Sana Commerce and cultural diversity in the workplace
[ROTTERDAM – November 2, 2020]
True to our Sana Commerce motto, we prioritize relationships, not just transactions. This message rings true not only to our business relationships but also within our company culture.
The conversation surrounding diversity and inclusion (D&I) began within Sana Commerce in 2019. It wasn’t long after that, that we launched our Diversity and Inclusion initiative, which consists of a passionate group of Sana Commerce employees, dedicated to creating a space for conversation to acknowledge topics that can sometimes be challenging to discuss.
What is D&I?
Diversity and inclusion are symbiotic. Without diversity, there is no room for inclusion. However, without inclusion, attempts at diversifying are likely to fail. Within this realm, representation also plays a significant role. We need to properly understand these ideas in order to successfully implement them in the workplace. Steven John, who began the conversation about diversity, inclusion and representation at Sana Commerce, believes it’s all about educating yourself and others.
“Diversity and inclusion is about learning. Knowledge and understanding fuel empathy. Our empathy compels us to be better people. To be more considerate of our actions, our choices and the words we use so we don’t cause hurt or harm.”
Diversity is the culmination of a rich mix of people from various backgrounds. This can be seen in a number of ways involving race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion— just to name a few examples. A diverse environment also recognizes and respects people for their different interests, talents, and skills.
Inclusion makes each individual feel valued and connected. It is the process through which a diverse community can thrive. Inclusion provides equal opportunities and resources to people of different backgrounds, who otherwise might be excluded or marginalized.
Representation happens when diversity is reflected in positions of influence and power. This concept matters because it shapes how minorities view themselves within society and how society views them. Within the workplace, representing minorities equally in positions of power demonstrates that your company values diversity and inclusion and that you provide equal opportunities to your employees.
Company culture is an inherent part of Sana Commerce. We embrace people of all ages, religions, ethnicities, (dis)abilities, sexual orientations and genders. And we strive to build a safe, equal and inclusive culture, where all our people, from all backgrounds, can feel at home and be their (best) selves. Eline van den Brink, a member of the Diversity and Inclusion team, says it perfectly:
“One of the things I find most important is that everyone can be their true self, without being treated differently or having to compromise because of parts of their identity. Together we can make a positive impact!”
Diversity drives innovation and growth
We believe that equality, inclusion, and diversity not only make Sana Commerce a better place to work, but also a more successful business. In a 2017 report published by McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for cultural and ethnic diversity on their executive teams were 33 percent more likely to experience higher profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. Similarly, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to financially outperform their lesser-gender diverse counterparts.
What do we hope to achieve with our D&I initiative?
Acknowledgment, education and accountability are key. This is why, in our global D&I kick-off this past August, we held a seminar for our employees addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As part of this kick-off, we engaged with Sana Commerce’s senior management team to ensure we are discussing this topic at every level of our company. We want to better understand where and how we need to make efforts to reflect the global community we serve. Our D&I and senior management teams will meet on a monthly basis to keep this topic moving forward. We are also launching the following initiatives to continue the conversation:
- Women of Sana/ Women in Tech: With this initiative, we hope to spark conversation within Sana Commerce regarding topics related to working in a tech company as a woman, and to inspire and create awareness through company-wide events.
- Culture Months: Sana Commerce is a rapidly growing, international company. With offices in the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Latin America, Australia, Ukraine, the UK and the US, we recognize that we have a responsibility to address our cross-cultural reach. We want to learn about, and celebrate, the rich cultures and heritages present in our company, and we plan to do so with our culture months initiative.
Part of our global kick-off included sharing our backgrounds and stories with our fellow colleagues. As we continue to learn more about diversity and inclusion in our workplace, we invite you to join us to be a part of the conversation by sharing your experience. To do so, you can contact our D&I team here.
Read Sana Commerce’s Diversity Statement here.
Want to learn more about diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Check out the following resources:
- Forbes:Learn more about how diversity and inclusion can make your business better
- Diversity Social:What is diversity? Read Diversity Social’s Complete Guide in 2020
- Harvard Business Review:How diversity can drive innovation