Diversity is a 'no-brainer'

Thursday, July 9, 2020

In times of uncertainty, as financial sustainability becomes a higher priority, some companies tend to move diversity objectives to the background. But, Adnan Basaran explains, diversity is imperative for sustainability.

"The demography is changing in the Netherlands, and companies have to adapt accordingly. Companies can't have a short-term view of diversity. It should not be about legislation and 'being compliant'; it's about long-term change management and ensuring your company's longevity. It's about a fundamental change in society and the workforce."

Adnan is the founder of The Inclusion Partners and helps companies attract and retain diverse talent by creating inclusive corporate cultures.

"The company environment has to be inviting to people from all walks of life," he says. "Your employees should feel safe and have a sense of belonging. Without this, you won't be relevant in the competitive market for diverse talent."

He admits there is, however, still a long way to go. According to him, men still dominate the CIO domain.

"Not all companies see the urgent need for a diverse workforce yet. Most companies still have to work on aligning their strategy and diversity goals, as well as work on transparency and accountability in teams on all levels. Diversity can easily be just another PR exercise. So leaders have to realise that diversity is a strategic imperative."

"In years to come, I hope with the change we make today, we will have more culturally diverse leadership. Technology is running away with us," Adnan adds, "we need diverse leaders to lead and navigate these developments and challenges."

Adnan says a diverse workforce can also have a positive impact on society with better representation for all. He believes an organisation should reflect its immediate community.

With over 20 years' experience in recruitment, he has built a global network of female leaders and a robust bi-cultural network in the Netherlands.

"Diversity is a no-brainer; it is a catalyst for creativity and success. In my capacity as part of the RightBrains advisory board, I hope to bring my network to this community."

He has plain-spoken advice for RightBrainers.

"Relationships are vital to your success; be it relationships with colleagues, mentors or friends. There should be trust. These relationships will help you build your career. If, for example, you encounter a tough situation at work, make notes of what happened and how you reacted. Later, when meeting up with one of these people, they will be able to help you reflect on the situation. If you have diverse relationships, they will be able to help you build different perspectives and understanding. We live in a globalised world, and you will have colleagues from unique backgrounds. So you have to learn how to understand contrasting viewpoints and work together."

"And remember, failing is a part of the process. Just pick yourself up and work towards your goal."