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The CLEVR Way to Change: CEO Jeroen Hanekamp Discusses Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation

21 March 2024, last update 21 March 2024 4 min read

In today's interview, we have the privilege of hosting Jeroen Hanekamp, the CEO of CLEVR, a leading company in the world of digital transformation. Known for his dynamic leadership, Jeroen has been instrumental in shaping CLEVR's culture and strategy, with diversity and inclusion at the forefront. As in this month we commemorate International Women's Day, Jeroen shares his insights on the importance of gender equality, the strides made so far, and the challenges that lie ahead. He also highlights how diversity and inclusion are not just moral imperatives but strategic advantages that drive innovation and problem-solving within CLEVR.

This conversation is a testament to CLEVR's commitment to fostering an environment where everyone is valued and celebrated. Let's dive in and learn how we can all be more CLEVR in our pursuit of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive world.


A warm welcome to Jeroen Hanekamp. We're happy to have you with us today as we delve into an issue that is pivotal for our times – diversity and inclusion. Let's begin on a personal note. Your eldest daughter aspires to be a doctor, a profession that has seen a significant shift in gender balance in the Netherlands. How does this influence your stance on equality?

Jeroen Hanekamp: It's truly a source of inspiration to observe the strides we've made since the time Aletta Jacobs shattered stereotypes to become the first woman to acquire a medical degree in the Netherlands, almost a century and a half ago. Despite formidable opposition, she blazed a trail for future generations, demonstrating the power of resilience and determination.

Seeing the progress we've made since then is truly inspiring. It strengthens my belief that change is possible, even in the face of great adversity. But it's also a reminder that progress doesn't come easy. It requires continuous effort, courage, and commitment. This belief strongly influences my stance on equality. We have made substantial strides, but there's still more ground to cover. And this isn't just about my daughter or women aspiring to be doctors; it's about everyone, regardless of their gender, having equal opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Aletta Jacobs also campaigned for women's right to vote. It seems that today, we still need people pushing for inclusivity, equity and diversity. What are your thoughts on this?

Jeroen Hanekamp: It's unfortunate, but true, that these issues don't confine themselves to countries with more restrictive laws or traditional societies. They're prevalent even in Western countries, often perceived as progressive. Consider the gender pay gap, for instance. Despite advancements, women in many parts of the world, including Western nations, continue to earn less than their male counterparts for performing the same work. This is a clear indication of systemic inequality that we have yet to fully dismantle.

And then there's the issue of gender-based violence, a violation of human rights that affects millions of women and girls worldwide. It persists in every corner of the globe, crossing cultural, social, and economic boundaries. This is a stark reminder that our societies still have deeply ingrained prejudices and biases that we need to confront and address.

So yes, we need individuals who will stand up against injustices, challenge the status quo, and pave the way for a more equitable society, much like Aletta Jacobs did all those years ago. These issues are too important to be sidelined, and it's incumbent upon each one of us to do our part in driving change.


Let's bring this closer to home - CLEVR. Can you share your reflections on diversity and inclusion within your company?

Two CLEVR employees in the officeJeroen Hanekamp: At CLEVR, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just about checking boxes or meeting standards. It's an integral part of our identity and strategic vision. We believe that every individual brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the table, and it's this diversity that fuels innovation and drives us forward in the dynamic landscape of digital transformation.

Diversity for us isn't limited to gender—it encompasses a broad spectrum of characteristics like age, religion, disability, educational background, and socio-economic status. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are and what they bring to the team.

Inclusion, on the other hand, is about ensuring that these diverse voices are heard and have equal opportunities to contribute and thrive. It's about creating a sense of belonging, where everyone can fully participate in our company's life and decision-making processes.

But let me also acknowledge that as much as we strive for diversity and inclusion, it's a journey, not a destination. We're proud of the strides we've made, but we also recognize that there's always room for improvement. We continuously challenge ourselves to learn, grow, and do better in fostering a truly inclusive workplace.


Could you explain more about why diversity and inclusion are so crucial in your industry?

Jeroen Hanekamp: Certainly. In the rapidly evolving field of digital transformation, diversity and inclusion serve as catalysts for innovation. A diverse team brings a multitude of perspectives to the table, fostering creativity and unique problem-solving approaches.

Understanding our diverse client base is another critical aspect. By mirroring this diversity within our team, we can better anticipate their needs and challenges.

Moreover, an inclusive culture attracts top talent, promotes continuous learning, and enhances adaptability—a crucial trait in our fast-paced industry.

In essence, diversity and inclusion are not just ethically right; they're also business imperatives that drive innovation, client satisfaction, and competitiveness.


Interviewer: Thank you, Jeroen. Throughout our conversation, it's become evident that diversity and inclusion are not merely on-trend topics at CLEVR. They form the essence of your company's culture and contribute to its success and growth.

Jeroen Hanekamp: Indeed, our commitment to diversity goes beyond moral or ethical considerations—it's a strategic advantage that enhances our resilience and adaptability in the dynamic digital transformation space. It is allowing us to anticipate changes, respond rapidly, and maintain a competitive edge.

We believe that our strength lies in our diversity and expertise. By embracing different perspectives, experiences, and skills, we enhance our collective intelligence and creativity. This inclusive environment empowers us to come up with innovative solutions and make a significant impact for our customers.


As we wrap up this conversation, Jeroen, what final thoughts would you like to leave us with?

Jeroen Hanekamp: I invite you all to envision a world of gender equality—a world devoid of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. At CLEVR, we strive to not only imagine this world but actively work towards creating it. We aim to inspire inclusion, support change, and embody the spirit of being CLEVR in our approach.

Let's remember that the journey towards a more inclusive world isn't confined to a single day, it's a daily commitment. Let's continue to push for change and Build Tomorrow Together.


Thank you, Jeroen. We look forward to seeing how CLEVR continues to champion diversity and inclusion.

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CLEVR CLEVR, a globally recognized provider of low code, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), and Manufacturing Operations Management/Manufacturing Execution Systems (MOM/MES) software solutions, specializes in enabling organizations to unlock their full potential through digital transformation. By combining cutting-edge technology with industry expertise and a customer-centric approach, CLEVR delivers comprehensive software solutions that drive innovation, accelerate growth, and provide organizations with a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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