„I think being different is actually beautiful and it’s good because if we
are all the same we can never make progress. It’s these differences that help us move forward.“
Ritah Ayebare Nyakato, Chefin vom Dienst Start-up-Ticker

Ritah Ayebare Nyakato ist Chefin vom Dienst bei Start-up-Ticker. Geboren wurde sie in Uganda. Sie lebt seit zehn Jahren in der
Schweiz und hat einen Master in International Management und Business Information Systems in der Tasche.

‘I’m usually the only black person or person of colour in the room. But I’d say I’m a global citizen. I want to be able to express myself without people
thinking, ‘oh, she’s black’. If we think about diversity and inclusion, we have to take off those spectacles; otherwise, we will skew towards identifying people according to skin colour, age, gender, race, etc. It would be better to listen to them and hear their opinions. We may be all
different in nature, but we are similar if you observe how we think, behave, approach life, or do the activities we choose.
If we could stop thinking about colour and only look at people as human beings, there would be no need to discuss this topic. I recently listened to a podcast from the Harvard Business Review with Professor Frances Frei talking about diversity & inclusion (D&I). One aspect that gave me thought was that the terms should be reversed to inclusion and diversity. I indeed welcome this approach because it is only after we have learned to be inclusive – that includes accepting everyone with their differences, integrating them in our circles – that we can embrace diversity. We all have different mentalities, different personalities and bring a broad scope of qualities and skills from our backgrounds. If we acknowledge and accept that, whether at a personal, organisational, and societal level, we can pride ourselves on being diverse. With such an open mind, as an organisation, for instance, you automatically consider people’s skillset first – and not anything else that distinguishes them from aspects broadly normalised.

I think being different is beautiful, and it is good because if we are all the same, we can never make progress. These differences enable us to grow
and broaden our scope in various ways, too. You cannot change who you are. Like me, I cannot change my colour. Why should I? People sometimes come and ask questions about my home country – that is great because I’m very open minded and happy to tell them about
Uganda, our foods, cultural diversity (we have over 50 culturally diverse cultures) and relationships to aspects like timekeeping. Many people in
my country have a very different understanding of time as opposed to Switzerland. I have always been punctual, thanks to early leadership
engagements. Overall, if we want to understand others, we need to engage in a discussion. Sooner you will realise that we are not so different after all.
Everybody wants to be happy and feel appreciated. If I have one wish, then it is to let you know that I prefer people approaching and asking me directly rather than make assumptions based on their narrow understanding about what I could be, want, think etc. I am always delighted to share my world with them; it may not be the same as theirs but I reckon they would discover many similarities.’

CREDITS
Redaktion: Sandra-Stella Triebl
Lektorat: Lektornet Hamburg
Supported by: BENTLEY EUROPE,
AMAG Automobil und Motoren AG Bentley Zug,
Schmohl AG Bentley Zürich &
Emil Frey AG Bentley Basel
Location: Polo Park & Country Club Seuzach
Fotograf: Markus Mallaun