Powering Inclusion Blog

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a Business Imperative


    December 23, 2021

    Elif Tutum Tuncer
    "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core to Signify's commitment to being #GreaterTogether and fostering brighter lives for a better world. It is also part of the DNA of our people. That is why we want to kick off this blog series with the personal journey, challenges, and goals of Elif Tutum Tuncer, our Global DE&I Manager".

    How did you start the journey at Signify?


    After a diverse set of experiences in HR in different industries and organizations, I've joined Signify as Country HRBP of Turkey as part of METAP organization in 2016. I've worked on various topics like competency building, succession development, developing stronger employer brand through campus engagement, and designing programs to build an early career talent pipeline.

    Next to my local responsibilities, I have participated in many regional initiatives to support the Market people agenda, facilitating sessions on managing change and transitions to driving operational excellence programs. After two years in my role, I have shared my interest in developing my understanding and skillset in the talent and organizational development domain.


    A few months later, I've received a call from our Global Head of Talent about a stretch assignment opportunity in her team where I was able to work on a global scale project with a totally new scope and new stakeholders. It was a good challenge, and I felt the support from my manager and assignment sponsor, and it was energizing to experience new horizons. This assignment allowed me to expand my professional network in the company and built a better understanding of what other roles and responsibilities that I could take as a next in my career. After it, I have been selected as a new Talent Partner for the Businesses and relocated to Amsterdam, the Netherlands with my family.

    A year later, my scope was extended with Cooper Acquisition and Functions of Strategy & Marketing and Innovation. I have also managed a global Hoshin initiative where we have launched global initiatives like Mentoring beyond borders, Stretch Assignment, and Early Career Talent onboarding in line with Great Place to Work strategy.

    Working in a global context on strategic topics like leadership development, succession planning, and DE&I with senior leaders has been an elevating experience."

    After two years of Talent Partnership, our organization model in HR has changed, and I have been given the opportunity to lead our Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda as part of Integrated Talent Management. It's one of the most purposeful jobs that I've taken throughout my career, where I am learning new topics and perspectives almost every day and contribute directly to our strategy of Brighter Lives and a Better World.

    What and or who inspires you to strive for Inclusion?

    Raising a child in an international environment as a full-time working mother brought new experiences and challenges to my life, which helped me build further understanding and perspective on Inclusion. So, my inspiration source is my daughter; I am dreaming of a future that the next generation is experiencing a better and more equal world where they don't need to fight the same battles that we are having in society and workplaces. Where the people are putting a conscious effort to de-bias themselves, be more open-minded, respect differences, and act fair. I'm working for such a future, and it gives me energy and excitement to work on such a complex and challenging agenda.

    My inspiration source is my daughter; I am dreaming of a future that the next generation is experiencing a better and more equal world"

    Why is it important to focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace?


    To meaningfully prioritize diversity, equity, and Inclusion in the workplace is not only the right thing to do — it is a business imperative. Substantial research shows that diversity brings many advantages to an organization: increased profitability and creativity, stronger governance, and better problem-solving abilities.

    Today's business case is stronger than ever, and DE&I is getting more attention and prioritizing the governments, investors, and leaders' agendas. While we recognize the core benefits of diversity, diversity itself will not automatically lead to more profitability, innovation, and effectiveness without Inclusion.


    Do our colleagues feel valued and respected – regardless of who they are? Do our colleagues have meaningful relationships and interactions with their peers and managers? Do our colleagues feel empowered to speak up and share their views? Do our colleagues have the power to influence their work and practices? Do we commit to learning from cultural differences and de-bias ourselves? These should be the questions that we ask ourselves and our leaders to reap the real and full benefits of DE&I in our organization.


    We want to make sure that we provide equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of these factors"

    How do you evaluate the current DE&I development at Signify?


    First of all, I'm proud of our commitment to DE&I. We recognize that our workplaces, marketplaces, and communities are made up of individuals from different genders, nations, cultures, ethnic groups, generations, backgrounds, skills, abilities and all the other unique characteristics that make each of us who we are – and we want to make sure that we provide equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of these factors.


    Recently we have signed the UN Women Empowerment Principles, which underlines our commitment and signals to our stakeholders that we will continue to educate ourselves, work more on our processes to provide more inclusive and equitable experiences first to our colleagues then to our ecosystem.


    Next to that, we have launched a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awareness course in which we have worked together with a diverse group of colleagues and consultants. This course will provide a meaningful foundation for our colleagues to become more aware of what DE&I is, how we act upon it as an organization, and what they can do individually to support it. In this way, we can create a feeling of belonging and pride in the great company we are building together.

    I consider DE&I as a long-term journey and commitment; Rome was not built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour"


    What is your goal while being in this role as Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Signify?

    We have planned a five-year roadmap to build a sustainable DE&I strategy in our organization, which starts with a focus on creating a shared understanding. DE&I Awareness course was one of the first initiatives that will follow follow-through many other global and local initiatives to become better Allies of Inclusion.

    Next to this, I am working closely with our D&I Board, Leaders, HR Team, Global D&I Champions Network, and Connection Point Groups to build more inclusive and equitable people & business processes. I consider DE&I a long-term journey and commitment; Rome was not built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour, so we will continue to learn and advance in this journey.

    To find out more about our commitment to DE&I visit our careers site.

    About the author:

    Daniela Valda Flores

    Daniela Valda Flores

    Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing & HR Comms Intern



    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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