19 September, 2023
When you think of the banking world, the first things that tend to come to mind is wall street, corporate banks and the stereotypes of a white man, old or young, in a grey suit. However, the banking world is more diverse and dynamic than we think. And I am able to experience this while working at KBC. Even though I have not been working with KBC for a long time, I have been able to experience what it is like working in an environment that is dynamic, supportive and fun.
This wasn’t my first initial impression though. I used to live in Canada and Australia, and I was used to being in an international setting. The same goes for when I completed my studies in Belgium. It wasn’t hard to navigate working in an international team as they are more open and inclusive. Going into the Belgian workforce, however, was a little different. Being in a team that was majority Flemish meant that there were not as many diverse people I could work with, there was a language barrier I had to overcome and I had to learn a new way of interacting with my colleagues. I could say it was like showing up to a party I was not invited to.
"Diversity is who you can see and inclusion is how many of these people can speak up and give their opinion. I want to cultivate an environment where people can be seen, heard and understood."
However, I am glad that I had mentors that I could talk to, and express the importance of having a diverse work environment, and why inclusion matters. Diversity is who you can see and inclusion is how many of these people can speak up and give their opinion. I want to cultivate an environment where people can be seen, heard and understood.
This is why I wanted to join the multicultural bankers network. I want to be part of an initiative where people can feel comfortable, create a space where we can raise awareness and further promote DEI in the finance sector. In the future, I see myself in a leadership role as a multicultural banker. It can be easy to lose confidence or feel imposter syndrome, but through this network and community, there is an opportunity to achieve your goals. The multicultural bankers community shows, encourages and reminds me that I can create value to any organisation in terms of DEI.