Hi there, nice to meet you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in Mastercard?
I’m Robbert Vreeburg and as the Communications Manager for Mastercard Netherlands, I’m responsible for internal and external communications. This ranges from PR, social media and sponsored events like Rotterdam Pride. I have lived in Amsterdam in the past decade but I lived in Rotterdam when I was younger – so the city will always have a special place in my heart.
Mastercard is a proud partner of Rotterdam Pride. Why is supporting a local pride event important to Mastercard?
Celebrating acceptance is inherent in Mastercard’s DNA; the company has been a continuous supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for years and continues to work to ensure that it progresses acceptance efforts for this community both internally within its corporate culture and externally in the communities it operates within. We stand for equal treatment, opportunities and rights and want to draw attention to the social undesirability of discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression or sex characteristics.
While we are happy with the growing acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community over the years, we are not there yet. There is still much progress to be made. We feel it is important to show our local involvement as a global company when it comes to the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and that is why we are a proud partner of Rotterdam Pride.
Can you tell us a little bit about Mastercard’s focus points when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion on the work floor?
At Mastercard, inclusion and diversity are about more than bringing together people with different backgrounds. It’s an understanding that when we create meaningful connections, inspire acceptance and cultivate a culture where we all belong, we are a better team – one that makes better decisions, drives innovation and delivers better business results. In today’s society, we believe that brands have a role in standing up and having a voice on issues that matter.
We, for instance, strongly believe that our customers should have the opportunity to be called by the name that represents who they really are as this is a significant step forward in helping the transgender and non-binary community feel recognized, accepted and empowered. That is why we have launched the True Name card feature to finally address a real pain point that impacts the community: when the names on individuals’ credit and debit cards do not match the names they identify with, working toward a vision of EVERY card for EVERY ONE. We call on the industry to apply these standards for everyone, ensuring a way for people’s financial products to reflect their true identity.
Other examples of how we implement inclusivity in our daily practice is by training all Mastercard employees on diversity and inclusion on a regular basis, and offering LGBTQIA+ inclusive policies and benefits. For instance, as an inclusive Equal Employment Opportunity employer we offer a 16-week gender-neutral parental leave. and many other initiatives worldwide to ensure employees can feel comfortable being open about their lives regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, where discriminatory behavior is not tolerated and where equality is promoted.
What is the long term ambition for Mastercard when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion?
Taking action to address inequalities is essential for a more just society and a more inclusive economy. As a global payments technology company, Mastercard is committed to serving as a force for good to ensure people, communities, businesses and the planet can thrive. We believe in doing well by doing good and as a result are committing to connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. As a part of our journey to build an economy that works for everyone, everywhere, we are also investing $500M in Black communities over the next five years.
Furthermore, we continue to stand alongside organizations such as GLAAD, National Urban League, Stonewall, COC Netherlands, Transgender Network Netherlands, Inter-LGBT and L’Autre Cercle to support the many initiatives and programs of pioneers in the field of LGBTQIA+. And we continue to learn from them. That’s just part of our journey.
To you personally, what does an ideal work environment look like?
A fast-paced, creative work environment where everyone feels free to show up as their authentic selves.
Last but not least, where will we bump into you during Rotterdam Pride?
I’m kicking off Rotterdam Pride with a pre-dinner party on Thursday. Mastercard is a proud sponsor of Kunsthal Rotterdam, which will be present ‘Deep in Vogue’ in close collaboration with Amber Vineyard – Mother of the House of Vineyard. The exhibition celebrates ballroom culture and provides the context for a subculture that is shaped by and for black and brown queer and transgender people. To launch the exhibition, Mastercard sponsors Utopia Ball on 18 September, which will be epic.
I’m also attending the RuPaul’s Drag Race Holland Season 2 finale, which is part of the program of Rotterdam Pride. During the event we are collaborating with 20 non-binary and transgender influencers to raise awareness for True Name and the importance of inclusivity.