„I think being different is actually beautiful and it’s good because if we are all the same we can never make progress. It’s these differences that help us move forward.“
Ritah Ayebare Nyakato, Chefin vom Dienst Start-up-Ticker
‘I’m usually the only black person or person of colour in the room. But I’d say I’m a global citizen. I want to be able to express myself without people thinking, ‘oh, she’s black’. If we think about diversity and inclusion, we have to take off those spectacles; otherwise, we will skew towards identifying people according to skin colour, age, gender, race, etc. It would be better to listen to them and hear their opinions. We may be all different in nature, but we are similar if you observe how we think, behave, approach life, or do the activities we choose. If we could stop thinking about colour and only look at people as human beings, there would be no need to discuss this topic. I recently listened to a podcast from the Harvard Business Review with Professor Frances Frei talking about diversity & inclusion (D&I). One aspect that gave me thought was that the terms should be reversed to inclusion and diversity. I indeed welcome this approach because it is only after we have learned to be inclusive – that includes accepting everyone with their differences, integrating them in our circles – that we can embrace diversity. We all have different mentalities, different personalities and bring a broad scope of qualities and skills from our backgrounds. If we acknowledge and accept that, whether at a personal, organisational, and societal level, we can pride ourselves on being diverse. With such an open mind, as an organisation, for instance, you automatically consider people’s skillset first – and not anything else that distinguishes them from aspects broadly normalised.
I think being different is beautiful, and it is good because if we are all the same, we can never make progress. These differences enable us to grow and broaden our scope in various ways, too. You cannot change who you are. Like me, I cannot change my colour. Why should I? People sometimes come and ask questions about my home country – that is great because I’m very open minded and happy to tell them about Uganda, our foods, cultural diversity (we have over 50 culturally diverse cultures) and relationships to aspects like timekeeping. Many people in my country have a very different understanding of time as opposed to Switzerland. I have always been punctual, thanks to early leadership engagements. Overall, if we want to understand others, we need to engage in a discussion. Sooner you will realise that we are not so different after all.
Everybody wants to be happy and feel appreciated. If I have one wish, then it is to let you know that I prefer people approaching and asking me directly rather than make assumptions based on their narrow understanding about what I could be, want, think etc. I am always delighted to share my world with them; it may not be the same as theirs but I reckon they would discover many similarities.’
Supported by: BENTLEY EUROPE,
AMAG Automobil und Motoren AG Bentley Zug,
Schmohl AG Bentley Zürich &
Emil Frey AG Bentley Basel
Location: Polo Park & Country Club Seuzach