While there is a debate on racism worldwide, cultural diversity is part of everyday work at a. hartrodt. The freight forwarding company with over 2,000 employees at more than 100 locations constantly communicates internationally within its own organization and with clients. "Despite the fact that we now live in a globalized world, cultural differences in doing business are often still significant," observes Thomas Malecki, Managing Director at a. hartrodt nederland in Ridderkerk near Rotterdam. That's why he trusts, for example, for Chinese contacts his Dutch-Chinese colleague Kit Yuen who is fluent in Chinese.
"Diverse" ethnic background is an advantage
Yuen has a "diverse" ethnic background and has been working as Teamleader Customer Service Seafreight at a. hartrodt in Ridderkerk since December 2018. At her interview this was "no issue at all" – on the contrary: "My ethnic background was even an advantage," she says. And Malecki thinks of "many such examples in our group", not only among the 28 employees in the Netherlands.
Equal career options for diverse people
"International freight forwarding today does not work without employee diversity," says Jens Roemer, who as Regional Managing Director at a. hartrodt is responsible for more than 70 employees in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Diverse people have the same career opportunities at a. hartrodt: "Skin color or religion does not matter, the qualification is important". In addition, respect counts for Roemer: "I expect the teams to respect each other in all regards, that includes religious differences." It gives the colleagues the opportunity to learn and understand from each other.
Customers benefit from the fact that a. hartrodt is familiar with various religions. "We make sure not to send containers that arrive just prior to Christmas, Chinese New Year or the end of the fasting month Ramadan. Because we know only too well the complications this may cause in terms of customs clearing and delivery," says Roemer.