Spring is coming, bringing fresh ideas and new opportunities with it. We have several events lined up, so join us and convert the new season’s energy into actions!
At the end of March we had an event with systems engineer Tinka Jacobs, where she shared her experiences about working in a male-dominated field. If you want to continue the streak of inspiration through interacting with high-caliber women, you should definitely check out our very own Beyond Finance week. At the end of April, we will have multiple events starring women from various companies. Maybe you’ll even find the company you want to work at after graduation? Get ready to explore the world of Finance and
Representation in Politics: Balancing the Scales
During election season, we promoted the “Vote for a Woman” campaign, and we are thrilled to see that their work has made an impact: But that is not all: Before the elections, there were no black people in Parliament. Now, there are four black members of Parliament (MP) from various parties. Lisa van Ginneken was also elected, and she will be the first trans MP in Dutch history. Finally, GroenLinks politician Kauthar Bouchallikht is the first MP to wear a hijab.
This election marks the beginning of some much needed diversity in Dutch politics, but the finish line has not been reached yet: The goal is to have a 50/50 split between men and women, as well as a more equitable division of ministers. That all depends on the formation of the coalition, though, so time will tell who will pull the strings for the coming four years and how many of them will be female, LGBTQ or a person of color. And although first female prime minister is still a dream for the future it seems to be more achievable every election!
“Just be yourself”: Personality, Diversity and the Workplace
One of the main advantages of diversity in the workplace is the influx of ideas, as people from diverse backgrounds will have a different worldview that drives their train of thought. We always advocate for bringing your full self into every environment you find yourself in. However, are current professional structures allowing room for that, and if so, how is your full, authentic self received? Jodi-Ann Burey explains that professionals of color mostly receive backlash when they do speak up, and are often overlooked for promotions because they are “too divisive”.
So what is the solution? Those in privileged positions should acknowledge their responsibility and use it to provide the actual room to be authentic. That means realizing that differing opinions are bound to lead to some discomfort initially, but this is essential for actually benefiting from a diverse workplace, where everyone feels supported to be themselves. As Jodi-Ann puts it: “You do the work to make it safe for me to come just as I am with my full, authentic self. You set the rules and rewards. So I’m asking you, what will it take to win your contest?”
Sometimes winning means having the right personality, that is, getting the right results on a personality test. Crucially, those two are not the same: discusses the new HBO documentary Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests explores how ethical the use of these tests in professional settings really is. As it turns out, popular tests like the Myers-Briggs 16 personalities test, are not scientifically valid at all, yet they are used to pre-select candidates in interviewing processes.
These tests are also based solely on the “norm” of being able-bodied, white and highly educated, which further muddles the value of the label a test sticks onto a person. Once recruiters start exploring with AI evaluation systems the situation becomes even more complex: Even if you do bring your full self, a personality test description or a system’s output might be what you are judged on initially. No matter how fun they are to fill in, we should be critical of the results, especially when they are used in a setting that affects your professional life.
Clearly, finding your way in the workplace is much more complicated than just being yourself and seeing how that works out. Thankfully there are others that have trodden the roads before us, and through their mentorship, we can be more prepared ourselves. Define and explore your ambitions, meet your next role model, and take yourself where you want to be. At Librae we are thrilled to see your next destination, and we hope to help you get there through our events. Let’s put ourselves out there and make the difference, just like our newest members of Parliament!
All the best ,
The Librae Team