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The power to be yourself

Rolf Schrama - Diversity en Inclusiveness Advisor

Do you have a disability, and are you looking for a great job or traineeship? Then I would like to hear from you. My name is Rolf Schrama. I'd like to tell you about myself and my work as a Diversity and Inclusiveness Advisor at Van Lanschot Kempen.   

After my studies in Economics, I joined the back office of a financial institution. Here, I quickly discovered that working with figures did not satisfy me enough. Adventure beckoned, and after much hesitation I embarked on a major change of course. Everything came together on the paralympic sailing boat. Across the whole world, I met sailors with very diverse disabilities. But those disabilities faded away when they were in the right position on the boat. If someone with one arm must take down the mainsail with a blind helmsman, then sailing is difficult. But if you swap them around, you have an optimal team. Even better, the sensory capacities of the blind sailor and the precision with which someone with one arm steers are very highly developed. I came seventh at the Paralympic Games in Rio. Unfortunately, sailing was dropped as a sport from the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and my elite sporting career came to an end.  
I've since returned to the financial sector, but in a different role. As a Diversity and Inclusiveness Advisor, I attempt to find the right job for people with an occupational impairment. This is because future-focused employees are one of our strategic focuses. We recruit new talent with different skills and capacities. In doing so, we don't look at your limitations, but at what you can do. This is because we believe diversity helps our organisation take a broader view. The more diverse our teams are, the broader our thinking is, and thus the solutions. All this helps us serve our clients more optimally – because after all, they are not all the same. We also look beyond the boundaries of the definitions in the Participation Act (Participatiewet). “What do you need to work with us?” I often ask this question. This is often an adjustment to the number of hours, sometimes the scope of the employee's tasks, or an adapted desk.  
It's a varied job. I'm given the freedom to play a pioneering role, and I spend a lot of time talking to people. As I can't walk very far, I ride around the building on my little bike. It's a bit different to the others, just as I am. Before, I did all I could to be the same as everyone else. But it's the things that are different that make people unique. You should make the most of these. And here, you can. Because it's only if you have the power to be yourself that you're really able to grow.  
Would you like to talk to me about what you can contribute at Van Lanschot Kempen?