All-in, All-win: TOPdesk’s Diversity & Inclusion week!

The Diversity & Inclusion week kicked off on 27 September: All-in, All-win. Outside speakers, workshops and Q&A sessions bursting with interesting topics revolving around Diversity & Inclusion. Who were the driving forces behind the week and what did they learn from organizing it? Meet Daan, Stephanie and Tessa.

What was it like organizing such a big Diversity & Inclusion event?

T: “Super fun! Our team of organizers is already mega diverse, so everyone could bring some experiences of diversity and inclusion (D&I) to the table. We also got a lot of input from colleagues who are a bit less connected to the subject. That information was useful too, because yes, of course we wanted to make the programme of a week like this as diverse as possible.”

S: “I totally agree! Perhaps the biggest challenge then is managing to find a focal point because the subject of D&I is incredibly broad and there’s so much great, interesting and cool information available. So where do you start? We took a survey that we’d already done among all TOPdesk colleagues last year and used those results to make decisions about the week’s program.”

D: “In addition, we’ve got colleagues with fantastic connections and knowledge about outside speakers who are really a huge plus for such a week. Of course, internally, there are hundreds of stories to tell, but every once in a while, getting an outside view through the eyes of someone you don’t know is just as valuable!”

“The most memorable moment? Galore’s pub quiz, of course! Legendary.”

Tessa Daams

And what were the most memorable moments for you?

D: “Ha ha! So many! Naturally, my personal favourite was presenting the daily kick-off. But the sessions were also inspiring. We got an inside look at the Hugo Boss commercial, especially the background music by LYZZA. It was striking that the sound determines what you see – and therefore remember – and we got to see how we’re influenced by both! And our colleague Laura from Australia talked about the power of lyrics and how sexist they can be.”

S: “Ooh,  Raziyah’s bias exercise! We tried to find out about each other’s past by asking all kinds of questions and we noticed how quickly you make assumptions based on someone’s taste in music or whatever. Or that it was rightly pointed out to us when we started the day with ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’ after a gender sensitivity session led by our Canadian colleague Andi. But it was really cool that that everyone noticed it – a kind of collective ‘whoa, that’s not inclusive!’”

T: “And Galore’s pub quiz, of course! Legendary.”

What were your colleagues’ most notable responses?

S: “Ha ha, well, in any case what I just mentioned about the gender message was striking. But mainly that people learned a lot and really had their eyes opened. Plus, of course, a mega amount of suggestions for future editions, because not all topics that fall under the D&I flag were covered this time – not by a long shot. Plenty for the future!”

D: “That’s right! And the interest and openness has created an overall feeling of acceptance among colleagues, which is fantastic. What’s more, colleagues are realizing more and more that sometimes jokes are made that are actually below the belt punches. Even last week, a few times I heard: ‘Ooh, you really can’t say that’. That’s already a huge step forward!”

T: “That’s absolutely true. The run-up to the event was already a lot of fun for us and we learned a lot, but during the D&I week itself more and more colleagues also ‘switched on’. It was really clear that things fell into place!”

Curious about the All-in, All-win week’s program? Check it out above. Can’t wait to attend the next D&I week yourself? You’ll be very welcome, of course! But, naturally, first find a vacancy that suits you. Talk to you soon!

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