May 6, 2019
Being Multicultural at Netflix
I have been fortunate to grow up in a metropolitan city like Amsterdam, which has given me beautiful exposure to a melting pot with diverse cultural backgrounds, history and a variety of great cuisines. I am fourth generation Dutch from Indian descent, while my mother was born and raised in Surinam, my father was born and raised in Amsterdam, just like me. My upbringing always gave me a multicultural identity, especially as I had the privilege of travelling the world from a very young age and discovering many countries and cultures, thanks to my parents.
My strong connection with Surinam (a South American country with Indian, African, Creoles, Chinese, Indonesian and Europeans inhabitants) contributed to fostering my awareness for multiculturalism, as it is a racially and culturally diverse nation with a history of diverse immigration. It thrives on the inclusiveness of its various cultures, races and ethnicities in every way.
These experiences made me develop a passion to discover how food, traditions and festivities, music, art and social norms connect people and how they form us as human beings.
When I started my job at Netflix EMEA in Amsterdam in late 2017, one of the things that intrigued me was the representation of so many countries and cultures amongst our teams. It still fascinates me to hear so many different languages, and see our cross-functional and country teams work closely together and embrace each other to keep the Netflix culture while staying true to themselves.
As we continue to grow rapidly in EMEA I’ve seen many new hires joining the business from all over the world which lead me to think how great it would be to have a joint platform for us all to share and discuss our experiences, stories, knowledge and challenges to optimise together.
With this in mind, we created the Multicultural Employee Resource Group within the Amsterdam office in late 2018, to form a space for our colleagues from different cultures and with different values to feel included and heard. The main value of our ERG is to increase our global IQ, find ways to apply our storytelling and experiences then translate these to recognize both conscious and unconscious biases. I found it important in our fast-paced environment that our personal needs which resonate on the business are covered and reflected back in the actions of our ERG, which found wide acceptance among the team. Within a short time period, we have been able to action visible changes, including providing more diverse meals in collaboration with our Food & Beverage team to meet dietary, cultural and religious needs as well as the establishment of a Meditation/All Faith room in Amsterdam.
Every day I count my blessings to be part of this astonishing company’s culture where I personally truly feel appreciated and being heard. I am genuinely enjoying working with so many colleagues on these activities and aligning with HR, facilities and the Inclusion & Diversity team and know this is just the beginning of many more great things to come.