It is time to step up for inclusion. To show the world that we complement each other by being different. Together we are stronger and better. We can learn from each other and that is why five Deloitte colleagues are sharing their personal story about Diversity & Inclusion. Anna Klapwijk (29), consultant Customer Strategy & Applied Design, explains the importance of sharing stories.
“Nowadays, the line between work and private life is blurred. That is why it is extra important to be able to be yourself and show your personal side at work. Gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, as an employee, you should never have to conform to someone else’s judgment. Personal differences are a strength. It leads to better teamwork and better results. But it is very important to be aware of the differences. After all, everybody needs to feel appreciated and understood
"It’s nice to know you can be open about bisexuality within the organisation."
United you are stronger, Anna says. “I left the closet as a bisexual during my teenage years. A ‘coming out’ without any big problems. Still, while studying in England, I experienced the comfort of meeting like-minded people. That is why a network like GLOBE, that connects people within Deloitte with an affinity for LGBT+, is very important to me. My bisexuality is not often talked about at work. But I’m very pleased to know you can be open about it at Deloitte.”
Diversity & Inclusion is something Anna is passionate about. “At Deloitte Risk I was part of the Risk Cultural Diversity & Inclusion committee. And recently I transferred to Deloitte Consulting, where I also focus on Talent & Engagement. My goal here is to create a workplace where everyone feels comfortable and is able to show a personal side. I’m thrilled to see that Diversity & Inclusion is now firmly on the agenda at Deloitte. Our CEO Hans Honig is also present at meetings and events of the Women’s Network. He is involved and speaks out for the importance of Diversity & Inclusion.”
Creating awareness remains important, according to Anna. “Some clients now specifically ask for diversity and actively look at team composition. That is great. But within the organisation we also have to keep talking about personal differences and similarities. At an event, for example, in addition to beer and wine, we also have to think about alcohol-free beer and soft drinks, for people who do not drink alcohol for religious or other reasons. In the past this simply wasn't thought about as much. The organisation needs role models, from partner to consultant. When someone like Deloitte partner Leon Pieters speaks out about homosexuality, that is very important. It shows your personal side is not a 'career stopper'. That you can be who you are. Role models can cultivate that awareness within the organisation. We have to keep working, but an incredible amount of strong actions are already happening. From Pride participations and pink drinks to women's networks and attention for cultural diversity. Without a doubt, Diversity & Inclusion continues to seep through our organisation.”