World Day for Cultural Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

Awareness for inclusion and diversity is growing in the workspace, but companies are still uncertain about how to effectively incorporate these topics in their business practice to support their growth and value-creation goals.

Why does Diversity and Inclusion matter?

At its core, the sense of inclusion in society and within organizations is linked to the concept of identity and belonging. Diversity can be created by having representation of people from different cultures, ethnicities, neuro diversities, genders, religions, ages and so on. But diversity is desirable only when inclusion within diversity is truly fostered. Inclusion in the workplace and its benefits come to life when diverse individuals feel the liberty to bring all of who they are into their work and are encouraged to nurture connections with their peers whilst celebrating diverse ways expression, thought, and belief.

Diversity and inclusive societies are not only good for cohesion and development. Research increasingly shows that diversity and a deep sense of inclusion is also good for business in the form of greater innovation, unique approaches to problem solving, more cohesive and happy teams, and ultimately higher rates of profitability.

What do we do about it?

At Better Future, we take executive leaders on experiential journeys into emerging markets and connect them with local partners to work on leadership and impact. We also work with companies on purpose-driven strategy development for creating more diverse and inclusive teams within their business. This also includes female leadership programs and refugee labour market integration initiatives.

Curious?

Get in touch, and we can tell you more about the ever-growing importance of Diversity & Inclusion, and how we can work towards a more diverse and inclusive world.

Buzz Women South Africa: what comes after a leadership programme

#whengoodwomenmeet

How do I even begin to describe the immense impact that a Female Leadership Journey with six amazing women from the Netherlands and a team of female powerhouses from Wellington, South Africa can have on a person?

Why not start from the beginning
Flying from Amsterdam to Cape Town, with one mission in mind: learning and working alongside the (all female!) NorSA team to create even more impact as an NGO that focusses on fighting poverty amongst children.

Together we embarked on a journey to explore how NorSA could become more entrepreneurial and financially sustainable, wondering whether Buzz Women could be an impactful program to launch in South Africa, whilst simultaneously working on personal leadership questions and fundamental career choices related to the participating women.

As you can imagine, backpacks were filled with big questions for women with big dreams and ambitions, and we wanted answers in just a few days.

When good women meet
Let the bonding begin, it was time to get to the core of questions like: who are you as an individual woman; beyond your job title and business card? What are childhood messages that still impact you today? Partly in Afrikaans but mostly in English. Afrikaans sounded strangely familiar to the Dutchies.

What we saw, and the stories we heard
For almost two days, we immersed ourselves in NorSA’s mission by seeing their work in action; it offered context and ended up touching everyone right down to their core. We visited townships, played with kids, talked to foster moms, and witnessed lines of children waiting to be fed.

The stories about alcohol and substance abuse amongst women and men were endless, we saw how the NorSA mamas take care of children that are not their own; still giving it their all, from the bottom of their big hearts.

I had a hard time wrapping my head around the things we were confronted with. Analyzing these issues or having an opinion about them doesn’t help, but I already knew that. It became very clear that it’s simply impossible to fully understand the complexity of poverty in this context, and how to do something about it. That such a natural female instinct of wanting to solve every problem out there simply doesn’t work. These women don’t need a quick fix solution, they need to be seen for who they are and need extra helping hands.

So, what now?
This week touched me on so many levels. I experienced what community really feels and looks like. Realizing that the way children play is the same everywhere around the globe, no matter what you have or don’t have. As long as you’re given the time and space to be a child, and that’s what NorSA takes care of, extremely well. They add color to the lives of children who came from nothing, and now have everything a child needs: love, comfort, education and security.

Whilst absorbing all of these impressions, we came up with answers to the big questions we posed at the beginning of the trip. Those answers enabled us to draft a clear plan to lift NorSA to a more entrepreneurial level and set an agenda to develop a women empowerment program with frontrunner women from the community, to help lift the community as a whole. We have committed ourselves to make both happen.

You’re probably still wondering how my week was, right? Well, I always dream big and am fully dedicated to realizing those dreams. Step by step.