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Saniye Çelik on the diversity policy of the Dutch central government

Saniye Çelik, senior programme manager at the Centre Professional Learning (CPL) at Leiden University: The diversity policy of the Dutch central government still needs work. How do we take a real step forward? Saniye Çelik, Christiaan Rebergen, Marc Allessie and Jacqueline Prins exchange ideas.

'True diversity is about visible and invisible differences,' says Çelik. But she does understand why the central government is focussing on the inclusion of visible differences:
multiculturalism, gender, age, LHBTI, disabilities. 'When these groups are not represented adequately, as government, you're no longer a legitimate organisation. On top of that, it's easy to measure the recruitment of groups of individuals that are visibly different.' 'But' she emphasise once more, 'by focussing on the visible differences, the idea of diversity as something that belongs to everyone gets sidetracked. And you also loose people as a result.'

Chief Diversity Officer

Saniye believes that what the central government needs is a someone to give diversity a boost. 'Inter-service consultations are held, you also have departments doing it on their own or working together with a few ministries, but they can't seem to take it to the next level.' She argues for hiring a temporary Chief Diversity Officer. 'We already have a CFO and a CIO, so why not a CDO? His or her top priority should be connecting people with each other. You can really learn a lot from each other and create a momentum. A lot of people who are working to address the issue inside the central government seem currently unable to combine forces and together take the issue to the next level within the government organisation.

You can read the full article in 'Het Algemene Bestuursdienst Blad '(in Dutch) here.

Diversity has become a hot topic on the agenda of public organisations. They are eager to promote diversity and inclusiveness, but when it comes to the daily, however, it appears to be easier said than done. How do you prepare people for the changes in society? How do you nurture an inclusive culture within an organisation? And how do you maintain it?

If you would like more learn more about this topic: you can to register for the course on Diversity and Inclusiveness on 5 March.


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