Below you can read inspiring stories from five extraordinary people who work daily to ensure equal employment opportunities for all. They are creating awareness and making a big impact on important diversity dimensions such as gender, LGBT+, culture and ethnicity, and employment equity.
"I regularly got responses like 'are you the mayor?'"
"We are far from there in the fight against inequality. So learn to deal with it, my parents said. That means not keeping quiet, but daring to speak out. And also knowing that the problem is not yours. To be able to keep that up, it's important to really enjoy life."
"Diversity is always there, even when you don't see it. Everyone has an ideal and a story. All those stories are important. You surrender your uniqueness because otherwise you will be judged for it. You adapt. The challenge is to stay yourself, to know I'm okay, my way is allowed too," Aminata Cairo, ambassador cultural diversity for Diversity
"I see myself as gender fluid or genderqueer, which to me means that I play with my gender expression. For example, for me, wearing nail polish is not attributed to women alone. The important thing is that we learn to respect how someone identifies, even if there is a change in that." Remco Boxelaar is founder of Corporate Queer, an organization that fights for a world where everyone is allowed to be authentic. Furthermore, he is a member of several advisory boards - including that of Diversity in Business - and now also an ambassador LHBTQI+ for Diversity Day 2020! Remco started his career as a high-fashion model and then made the step to the business world in consultancy. The fashion world and the business world had one thing in common: there was little room for maneuver with regard to behavior, attitude and language.
Marguerite Soeteman – Reijnen
"It's not 'the men against the women'"
"I see myself as genderfluid or genderqueer""Important is that you stand for connection, it's not 'the men against the women'. But note: there has been enough talk, it is now time for action." Marguerite Soeteman - Reijnen is Chairman of Aon Holdings, global CMO Aon Inpoint and since January 2020 Chairman of Topwomen.nl. She sets the bar high, both in her personal ambitions, and on the topic of gender equality. As soon as the bill following the SER advice is adopted, the women's quota will apply to 88 listed companies. This means that at least thirty percent of their supervisory boards will consist of women. Topwomen.nl proves with her database
Aart van der Gaag
"Everyone should be able to participate. And they can, if you just want to"
"Our promise to people with disabilities is very important. Work gives structure, a sense of belonging, and provides self-esteem, now even more so than in the past. The Participation Act aims to ensure that everyone can participate. And it works, if you just want to." Aart van der Gaag is commissioner and figurehead of the project 'On to the 100,000 jobs', an initiative of VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland and LTO Nederland. He is also an inspirer for the government in their task of realizing 25,000 jobs for people with an occupational disability. Van der Gaag and his projects inform employers about working with people with an occupational disability and inspire them to also offer opportunities to people who cannot make it in society.