Jay Choi has worked across the globe before joining Deloitte Denmark to lead our cyber business. But his encounter with the Danes revealed that we, as a society, might not be as inclusive as we would like to think. Consequently, he now helps to support diversity and inclusion initiatives at the firm.
Jay Choi is a partner in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory business unit. He decided to join Deloitte because of our unique position in the market as a trusted advisor capable of offering an extensive security portfolio that underpins our clients’ digital transformation.
He is part of an international team that continues to grow and attract talents. However, Jay has not always felt welcome in Denmark. He decided to share his story internally at Deloitte to create an open forum to discuss racism and how to improve inclusion.
“Overall, the response to my story has been positive. My discussion with our CEO Anders Dons in an internal broadcast was an open, safe and candid environment to share my personal experiences. It created a positive focus on inclusion, but also made it clear that racism is a subject of taboo for many Danes, who are sometimes unsure how to approach it.”
In Jay’s view, there are several reasons why we often might find ourselves avoiding the hard conversations around racism.
- Awkwardness in sharing such private stories may be one aspect, but I also sense that Danes may view the conversation around racism as an ‘infringement’ on other people’s very personal experiences. Political correctness and professional ‘space’ are important in Denmark, but as the conversation started, my Danish colleagues opened up and started talking about issues related to racism.
Embracing the hard conversations stimulates diversity of thought
By sharing his story, Jay hopes to bring forward conversations about inclusion, and he believes we have now established a good starting point at Deloitte to help further integrate, attract and retain global talents.
- We have created a greater focus on our international colleagues by partnering up with non-profit organisations that will serve as a sounding board on our respect and inclusion projects going forward.
Jay’s story indeed sparked new internal initiatives in Deloitte. We have reignited our International Community – a place for social networking for foreign colleagues. We were also inspired to develop a Diversity Network for all employees who are passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion, and who want to contribute to our work in Deloitte on this important agenda.
In Jay’s view, having a diverse workforce is good for business, because diversity of thought is becoming more important than ever before. Therefore, he hopes that these initiatives will help to further build a respectful and inclusive culture in Deloitte.
- Caring for each other, supporting integration and being welcoming towards people from other countries and cultures as an employer - and as colleagues - are critical in a globalised world where many people move for the purpose of work.
We cannot rest on our laurels
Besides a tough first encounter with the Danish society, Jay truly enjoys his job and the environment at Deloitte and appreciates the variation in his tasks, which involve both client meetings and talent development.
- I have a healthy balance of meeting inspiring clients and solving the most complex problems together with the team. I also get to work with talents on career and personal development. In addition, I love Deloitte’s ambition: to be bold and always challenge each other in teams where we have the skills to make a real impact for clients – and each other.
In terms of having a more diverse workforce, Jay thinks we are slowly getting there – but we still need to put in the effort to promote an inclusive environment.
- We cannot rest on our laurels. When I talk to potential candidates, it is clear that our ability to maintain a diverse workforce helps attract our future talents. We need to continue our commitment to making everyone feel welcome - it will help us grow in the right direction.
Jay’s story has truly inspired Deloitte’s own work on improving the overall employee experience for international talents. We want to thank Jay for sharing his story.