My D&I Journey with:
Global Inclusion & Diversity Head,
What brought you to the d&i role and what do you like most about your job?
My career as engineer and strategist in the tech industry triggered key questions about the differences between career paths for both genders. It’s an enigma I couldn’t resist to investigate. I am so inspired by the impact Inclusion has on people and business, I like the connections that I&D generates across the company and across the value chain, and I enjoy bringing my strategic thinking into making Inclusion tangible and relatable to people who are not yet aware of its importance.
For someone thinking of a career in d&i, or looking to get more involved in their organisations d&i activities, what three skills would you say are the most important to succeed and why?
1. Embracing complexity, being comfortable juggling priorities. The I&D agenda can be massive, and the best way to start is being focused and impactful, then gradually broaden the I&D scope.
2. Analytical skills to identify priorities, through logical thinking and data analytics.
3. People skills to foster discussions about I&D – suspending judgment, listening to people and inspiring them to become inclusion actors
Tell us about a new d&i initiative you are driving at the moment and it’s aims
I am working with HEINEKEN colleagues to help them understand how to practice Inclusion. Many leaders and employees are willing to embrace Inclusion, and sometimes they just don’t know where to start. I help them by bringing Inclusion to life and guide them into taking the first (and following) step(s).
To date, which d&i related activity you have been involved with has had the biggest positive impact on creating an inclusive culture (can be current or previous company)
I developed a network of 80+ I&D ambassadors to cascade the I&D discussions in every HEINEKEN country worldwide. I&D ambassadors help management teams understand and respond to local challenges and requirements, they also help them practice a more inclusive leadership.
The future workplace – what do you see having the biggest impact on the d&i role in the next 5 years and what are you doing now to prepare?
I see several trends emerging, among them:
– The changing aspirations and expectations of the newer generations when entering the labour market with regards to workplace culture and sustainable businesses
– Increased digitalisation of the workplace, automated technology and AI.
– Our focus on embedding inclusive practices in our workplace and creating more awareness about diversity allows us to create an inclusive environment where all employees have an equal opportunity to contribute to business success. The changing (increasingly digital) workplace will require different ways of working and so for the I&D team it’s important to move with these changes and role model the right examples to our colleagues.
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