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How ABN AMRO uses design to inspire equal opportunities

19 October 2021

5 min. to read

© Hannie Verhoeven
At Dutch Design Week 2021, ABN AMRO and designers will show that equality benefits everyone. But also that there’s still much more to gain. And that design is an instrument with which we can accelerate the transition to a world of equal opportunities. Find out how at the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion on Ketelhuisplein.

Equal society
ABN AMRO is the head sponsor of Dutch Design Week. This offers the bank an opportunity to install an exhibit in Eindhoven, in collaboration with socially involved designers. The objective? Show how much there is to gain from equal opportunities.

An equal society produces more – and better – ideas. It makes us feel safer and happier. Research shows that diverse and inclusive companies are more innovative and creative. And even more profitable. As a large, socially engaged bank, ABN AMRO accelerates the transition to an equal society through sponsorship. But we’re not there yet. Not as a society, and not as a bank. Design can help: designers don’t just think about creating a nice chair or a great car. They also think about solutions that help society move forward. Their ideas form the foundation of the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion.

Playing with perspectives
If you wander among the more than 100 exhibits at Dutch Design Week, you may just encounter a special cube. That is the centrepiece of the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion, and it’s intended to offer you a different perspective through design. The four sides of the cube each show three different texts. A different story keeps appearing: about discussions of exclusion, standing up for financial independence, accepting LGBTI+ people, and diversity in the workplace. Each side surprises visitors with its own perspective on the theme of equality. And on the benefits it has for people and society.

Equal opportunities by design
Dutch Design Week is the place for those who want to contribute to creating more equal opportunities. Young, driven and creative designers can put topics on the agenda and spark discussions. That’s also true in the pavilion, with a design from Mies Loogman from Enlightens. Mies developed a card game that intends to make ABN AMRO employees think collectively about unconscious exclusion in language and behaviour. The game is an important starting point for a conversation about diversity and inclusion among ABN AMRO employees, and now also among visitors to Dutch Design Week.

ABN AMRO also commissioned studio (ink). to design a concept that accelerates equal opportunities: De Bouw Box. The aim is to speed up the transition to modern parenting with a healthy work/life balance for both parents. The box is also intended to nudge employers to allow men to take paternity leave. An important step towards equal opportunities, at home and at work.

Curious about the other two sides of the cube? These are about diversity in the labour market and acceptance of LGBTI+ people in the workplace. On one side, you can learn about inclusive vacancy texts, which are written in a way that women can – and want to – respond to them as naturally as men do. On the other side, you can sit on a very special bench. Share your experiences with the exclusion – or acceptance – of LGBTI+ people in the workplace. The bench is an incentive to start a discussion about it.

You will find the ABN AMRO Equal Opportunities Pavilion on the Ketelhuisplein in Eindhoven, from 16 until 24 October. Will we see you there?