'Everyone within Deloitte can be their authentic self'
In this blog Leon Pieters, partner at Deloitte Consulting, shares his thoughts about diversity in assembling teams.
Diversity and Inclusion allow employees to be themselves, without fear of conscious or unconscious exclusion. It means having respect for others who think differently. It means our culture not only acknowledges these differences: it embraces them, respects them and recognizes their added value. We combine the differences and operate as a single, strong team.
“Being gay is not the only reason I am so committed to Diversity & Inclusion. During my childhood, my mother used to work fulltime and that is why I feel a strong connection to Deloitte Women’s Network. Having worked all over the world, the cultural aspect is also highly important to me. But what I think is the most important is that everyone within Deloitte can be their authentic self. Working for my first employer I never had the feeling that I could genuinely be myself and that just drains your energy levels. Research shows that it costs people up to 30% of their energy just to keep up the appearance of being someone they are not.
Diversity within teams
When I assemble teams I always try to keep an eye on diversity. In fact-based teams it can be tremendously valuable to have some people around that can bring matters back to human proportions. Forming a diverse team does not happen just like that – it is all too comfortable to surround yourself with people similar to you – but it does add a lot of value. When I once combined two very different teams, eyes on both sides were opened after some mutual suspicion at the start. My experiences are in line with the outcomes of research conducted by Deloitte Australia. Their study shows that diverse teams manage to make 25% more impact on clients.
Regarding my homosexuality I have not had any real negative experiences within Deloitte. Aside from a few – not even bad intentioned – but nonetheless bad jokes. I always respond by pointing out that this kind of remarks can be offensive. People often do not realise that.
Coming-out Tim Cook
Ik ben lang niet actief geweest binnen de community, maar de coming-out van Apple-ceo Tim Cook heeft me geïnspireerd. Ik vind dat ik nu in de positie ben om ook iets te doen. Als ik ook maar één iemand kan helpen met mijn verhaal, dan is het voor mij al geslaagd.”
For a long time I have not been actively involved in the community, but the coming out of Apple CEO Tim Cook has inspired me. I feel like now I am in the position to take action. If I could only help one person by showing my face and telling my story, I consider it a success.”