Human Capital 20-04-2023

Great success TKI network activity ''Diversity and inclusion

The TKI Maritime network activity on the 17th of April was a great success! Enthusiastic participants took part in various activities and discussions focused on diversity and inclusion.

Boudewijn Siemons and Jellie Tiemersma shared their insights on the importance of inclusion and diversity in the maritime sector.


Dr. Sofya Isaakyan from the Rotterdam School of Management provided in-depth insight into the topic by highlighting the scientific aspects. While most organizations focus on surface-level diversity (such as age, gender, race, and physical abilities), she emphasized the importance of deep-level diversity. Values, attitudes, and beliefs are just as important when creating a truly diverse team that can thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. However, having a diverse team is not enough. The event emphasized that diversity must go hand in hand with inclusion; otherwise, it can do more harm than good. While diverse teams have the potential to outperform homogenous teams, they often fail due to a lack of inclusivity.


Participants had the opportunity to experience what it feels like to be excluded through an experiential team exercise. This helped to emphasize the importance of inclusion and how it can impact team performance. As Dr. Isaakyan, who led the exercise, said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion reflects whether people dance with you at the party.”


To create an inclusive culture, participants were encouraged to ask themselves some tough questions: Do I include everyone? Do I treat everyone equally? Do I encourage everyone’s participation? Do I invite objections and dissent? And how do I react to dissent?


Throughout the event, participants had ample opportunity to network, share ideas, and learn from one another. In conclusion, by embracing both surface-level and deep-level diversity and adopting an inclusive approach, the maritime sector can create a culture that is future-proof. This will lead to increased creativity, innovation, and performance, ensuring a bright future for this essential industry.