Diversity & Inclusion Teil 6/6: You Need to Embrace Who You Are

Redaktion: Sandra-Stella Triebl
Fotos: Markus Mallaun

Diversity & Inclusion Teil 6/6: You Need to Embrace Who You Are

Redaktion: Sandra-Stella Triebl
Fotos: Markus Mallaun

Ted Suppamitkitsana ist Thai-Chinese, geboren in Singapur. Zu seinen unternehmerischen Projekten gehört unter anderem die Kosmetikmarke „Luxes“, die er aus der Schweiz heraus global vertreibt.

„At the end of the day you need to embrace who you are and just celebrate it.“
Ted Suppamitkitsana, Founder & Entrepreneur

‘Why do we have to put ourselves into boxes and say: ‘Oh! you are Asian, you are Indian, you are a person of colour, you are gay, and you are not’. I mean, are we all not the same? I was once giving a little workshop about diversity in the workplace, so I was asked by a CEO of a big company: ‘How to address staff correctly when you know that he is a homosexual? No, you don’t need to address him as a homosexual. If somebody has four wives – do you introduce him as the one with the four wives and say, ‘By the way, that he’s a very good lawyer too.’ No you don’t, we just call them by their name. Regardless of gender, ethnic, and religions we are all human and we should accept one another the way we want to be accepted and for me, when we speak about diversity & inclusion, we speak about respect. If you respect yourself and respect one another, then all the boxes are ticked. I went to school in London and lived in big cities such as New York, Singapore and Bangkok, and there I felt pretty ‘free’, I could walk around and there were a lot of immigrants and it was very multi-cultural. I didn’t feel like an alien or have the feeling that people were staring at me. But then I moved to Switzerland in 2003. I’m actually living in Winterthur, it’s a small city, just 20 mins away from Zurich but it was less international at that time compared to Zurich and there weren’t that many foreigners. I remember everywhere I was walking into or when I went to the coffee shop to have coffee, some people, especially the elderly, started to look at me and that somehow made me feel insecure, although nobody was actually insulting or harming me, just the way they looked at me, scared me. And I’m telling you that from the perspective of somebody who has been living abroad since he was seven years old. Later on, I realised that is how Swiss people (older generation) showed their interest. They weren’t sure if I could speak German, if I needed help or not but they didn’t want to interfere so they looked and observed. So as a foreigner in Switzerland I also told myself that I can’t just wait to be included if I don’t start including myself. So I must show my interests, my respect to Switzerland and its people. Learning the language will help me to understand the people and the culture. These will also help me to integrate without losing my authenticity – my true identity.

I strongly believe that one needs to accept and embrace who he/she is and celebrate it. As the saying goes ‘You cannot expect people to respect you if you still don’t respect yourself’. For myself as an Asian, businessman, and gay, parading once a year in the gay pride holding a gay flag alone does not really say anything about me but being true to who I am every day is how I respect myself. So to me, ‚diversity & inclusion‘ shouldn’t be just a policy or a political correctness guideline but a ‘soul’. Many times we have tried too hard to make the thing right but we forget about the heart, the spirit, and the soul of a person. Supporting diversity & inclusion means opening up your heart and accepting the person for who he or she is.’

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

 

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