Van de werkgroep Personeelsbeleid: Diversity and inclusivity.
Dimitri Vogelaar 17 september 2018
Diversity and inclusivity are in the spotlight at BZ this month. Rightly so. Why? I quote:
Diversity – in all its facets – enhances the quality and effectiveness of our efforts and the atmosphere at BZ. The aim is to achieve diversity of thought: working together and drawing on people’s different backgrounds, outlooks, ideas, knowledge and cultures makes us more innovative and creative. BZ’s work centres on connecting with other countries and with partners from different cultures and backgrounds. The more diverse BZ is, the better equipped we are to make these connections, and the more the people of the Netherlands will be able to identify with us. This will in turn help us connect with Dutch society.
Inclusion: if we are to capitalise on the diverse talent of our staff, we must create an inclusive organisation with an open culture where everyone feels safe, supported and valued as full members of the team. […]. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand.
Diplomacy requires creativity, courage and a good understanding of differences in cultures and backgrounds. A more diverse organisation will result in more diversity of thought.
Minister Ollongren visited us this week. She complimented BZ for our strong diversity and inclusivity agenda. She acknowledged the progress we have made and noted, for example, the fact that over a third of higher management positions are now filled by women. She expects this to be fifty-fifty soon.
There is another reason to be confident about BZ. Our organisation employs people from more than a hundred countries, across time and climate zones. People from different religious backgrounds, ethnic identities and political persuasions are working together every day in our embassies, consulates and at head office. Together we all do our bit to promote human rights, increase security and enhance prosperity. We can build on that tradition of diversity and inclusivity.
There is also reason to be more ambitious. Social cohesion has decreased; our sense of belonging appears to have eroded. This must be reversed. Everyone has a right be him or herself whilst at the same time feeling part of the BZ-team.
To enhance our sense of community we need to better focus on what unites us. Valuing our shared interests will make us stronger.
The VDBZ will soon start a series of public meetings to discuss and learn how to enhance that sense of community and common purpose. We very much look forward to hearing your side of our story.