Accent Diversity, equity and inclusion at Accent

Diverse people

Our diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) policy goes beyond aiming for a colourful blend of people in our workforce. It is important to us that everyone can be fully themselves with us, but also that all our employees can fulfil their potential to the best of their ability, in whatever way that may be. To give some context to our various DEI initiatives, we would like to briefly explain the concepts we base them on:


Diversity is mainly about respecting and valuing mutual differences. These differences can be expressed in numbers or percentages, such as in dashboards that track figures by gender, nationality, sexuality and age, etc.


Inclusion goes one step further than diversity. Inclusion not only recognises the differences between people, but also gives everyone a chance to be fully accepted and addressed as an individual.


Equity is the ultimate destination. This is about getting an equal opportunity and being protected from discrimination, through adapted tools or treatment that takes into account everyone’s starting point. This ensures that everyone can continue to grow.

The difference between equality and equity is made clearer in the figure opposite.

The common thread running through our policy
The common thread running through our policy

We contacted the government agency Actiris to have our DEI policy assessed independently and neutrally. They worked with us to outline a concrete action plan for the next few years. We put out a call among our staff to form a DEI working group and, with help from Actiris, assembled a great team of 15 enthusiastic employees. They meet at regular intervals to analyse the steps we have already taken and to roll out new action items for the coming months. Those items range from rolling out an objective discrimination hotline (SPOT, see below) to making our corporate events inclusive.

Management by example through intensive training programmes
Management by example through intensive training programmes

As a kick-off to our DEI operation, we organised an awareness-raising training programme for various teams, from our internal recruiters and marketing department to our own Accent Business School and through to all the members of our middle and senior management. We strongly believe in management by example to ensure that we are all always on the same page.  

In addition, topics such as discrimination, diversity and equality are strongly embedded not only in the training programmes for new colleagues (with at least a day and a half of training during their onboarding and a clear code of ethics), but also unfailingly in our semi-annual training sessions and seminars. DEI is a key item on the agenda of every training course. That way, our employees learn what inclusive recruiting is and what to pay attention to and, among other things, they receive mystery calls to check how they are going with this.

At Accent, we are all about inclusive neutrality
At Accent, we are all about inclusive neutrality

Internally, DEI is high on the priority list. Indeed, our ambition is to become Belgium’s most inclusive employer. Since May 2022, we have adopted the principle of inclusive neutrality. This means that the people who represent our organisation are free to reflect the diverse society we live in as long as the services we deliver are professional and neutral. Our top priority is to create a workplace where every colleague feels safe and at home. And that is only possible if everyone is allowed to be completely themselves, without sacrificing professionalism.

The CV is outdated

Missing out on a face-to-face interview because your CV doesn’t stand out from the crowd? That sucks. And we understand that. At Accent, we believe that applying for a job should be fair. What’s more, we believe that it can be fun, that you, the candidate, can be in control during the application process. Anyone who wants to join us will not have to provide us with a CV or cover letter. All we expect from our future colleagues is that they match our values and culture. We hire on values, we train for skills!

Diversity days

Some want to be the biggest, others the best. And us? We also want to be the most inclusive. That’s why, every year, we organise our own Diversity Days: a three-day training event for our own employees, packed with awareness-raising workshops on diversity and inclusion.

These workshops teach our staff that discrimination is still woven into our society, but that fortunately we can do something about it ourselves. The aim of the training is to ensure that every employee goes home at the end of the day with an open mind and a bundle of new insights for actively embracing diversity and inclusion. These are insights they can apply themselves, but equally insights they can use to raise awareness among business leaders and HR managers should these have any preconceptions.  

Room for own initiative and volunteering

Finally, we also offer our employees the opportunity to contribute themselves to initiatives they care about. We organise several charitable campaigns every year, but also try to contribute in other ways where we can. Following the severe floods in Wallonia (during the summer of 2021), our staff were allowed to swap their desks for their wellies to help victims on the ground where possible. In March 2022, our staff who speak Ukrainian or Russian helped organisations such as the Red Cross or the Integration Agency by acting as interpreters for Ukrainian refugees registering in Brussels.