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Diversity? Yes! A male au-pair? No!

The first time I really felt “different” -it wasn’t called “diverse” back then- was 30 years ago when I decided to get out of my home country and work as an au-pair in Rome. When I had shared this decision with family and friends back home in Germany, the reactions had been rather cautious at the perspective of me becoming a male baby-sitter. “But you don’t speak Italian!” They told me, adding: “And what if you happen to have a relationship with an Italian girlfriend whom we would be unable to understand?”

Well, I did go to Rome for 18 months, stayed with an Italian family with two little boys, and had the time of my life! In hindsight, I noticed that all the necessary ingredients of “inclusion & diversity” were combined:

  • a desire to get out of a comfort zone

  • a strong curiosity about (cultural) differences and openness to learn from others

  • readiness to respect or at least accept differences

To be honest, accepting differences (culture, gender, language, values, beliefs, language, behaviors, ways of thinking, to name a few) is usually very difficult and a source of great irritation, frustration and discomfort.

As a matter of fact, we are all different from one another in more ways than we think, and even identical twins are sporting differences. We may sometimes feel that if others were like ourselves, the world would be a better place. Would it be really?

  • How can we practically benefit from diversity?

  • What does it take to change our mindset?

  • How can we possibly view differences as an enrichment rather than a nuisance?

Need or wish to leverage differences and implement the principle of Plurality in a culture of trust and respect?

Contact us as we look forward to working with you on inclusion & diversity.

Follow us here and/or on LinkedIn, call us on +41 21 320 60 63 or email at


We, at Inspiring Culture Association, are passionate professionals with a diverse international leadership background.

We encourage businesses and individuals to serve a higher purpose and to deliver a sustainable performance by being:

  • honest and fair with customers and suppliers;

  • a responsible and responsive employer;

  • a good citizen;

  • a guardian for future generations.

Read about us here: Inspiring Culture Association

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