
'Diversity & Inclusion is not just about diversity but also creating an environment where you feel included – this is an effort from both sides.'
As an expat with experience in and outside the Netherlands, I do observe that Deloitte NL’s culture is Dutch oriented, which can sometimes make it hard for expats or non-Dutch to fit in. This will however improve because of several initiatives supporting and enabling diversity & inclusion and due to the increasing Northwest European collaboration. By joining the internal Cultural Diversity Network, I want to make new expats land more smoothly at Deloitte. In that sense a lot has already improved. When I started at Deloitte all documents, onboarding trainings that could have helped me out were only available in Dutch. Now most communications either translated or subtitled.
Within Deloitte we can improve in bringing diverse teams to the Clients (as they are also very diverse). The increased level of diversity (gender, cultural background, study backgrounds, different personalities) can bring the best result to the table for our Clients. This is something we need to do more consciously. Diversity & Inclusion is not just about diversity but also creating an environment where you feel included – this is an effort from both sides.”
More blogs about Diversity & Inclusion
The Deloitters below also wrote a blog about diversity & inclusion:
- Leon Pieters about assembling diverse teams.
- Talent Partner Sander Nieuwenhuizen explains why Deloitte finds Diversity & Inclusion important.
- Somil Sharma about cultural diversity at Deloitte.
- Melissa Raczak on how ambitions can change over time.
- Peter van Egmond on working in a team that consists of 120 people, out of more than 20 different nationalities and where more than 25 languages are spoken.
Shaju Basheer is Senior manager at Deloitte Consulting. He is a versatile and skilled professional with 15+ years of experience in shared services and outsourcing strategy, solution design, transition and optimization. He was also responsible for setting up BPO onshore and offshore operations, led Due Diligence and pilot projects for various BUs and program management of business process transitions to offshore /nearshore.
Shaju focuses on end to end business transformation, new market entry, growth strategy, cost reduction, due-diligence and transition management for BPO / ITO. He has worked for Tier 1 Clients across multiple geographies including EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific region.
Shaju completed his Global Business Management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from University of Kerala.