Orange is being yourself

The Canal Parade is an annual tradition as part of the Amsterdam Gay Pride (July 27- August 4), one of the best and most fun prides in the world. Focal point in the festive events is the Saturday colourful flotilla of boats sailing through the Amsterdam canals, each with its own theme. On the ING boat, 40 ING employees were dressed up as sailors, with one mermaid and two mermen.

There was considerable international media attention for the ING boat. A picture of the “mermaids” on the ING boat appeared in an Associated Press article about Gay Pride on the Washington Post website and in the Huffington Post.

The articles highlighted the need for acceptance of homosexuals in society.

The ING boat also received local media coverage. A Dutch TV channel noted the importance that ING places on a safe and inclusive workplace where all employees can be themselves.

Creating a diverse workforce

“And that is exactly what we want to foster,” says Martha McDevitt, senior change manager, Bankwide Customer Domain, and Chair of ING Gala. “Diversity is important to us. We believe the composition of our workforce must be reflective of society, bringing diverse talents, beliefs and perceptions to the workplace. This goes beyond the male/female ratio to being inclusive in our hiring process across race, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities and personal philosophies. A centralised team helps businesses create their own diversity plans to help achieve this desirable level of diversity.”

GALA – the company’s network

2013 was the 8th consecutive year that ING participated in the Canal Parade. ING Gala, the company’s network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and straight allies, organizes the boat each year with support from ING Netherlands.

Read our Global Diversity Statement (PDF, 84 KB)

What is ING doing to increase lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) diversity? Find out in our FAQs on Global Diversity (PDF, 157 KB)

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