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"I see diversity as an enrichment."
The man in the office, the Polish woman at Logistics, a younger and older colleague, the colleague in his wheelchair, the Indian at Product Development, the homosexual programmer... So many people, so many differences. All differences are present at DAF. People from different backgrounds work here towards a common goal. Diversity is good for creativity and therefore for innovation within an organization. Machteld Massee, IT Director and chairman of the Diversity Council, agrees. According to her, diversity goes even further than that.
"Diversity is not just about man or woman, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic background, it actually means: having an eye for the good side of the people around you and not being blinded by the differences", says Machteld. "Being open to and working with people who are different challenges your brain to think in a new, creative way. In fact, diversity is very simple: it means avoiding unconscious prejudice, not assuming that different is bad and paying attention to any idea that can contribute to the success of DAF.”
Not a day is the same
As a woman, Machteld didn't make the most obvious choice either: she works within the IT division of DAF, but graduated as a Chemical Technology Engineer. She feels at home within the manufacturing industry, but more important she feels at home at DAF. "At the IT department, we are constantly working with the latest technological developments. Besides DAF offers plenty of opportunities. The work is very interesting and not a day is the same. We are all working together at the same product, that makes us proud. That shared feeling creates a nice work environment."
Through collaborations in international projects and hiring new colleagues from different backgrounds, DAF has become more and more diverse over the years. Still, Machteld would like to see more women working at DAF, but according to her, diversity and especially inclusion is not a matter of 'just doing it'. It is a continuous process.
Diversity as enrichment
"Together with the Diversity Council, we show that being diverse also creates new opportunities. You can learn a lot from other cultures. I see diversity as an enrichment, because it is the diversity of people that makes me feel connected to the company. It really feels like a family: We are DAF."