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After spending over one year at Adevinta, working in Communications & Engagement and in Learning & Development, Rossella Bittichesu joined the DEI team as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist. What does working in DEI entail? In this brief article Rossella answers this question and lets us take a sneak peek into the team’s vision.
Rossella: The recent re-org that Adevinta experienced offered me an opportunity that I did not expect. After spending over one year at Adevinta, working in Communications & Engagement first and then in Learning & Development, I was incredibly happy to join the DEI team as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist.
Six months ago I got to meet in-person for the very first time Anneke Beerkens, Adevinta’s Head of Inclusion and Belonging. I had been really fascinated by the work she had been doing in the company during the last 12 months, which made our encounter and first working session together all the more exciting for me. As a graduate in Interdisciplinary Sustainability who had always been passionate about social and environmental justice, entering the field of DEI represented a huge step in my personal and professional life.
Since then, Anneke and I have kick-started a very fruitful collaboration with one another, aimed at identifying all the potential ways we could enhance Adevinta’s efforts to create a more inclusive working environment for all its employees. I learnt quite quickly that, in order to foster equity and inclusion, especially within such a big company, we need everyone to be on board and to understand their role as DEI “ambassadors”.
As Adevinta caters to an incredibly large and diverse pool of customers, how can we make sure that our products and services reflect such diverse needs? In other words, how can we make sure that we truly create perfect matches, as our mission states? This is an essential question that we should ask ourselves every day, whether we work as engineers, product managers, recruiters, etc.
The day-to-day job of the DEI team revolves around fostering company-wide changes, collaborating with internal and external partners and amplifying at a global scale our marketplaces’ efforts to promote equity and inclusion in their workplaces. However, due to the small size of the team (which hopefully will soon grow!) and the long journey ahead of us, our work would be way more challenging if we could not count on the support of Adevinta for Everyone. Also known as A4E, Adevinta for Everyone represents our company’s grassroots movement that strives to raise awareness on multiple issues related to DEI and to implement our strategy at a local level.
The greatest thing about this group is that their members come from all walks of life, countries and marketplaces. This mix of experiences and different perspectives allows cross-functional collaborations and connections between colleagues who want to fight for similar causes. From adopting a more inclusive language at work, to creating a community of support for neurodivergent employees, A4E’s members complement the work of the DEI team in a way that we did not anticipate, and we are incredibly grateful for that.
Due to the nature of this job, which often entails working on delicate matters that not everyone is yet willing to embrace or talk about, I became aware of how much I still needed to learn within the realm of DEI. My own personal “DEI story” (as a woman, a queer woman) and my academic background can only inform me up to a certain extent - it still takes a lot of digging and self-educating to fully grasp what it means to suffer other types of discrimination that I have not experienced, and to learn how to show up as an authentic ally for my colleagues.
These six months have gone by incredibly quickly, but they have already taught me so much. I can only look forward to the rest of this journey, and hope that as many Adevintans as possible decide to join forces with us and understand that inclusion is not just a temporary buzzword for the DEI team: we are fully committed to making Adevinta a company where everyone feels like they belong, and we’ll be more than happy to have you on board with us if you wish to support our efforts!
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