Last Refreshed: 7/15/2024 5:02:50 PM
Brand Story

Creating inclusive spaces with Ahold Delhaize Pride

Djordan Papilaya shares the mission and impactful activities of Ahold Delhaize Pride in creating an inclusive workplace and championing the LGBTQI+ community.

June 12, 2024 – Djordan Papilaya is a Tech Consultant at Albert Heijn where he focuses on enhancing employee experiences within the IT landscape. Beyond Djordan’s technical role, he is a board member for Ahold Delhaize Pride, one of our Business Resource Groups. Here, he handles media and communications, uniting colleagues and allies from the LGBTQI+ community. Ahold Delhaize Pride organizes many initiatives and advises on several LGBTQI+ topics to create a more inclusive workplace. More specifically, Ahold Delhaize Pride is the Pride Business Resource Group (BRG) for Albert Heijn, Etos, Gall & Gall and Ahold Delhaize. The group also works closely with Queer bol, the Pride BRG at bol.

To learn more about Ahold Delhaize Pride, we spoke with Djordan. See what he shared with us below. 

Can you share the primary mission and goals of Ahold Delhaize Pride?  

At Ahold Delhaize Pride, our primary mission is to create an environment where all LGBTQI+ individuals feel welcome, represented, and valued. This mission extends to our brands’ associates and customers, ensuring that everyone interacting with Ahold Delhaize feels included and respected.” 

What specific initiatives and activities has Ahold Delhaize Pride implemented to support LGBTQI+ associates?  

“We support our LGBTQI+ associates through various initiatives, primarily focusing on fostering community and connection. For example, we have participated in Roze Filmdagen, an LGBTQI+ film festival, and we have hosted a bar takeover during Pride in Amsterdam the past two years and plan to do the same this year. More recently, we expanded our efforts by collaborating with Etos during Utrecht Pride to create a safe space for everyone to have their makeup done and express their individual personalities. These events allow our associates to engage with the broader LGBTQI+ community and celebrate pride in an inclusive environment as well as with all people in the communities we serve.  

We also organize lunch and learn sessions, inviting guest speakers to discuss various LGBTQI+-related topics. For example, our most recent last lunch and learn session was about the history of Pride and how Pride is changing as an event. Other sessions were about creating more inclusive teams, as well as multi-parenthood and family extension support. With these sessions we provide valuable insights and inspire our associates to broaden their understanding and support of the LGBTQI+ community.”  

How does Ahold Delhaize Pride contribute to creating a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQI+ associates? Can you provide examples of how it has influenced company policies or practices to benefit LGBTQI+ associates?  

“In addition to supporting our fellow LGBTQI+ associates and allies within the company, one of our primary goals is to act as a liaison partner within the company, collaborating with various departments to shape inclusive policies and practices. For instance, last year, we played a pivotal role in successfully implementing the Gender Transition Policy in the Netherlands. We worked with HR, the workers' council, and Ahold Delhaize’s Executive Committee to develop this policy which includes comprehensive guidelines for managers and associates.  
In developing these policies, we collaborate with LGBTQI+ organizations such as the Transgender Netwerk Nederland and COC Netherlands to guide us. We also share ideas with Pride BRGs from other companies and form alliances with organizations like Workplace Pride, a network organization for company pride teams. These external partnerships enrich our approach and ensure we align with best practices in promoting inclusivity. Additionally, we collaborate and share best practices with Pride BRGs from our brands and other companies. For example, during our intercompany Pride event at Utrecht Pride, we – Ahold Delhaize Pride and Queer bol – worked together with Trainbow NS to bring together 10 Utrecht-based companies to connect on LGBTQI+ topics and events.”

Can you discuss the importance of allyship and how Pride BRGs across Ahold Delhaize and the brands engage allies in supporting the LGBTQI+ community?  

“From a personal perspective and as a board member of Ahold Delhaize Pride, I can affirm that allyship is incredibly important. Allies are crucial in ensuring that our community can rely on broader support. Given our goal to expand our reach beyond the offices, allies are essential in locations where the LGBTQI+ community may be underrepresented or less visible. Their support can help foster a sense of collective belonging and reinforce support for LGBTQI+ associates across Ahold Delhaize and our brands.”  

What role does executive sponsorship play in the success of Ahold Delhaize Pride?

“Executive sponsorship is crucial to Ahold Delhaize Pride's success. Our sponsors' exclusive commitment significantly contributes to our visibility. We are fortunate to have Natalia Wallenberg, CHRO of Ahold Delhaize, and Sonja Boelhouwer, COO of Albert Heijn actively speak up for our community and emphasize the importance of our BRG.”

Last Refreshed: 7/15/2024 5:02:50 PM

Business Resource Groups (BRGs) at Ahold Delhaize are voluntary, associate-led groups that serve as a valuable resource for both members and our businesses. BRGs foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with our mission, values, goals, business practices and objectives. We value and encourage this collaboration between our organization and associates and we actively engage in insightful discussions to ensure we are listening to and serving our brands’ communities in a relevant and respectful way.