Dubai, 2015. The start of my living and working period abroad. I'll be honest: my first weeks in this country took some getting used to. A warm (say hot!) climate, different cultures together, the emotional contradiction of a super modern country (those buildings!) with the visible Islamic culture next to it. I really had to acclimatize, but at the same time I found it so cool! The world has so much more to offer than what you know from your own familiar surroundings.
During my period of living and working abroad I have experienced how important attention to diversity & inclusiveness is. We all know that these are concepts that are often heard these days, but what does it really mean? At Grolsch we are working hard to integrate these concepts into our daily work routine. That can be quite a challenge at times, but I'm thrilled to be going on this journey with my colleagues!
In Dubai, I started my career at Executives for Hospitality, a recruitment and selection agency that specializes in management positions for the hospitality industry. Here I came into contact with applicants and clients of all nationalities and cultures. Living in a country where there are so many different cultural backgrounds set the stage for open conversations with strangers. The question; "Hi, where are you from?" was the start of many great conversations about culture, customs, religion and everyday life. I never felt alone in this big city of millions and because so many different people lived there, I never felt different and I had the feeling that I was really seen. Holidays such as Diwali, Christmas and the Sugar Festival were celebrated together with conviction: inclusiveness at its best!
In the search for employees for the beautiful hotels for which I was allowed to recruit staff, you noticed that the diversity of employees really contributed to the business success. They were a reflection of the diverse tourists who came to stay in the hotels and that made for a unique customer experience. You also noticed that the employees wanted to share a lot of each other's customs and culture, which made for close-knit, enthusiastic teams. In my current role at Grolsch, I take these great stories and experiences with me and my inner drive to know what drives people and what they are passionate about has only been strengthened by this!
I have now been working with great pleasure at Grolsch for 1.5 years, and fortunately we also consider diversity and inclusiveness to be important here. In my role as Talent Acquisition Specialist, I talk to all kinds of people for various positions every day. The fact that I am dealing with so many different people and backgrounds makes my job incredibly fun and varied. At Grolsch we really try to get in touch with different target groups. For example, we maintain contacts with intermediate and higher vocational education institutions and universities, and we also collaborate with Women in Technology. Together we are committed to more women in technology - and thus more diversity in the workplace. In addition, we are discussing D&I internally with our employees. Together with other great companies in Twente, we have joined the Diversity & Inclusiveness Twente learning community, where we actively exchange experiences and best practices.
At Grolsch, we want to further promote diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace in the coming years. That is why we have made this one of our six sustainability spearheads. We have also formulated clear objectives that we will be working towards in the coming years. For example, the proportion of women in management positions must grow to 30% by 2025. We believe that everyone deserves equal treatment and support regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religion, political belief or possible disability and we want to be an employer where everyone feels welcome. We are well on our way, but in the coming years we can - and will - make many more steps towards achieving this goal.
Shine as you are
Within Asahi - our parent company - the concepts of diversity and inclusiveness are also gaining significance. Under the heading 'Shine AS YOU ARE', we will soon be launching a beautiful campaign that shows that we should cherish our differences in who you are and how you are. With almost 30,000 employees from all over the world, we are in any case assured of a great deal of diversity!
Do you have questions, comments or tips on Diversity & Inclusiveness? I would love to hear them!
Talent Acquisition Specialist