It means that everybody has the right to be who they want or choose to be. Unfortunately, there are many that still need to fight for that right, even here in the Netherlands. The more pride we show in ourselves, the more others can hopefully begin to find it in themselves too.
What has your journey at stichd been like as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?
I have never felt the need to explain myself to anyone. Even here at stichd I didn’t. When the moment was right for me, I brought my partner to the company end-of-year party and that was that. My journey here has been a smooth one, where I’ve been and always could be myself.
How do you ensure a strong sense of pride and connection throughout your team?
I encourage everyone to speak up! Anything can be said or shared, if it is done in a polite and respectful way. We all have a voice and you’re the only one who can use it. So, use it well. In addition, it’s important to me to encourage my team to be proud of their own accomplishments. This builds confidence and pride.
As Head of Marketing, how do you create a space that embraces individuality and diversity?
During my grade school period, my brother and I were the only kids of colour. If it wasn’t my colour it was my length, if not something else. This has formed me to who I am and how I live my life. Let everyone be! As a bunch of creatives, we’re slightly wired differently already. So, bringing unique people in and stimulating their uniqueness to shine through is key. Therefore, I seek out diversity when building and developing the team, because it only makes our team stronger. And I mean diversity in all aspects; backgrounds, cultures, hobbies, personalities, views on life, etc.
Do you have tips for other team leads?
I’m by no means an expert and am constantly learning myself, but one thing is clear, you need to value people based on their actions and not on subjective things like how they decide to dress, how they talk or who they are dating.