Rabobank's CDO: Bringing Your Best Self to Allyship

RaboBank’s Dionne Mack, VP, Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Justin Foster, Chief Diversity Officer at DLL (a subsidiary of Rabobank International) shared their insights about DEI. Mack succinctly summarized the call, writing: “What I believe was underscored most heavily in this dialogue is the importance of leading with our humanity – affording grace and space for uncomfortable and maybe a little clunky dialogue, recognizing that we all have inner work to do (perpetually – because the minute you think you are an expert you are moving backwards), meeting one another where we are in this journey so we can see ourselves as part of this work […] so that we can effectively integrate DEI into our business operations in a way that makes sense and is authentic to our business.”
Rabobank U.A. is a full-range financial services provider that operates on cooperative principles. Its origins lie in the local loan cooperatives that were founded in the Netherlands nearly 110 years. Rabobank Group is comprised of independent local Rabobank locations and Rabobank Nederland, their umbrella organization, as well as several specialist subsidiaries. Overall, Rabobank Group has approximately 61,100 FTEs who serve an estimated 10 million customers in 47 countries.
Call highlights and discussion included:

  • A short video by Paul Beiboer, RaboBank’s CEO, sharing his thoughts and photos of the Black Lives Matter marches in New York last year.
  • Foster discussing his five key areas of focus as a new CDO: amplifying voices, creating a culture of allyship, teaching allyship (a proactive, ongoing process of learning), giving leaders the tools to become more inclusive, and strengthening communities in the 30 plus countries where Rabobank operates to help them lead the way in DEI.  
  • Mack discussed allyship and delineated the difference between perpetuating and perpetrating as it relates to equity. How can you bring your best self to allyship?
  • Foster shared his contention that, “There is no expert in this work. The minute you think you have achieved expert status you are moving backwards.”
  • There was additional discussion in the chat about the gift of being corrected on our blind spots and being able to have a growth mindset that embraces a culture of correction to increase DEI awareness and understanding.
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