Everybody should be proud of who they are
Having been used to a more corporate environment, Hakan Yuksel was pleasantly surprised with the open, relaxed atmosphere at his new employer ING. He has found a place where he can entirely be himself.
Hakan was born in Istanbul and subsequently lived in various parts of Turkey because of his father’s work. “I went back to Istanbul to study management information systems at university, spent a year in Brussels for my job as a consultant at PwC, returned to Turkey and moved to Amsterdam in 2017 when I was offered a position at Fedex.”
It was love at first sight as soon as Hakan arrived in Amsterdam. “I loved the positive vibe and the nice scenery, and I was doubly lucky: I got here just before King’s Day, when the streets of Amsterdam are packed with party people! It also helped that I already had several friends living here. That made it easier to explore the city and to go to DJ events and parties, which is one of my favourite ways to spend my time. And although I still have some way to go before I’m completely ‘integrated’, I’m already starting to feel like a real ‘Amsterdammer’. In fact, I even bought a househere recently.”
Hakan joined ING as an Information Security Consultant in December 2019. “I was a perfect match with the job description, which was an important first step, but what appealed to me even more was the fact that ING has diversity and inclusion (D&I) high on the agenda. I knew right away that I’d feel at home in a company where D&I events and diversity networks are a natural part of the company policy. I also knew that I’d want to play an active role in the GALA network, which is ING’s LGBTI+ network.”
“I would have loved the chance to dance on ING’s boat during Canal Pride this year. I’ve celebrated it every year, and I actually went to New York last year to experience the Pride event there. I was even interviewed for NBC TV! J Sadly, due to the coronavirus crisis, the parade was cancelled this year, but we’re busy figuring out other ways to create awareness and spread the message that everybody should be proud of who they are.”
“I’m happy that I never feel I have to hide any aspect of my private life when I’m at work. The only change I would like to see is a little more cultural diversity in my own team. The IT organisation is diverse enough, with people from all kinds of backgrounds, so surely it must be possible in my team too, mustn’t it? I believe that diversity makes a team stronger and even more creative.”
Hakan adores techno music and partying in clubs. Dancing is his creative outlet. He took up dancing when he was at university and even made it into the show group that performed on stage. He currently takes classes in jazz and contemporary dance. He also goes to the gym several times a week. Besides that, he enjoys spending time with his friends, cycling around Amsterdam, watching European art-house movies and eating Vietnamse food.