Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist at Radboud University!
The Radboud University Nijmegen is very committed to contributing “to a free and healthy world with equal opportunities for all and to make a significant impact on a regional and an international level.” (Radboud Strategic Plan). This ambition led to the creation of the function ´Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist´ at the university. In this article, Radboud´s very own DEI Strategist Rona will tell us what her job entails and what her daily worklife looks like.
Rona: “The university embraces ‘diversity of knowledge’ and ‘diversity of people’. Research points to organisational benefits of investing in diverse teams and having an inclusive space for students and staff. We promote a culture of accountability and transparency based on an equity and rights-based framework (DEI framework). It is our mission to create a safe, inclusive and equitable campus society and culture that embraces and embodies diversity and the values of social justice for all while advocating for positive systemic change.”
What is it exactly that you do?
“My role as a DEI-strategist is a difficult job that requires tact, diplomacy and patience but also one that results in a safe, equitable and inclusive space for everyone to work in. So, from the point of view of being an agent of change, it is the best job ever! What is it that I do exactly? My core activities are:
- To facilitate, mentor, stimulate and support all levels of the Radboud organization in order to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion in their teams;
- To stimulate collaboration and help create insightful programmes in order to engage with the themes diversity and inclusion;
- To organise interactive workshops and events about these themes;
- To partner with students, employees and other campus and external networks to facilitate and share informed, respectful assenting as well as dissenting views.”
Why is diversity within startups so important?
“It’s always better to prevent problems within your startup than to cure them. As an entrepreneur, make sure you implement a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion framework in your company. This includes transparent and bias-free practice in recruitment and selection, grading of papers, conducting research, policy development and so forth. By embedding this in your organisation, you are creating an environment where everyone feels they belong and they will work harder to achieve the same organisational goals.
I hope that more organisations recognize that we all have a part to play and stop taking the easy way out. More organisations need to act just, ethical and compliant with human rights standards to help create a better world. Next to changing the world for the better, it just makes good business sense. It sometimes is as difficult and as simple as that.”