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How to make organizations more inclusive and diverse?

How to make organizations more inclusive and diverse?


Jantien Kingma


Key takeways from A Dutch Business Network Indonesia Event

In between international women’s day and Hari Kartini, Dutch Business Network hosted a talk with one important question: What can we do to make organizations more inclusive and diverse? 

The panel, exclusively composed of women, including Elvira Wijsen, Changemaker at YOUTHTOPIA; Natasja van der Geest, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia; Ria Templer, CEO at Utama Spice Nature; Angelique Timmer, Chief Impact & ESG at KoinWorks; and Tungga Dewi, CEO & Co-founder at Perfect Fit. The session was moderated by Anne Hermans, Regional Director at Forest Carbon.

Why do we need to talk about this topic? Let’s take a look at the facts first. At the current rate, global gender equality is 131 years away. And these are the facts if we zoom in on the workplace:

  • It will take 140 years for women to achieve equitable representation in positions of power and leadership within the workplace;
  • Women CEOs remain underrepresented, accounting for only 5.4% of all CEOs globally;
  • Only 25%of high-paid managerial and supervisory jobs are held by women, and even in these fields, women remain underpaid compared to men;
  • Across all regions, women are paid less than men, with the gender pay gap estimated at around 20%  globally. In Indonesia, the difference is 25% and in the Netherlands it is 7.4%;
  • One-third of respondents are looking to move to a more LGBT+ inclusive employer, a figure that is even higher for those in an ethnic minority (5,474 LGBT+ people in workplaces from 13 countries). 


From talking to action


During the panel, there is one thing the panelists all agreed on:  Currently, a lot of people are talking about inclusivity and diversion, however how can we move away from conversations and into action? ‘If you want to create change, it takes a long time. It might take different generations. Be prepared for setbacks and be patient during this time.’ 

So, how do we do that? The panel had some suggestions:

  • Remove your own stereotypes at work. When people apply for the job, ask yourself: Are they right for the job? We’re not checking boxes: can this person do the job?
  • Put in a job application: ‘open for any race, gender, ethnicity, etc.’
  • Communicate your values on DEI (diversity, equity and inclusive culture) and progress alongside the indicators. Offer a safe space and be flexible, for instance to working moms.
  • Give the microphone to someone who doesn’t look like you
  • Include diversity statements in the company report
  • Ask people: what are your challenges? What’s your opinion?



‘Inclusivity is not just a buzzword’: diverse businesses generate more revenue and the people who work there tend to be happier. Plus, diverse organizations capture new markets. Research by McKinsey showed that companies that rank in the top 25 percent in terms of gender diversity and ethnicity in leadership teams are 39 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quarter. Diversity isn't just beneficial for employees; it also greatly benefits customers. When a company's workforce reflects the diversity of its customer base, they will be better represented

On a more personal level: inclusive workplaces play a crucial role in promoting employee happiness and stability. As a result, people stick around longer

But how do we actually make organizations more inclusive and diverse? The recommendations from the panel and group discussion:

  1. To make a change, you need to have open communication and offer a safe space. Use your personal experience to share;
  2. Lead by example;
  3. Have a clear vision with the end result in mind;
  4. Disagree with each other, have diversity in thoughts and opinions;
  5. Stand up for your rights

On an end note, it is important not to forget: inclusivity is a privilege. ‘Your last name and gender can determine your life.’

Perfect Fit aims to help women and girls feel valued, supported, and heard, making them more likely to be engaged and productive at school and work. Get in touch with us here to bring our period positive solutions to strengthen DEI and ESG at your organization.



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