03 December 2018 ... min read Listen

Remco de Jong

People with different tastes make the world more colourful

Remco has already had a long career at ING, having worked in many areas of the bank. He is entirely at home in the High Performing Workforce, where he organises bootcamps for the onboarding of DevOps Engineers and gives workshops to help IT Chapters grow in their jobs.

After completing a degree in business economics and spending three years at Hewlett-Packard, he moved to a management support position in Payments at ING. He worked in Wholesale Banking, various positions in Postbank, fulfilled the roles of Change Portfolio Manager and Agile Coach and has been in his current post since March 2017.

Human dimension

“From the moment I joined ING I was struck by the human dimension. As well as being results-oriented and professional, ING is genuinely focused on the people. It’s an open organisation where there’s plenty of scope for individual initiative and where everyone learns from each other. I feel really at home in such a culture.” Despite all the openness, Remco nevertheless found it difficult to be open about being gay. “Fortunately I’ve been out since day one, but actually I never talked about it explicitly. I’ve been on the ING boat at Gay Pride several times. At the beginning I didn’t have the courage to tell anyone. Later I did tell people in my team, but not people outside it. Until one day we were talking about it and someone from outside joined in. That colleague’s response was very enthusiastic and relaxed, whereas I had thought that ‘the people’ would find it an issue. So it had more to do with something within me.”

Mirror

At a meeting for managers organised by GALA (ING’s Gay and Lesbian Network) they, so to speak, held up a mirror to me. Why was I so anxious? After that meeting I realised I could be out and proud. A big eye-opener was the story of a colleague who had been posted to Romania, a country where homosexuality really can be a problem. He had set one precondition: “I want to be able to be myself.” He told people there right away; I found that very powerful and inspiring.”

One big mix

“What are things like here in terms of diversity? In the Wholesale Bank I worked with Chinese, Germans, a Filipino, Africans, Americans, gays, non-gays – it was one big mix. I also increasingly see a mix of international colleagues in the IT organisation of the domestic bank, where I’m currently working. Coincidently three of the four people in my immediate team are gay. That’s a pure coincidence, but it’s funny and we work very well together. That has nothing to do with our orientation.

I’m now more open about being gay than I used to be. And I’m going on the boat again at Gay Pride. I think it’s fantastic that ING does this. And very necessary! Because by no means everyone here is out. Every day new people join who have to be told that there are people with different tastes. There’s still a lot of progress to be made and we must protect what we’ve already achieved.”

About Remco

Remco lives in Amsterdam.
He’s interested in developments around the world and follows them as closely as possible. 
He likes spending time with friends and family.
He likes running, fitness and aims to take up a team sport soon.
A film that made an impression on him was the Oscar winner Moonlight. “I saw it twice.”
Remco listens to pop, opera and classical music.

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