How do you deal with diversity and inclusion? With whom do we define what success is and then become successful? Companies and organizations are constantly changing to improve themselves. In this episode of NOM Talks, NOM's podcast series, we talk about this with three NOM colleagues.
'It's nice that you're discussing this with us, NOM, but what are you actually doing yourselves about diversity and inclusion in the workplace?' Of course, anyone who broaches such a subject must also bare their own bottom, NOM Talks host Wim A,B. frankly admits. Therefore, this first of two podcasts on this subject is one in which employees Leonie Ebbes (Business Developer) and Jeroen van Onna (Investment Manager) explain how things are going in the organization.
Van Onna takes "an equal starting point for everyone as a matter of course" and honestly expresses surprise that that is still not the case. 'It almost sounds discriminatory to the ears of the other side.' His side. Not shown in audio recording, but Van Onna is cis-man, white and highly educated. 'We've gotten to that point, haven't we? Apparently not.'
Not an end, but a means
Indeed not, confirms Ebbes (for completeness: cis-woman, white and highly educated). 'The playing field is certainly not level yet. It is up to us, NOM, to create awareness and take steps.' That applies to the companies in which NOM invests, but certainly also to the internal organization. The speakers featured in this episode confirm that. 'We are all four of the same ilk,' sidekick Rob Drees notes dryly.
Indeed, diversity and inclusion - those who want to know the definitions of both terms will find the answer in this episode of NOM Talks - are means for entrepreneurs to establish a successful organization, Ebbes explains. 'As a result, there is more innovation, creativity and market share that you can grab.' What entrepreneur wouldn't want that? It's almost a rhetorical question. And yet, organizations in the Northern Netherlands are still insufficiently diverse.
The Inclusion Marathon
'People get itchy about the subject, it seems from conversations with entrepreneurs in the North,' Ebbes says as the conversation progresses. So how do you convince entrepreneurs to look into the subject anyway? Everyone in this episode of NOM Talks is unable to answer that question. It cannot be for lack of consequences: more innovation, creativity and market share.
Stubborn persistence seems to be the motto. Keep repeating the story of the benefits. Like NOM does with advice and stories. And make suggestions: what can you use to delve deeper into the subject? A great start is the book The Inclusion Marathon, by Kauthar Bouchallikht and Zoë Papaikonomou. It even became management book of the year in 2022. How do you turn awareness into actions that deliver?
Where do you start?
And where do you actually start, if you, as a business owner, want to ensure more diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Because the issues are in all facets of your business operations. Perhaps you can draw inspiration from this tenth episode of NOM Talks. Based on propositions that host A,B. and sidekick Drees collected from NOM colleagues, the foursome will engage in conversation in the second half. From language to team composition; from safety to job postings.
In any case, the complex topic provides plenty of food for thought, as A,B. concludes this episode. Curious? Then also listen to the second episode of this diptych on diversity and inclusion, with Jellie Tiemersma (DGA of Personal Too) and Serge de Mul (founder of Ultraware).