He brings worlds together. With creative and original solutions, Serginho Stekkel connects safety, employment and culture. He does so from his project office Stekks&CO or through one of his board positions. Ever since his youth, Serginho has been passionately committed to equal opportunities. To the creation of ADI, he made significant contributions.
Searching for the common denominator
It proves very difficult for many organizations to find diverse talent, Serginho finds. The will is there, but most organizations do not know with whom, let alone where to start. Depth and genuine interest in the search for diverse talent he calls essential. ‘Always look at the composition of your teams first. The biggest challenge for most organizations is building a new network and that goes step by step. You have to want to create equality and find the common denominator. You can start from that common base. But that alone is not enough. You can use diversity to move forward. If you end up with a number of people with diverse backgrounds working at different levels in your organization, that becomes your new norm.
Stekks&CO provides solutions to social issues. ‘Many organizations are aware of social problems and try to find answers. They don’t always succeed, for example because they look too much from a one-sided perspective.’ In finding solutions, Serginho looks especially for the connection between security, employment and culture. He does this, for example, by connecting businesses with the neighborhood in which they are located and in projects to make museums attractive to a wider group. He does this, for example, by connecting businesses with the neighborhood in which they are located and in projects to make museums attractive to a wider group. This also encourages diversity in the workplace.
No more waiting
‘It is important that all Amsterdam businesses, large and especially small, are committed to diversity and inclusion. That diversity and inclusion are more prominent in the national debate today may help. Look at the impact of Black Lives Matter. I like the translation to the Dutch context. This movement prompts reflection among organizations that had not yet realized the situation. But more than that is happening,” Serginho says. He sees that many people no longer want to wait for change and are taking matters into their own hands. ‘Look for example at SMIB, a media platform that focuses on internal and external journalistic expressions, on and offline. They have a library, organize events, publish books, manage artists and design clothing. It was born out of frustration because the founders felt they were not allowed to be part of the system. Quirky, innovative, groundbreaking, great. Entrepreneurs seek independence from the system they have learned not to trust. And these, too, are SMEs. Yet they are often forgotten when we talk about “SMEs,” says Serginho. Serginho is also a director at Black Male Achievers, an organization for and by black male professionals at the highest level. He knows their successes, but also the not always easy road to success. ‘There is still a long way to go, Even in this, quite segregated city that does not always cooperate