As N26 is rapidly expanding, diversity is on the minds of the entire company. Following our International Women’s Day celebration we were excited to celebrate Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin for the first time! Especially since diversity and inclusivity is a topic that, understandably, brings a lot of passion to surface. But more importantly, it’s a topic close to a lot of our hearts. We’re lucky to be a part of a community that understands diversity and inclusivity is an all-encompassing work in progress and we’re proud this year to have had an incredible week of events celebrating Christopher Street Day (CSD).
The following is a recap that captures the spirit, energy and enthusiasm of the team behind it — a team that should be immensely proud of itself. Enjoy… and see you all at CSD 2019!
How did it begin?
We had 32 people in our CSD organising channel that all contributed ideas and opinions of what would be good to do for CSD in N26. In the end those ideas were boiled down to four different activities
1. Drive through the CSD Parade from Ku’damm to Brandenburg Gate!
2. Brown bag lunch — our weekly, company-wide get together where various teams present what they’re working on with a complimentary and delicious lunch (thanks, Workplace Team!)
3. A thoroughly fabulous video to commemorate our celebrations.
4. Posters to highlight LGBTQIA+ rights around the world.
A core group of 11 people was formed, an estimated budget was set and we had regular stand ups put into our calendars — it was all systems go! Andy, Andrew and I were asked to be accountable for the Parade, but it really was an effort across the core team. We researched more through the CSD website and also got some insights from other local companies who were also planning floats. We brainstormed often about what drinks were appropriate, how much water to have, and what songs should go on our playlist (Kylie, definitely Kylie).
It started with our Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday where Daniel and Rachel talked about LGBTQIA+ rights and the history of the Christopher Street Day Parade. They addressed some common misconceptions with the various letters in LGBTQIA+ and generally celebrated diversity.
Posters were put up across our offices that depicted the countries that our employees hail from, and whether they still discriminate against LGBTQIA+ individuals. It was interesting and informative, both because it showcased how many countries N26 employees call home and how much further we have to go to gain equal rights across the globe.
Some LGBTQI+ colleagues and allies were interviewed for a video highlighting the importance of diverse voices in the N26 workforce.
Finally, the parade! The day started with us decorating ourselves and providing our colleagues the opportunity to do the same. We covered ourselves in rainbow tattoos and/or facepaint. Our attire: the coolest N26 tshirt currently in my wardrobe. And of course, the key to any successful Pride: glitter. We had enough glitter you could have rolled each N26 employee in glitter and cover them head to toe.
Once we were decorated, we headed to our ride. We decided on a double-decker open aired bus, complete with a bus driver who was simply a delight (Thanks Momo!). We covered it in N26 banners designed by our wonderful design people in the core team, and filled it with bottles of water and the requisite amount of other beverages. Then put on our killer playlist and sashayed the day away.
How did it go?
I think it’s unquestionable that we achieved what we wanted out of all the CSD activities- and we threw a great celebration.
But more importantly, following the general vibe of N26, we learned a lot.
We immediately sought suggestions on how to make our CSD celebration better next year, and will be learning from our mistakes. But, ultimately the result that really shows the impact of our celebration was the engagement of everyone involved. An overwhelming number of participants said that the CSD celebrations made them proud to work for N26 and an even higher amount responded they would want to participate in LGBTQIA+ events on behalf on N26 in the future.
And we think that’s just fabulous.
I am bowled over at how awesome everything came together, and how many people contributed to making it a success. It was a labor of love for a ton of passionate and proud N26ers. We had a lot of people to thank and we hope our thank you cards put a smile on their faces.
Finally I just want to say my hope is that this opens up the way for more diversity celebrations in the company — for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t as hard as we initially imagined and was really rewarding. We have so much diversity for so many reasons we should all look for opportunities to inform and celebrate our own diversities.
Thanks to the whole N26 community. We were overwhelmed by the support and can’t wait to improve and make it more awesome next year. With more glitter. Obviously.
Interested in joining one of our teams as we grow?
If you’d like to join us on the journey of building the mobile bank the world loves to use, have a look at some of the roles we’re looking for here.