Arcadis is one of the leading design consultancies in the world. We have over 27, 000 Arcadians operating in 70 countries. Naturally, our workforce comprises a colourful melting pot of people and diverse cultures. With “People First” being a core value, Arcadians are constantly striving to build a safe and respectful working environment for our colleagues and clients. Having technical expertise and clientele spread around different regions and markets, it is a frequent practice to share knowledge in order to come up with the best solutions. Demonstrating an understanding of the cultures while communicating with our peers is definitely a step in the right direction towards breaking down boarders and building bridges.
Recently, our Australian offices participated in the “Taste of Harmony” event which was held on Harmony Day, a national day set aside to recognise and celebrate cultural diversity in our workplace, social circles and all around us. “A Taste of Harmony” is an initiative by the Scanlon Foundation where workplaces are asked to organise a lunchtime event and encourage workers to bring a dish that represents their cultural background. This year the Australian Arcadians did not disappoint, with an array of cultural dishes from Cambodia, Argentina, Brazil and many more. The impressive spread also served as a talking point for some of the Arcadians to share stories from their cultural background.
Having taken part in last year’s Global Shapers program and interacted with a diverse spread of Arcadians from all over the world, I have experienced the importance of understanding and respecting different cultures first hand. The process of delivering our key tasks within workflows was made much more efficient once cultural barriers were broken down. My advice to any future aspiring Global Shapers would be to soak all of it in like a sponge and be a champion for diversity upon your return home so that together, we can build a better Arcadis.