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I believe my duty is to leave something better behind me

Evaldas Marcinkus

Evaldas Marcinkus is the Head of Reporting and Analytics Department in the Technology Organisation. He has been at SEB for seven and a half years and has worked the whole time in managerial positions. His passion, which he has included into his day-to-day work at SEB, is promoting fairness and equality for underrepresented communities. 

“I started in Technology working as a Team Manager for four years. After that, I was promoted to a Department Manager for Reporting & Analytics. Although the move wasn’t a huge change, I was always gradually stepping upwards looking for how I could I contribute more to the organisation.” 

A key focus within SEB is to ensure that there is no discrimination and to promote inclusion and diversity within the workplace. 

Despite Lithuania having had many discussions around civil unions between same- and opposite-sex couples, it has not yet become a reality. What’s more, the conversation around it is mostly negative, which Evaldas believes is due to a lack of awareness and a misconception that it would affect anyone but the ones who are in need of it. 

“I myself have a partner, and we want to be recognised by the country in the same manner as anyone else. Having the same duties, one expects to have the same rights. That’s what equality is. We feel there are sometimes injustices, and it causes us as individuals to question whether we can do something to help ourselves and others, and surely, we can by being proactive.  

We're seeing, both through experience and current research, that the current younger generation in the workforce is freer and more liberal, so it’s truly meaningful to show support and welcome every individual. I feel like we, as managers, need to be supportive and empathetic of everyone, not only the LGBTQI+ community but other underrepresented communities too. We need to bring these topics to the forefront for our employees since sometimes people don’t relate because they don’t understand. As an organisation, I’d like to see us build the knowledge by involving guest speakers, professors, experts that can empower all of us to create a culture where underrepresented communities don’t need to stand for themselves alone.” 

Employees are enabled to make time alongside their workday to promote inclusion and diversity. 

When Evaldas started with the local Inclusion & Diversity community at SEB raising awareness about LGTBQIA+, ageism, people with challenges, they were only a group of three. They decided to commemorate IDAHOBIT Day on the 17th of May (the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) and made an event for it which was purely voluntary. Having such guests as the Swedish Ambassador, a PhD Researcher, a PhD Social anthropologist, and other D&I experts gave a boost to continue the volunteering. The community grew locally, but they also approached SEB’s Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer for global reach. 

“This year we started a global LGBTQIA+ community, which is from all countries around the world involved with SEB. We started by publishing an internal article with our perspectives and interest of why Diversity and Inclusion is important for us, and it received over 300 positive reactions and lots of personal perspectives via e-mail. People were cheering and were so happy that this was happening. The article showed that there are people who are already involved and others who want to be. On a global level, we call ourselves Proud at SEB and locally, we call ourselves OutStanding. It’s purely volunteer based.” 

Through Proud at SEB, Evaldas and other colleagues want to raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues within SEB and further promote inclusion and diversity. 

So far, the group has organised a workshop on LGBTQIA+ topics for SEB’s Inclusion & Diversity steering group (comprised of members from the Group Executive Committee and division heads). The workshop resulted in a very positive response.  

“We realised that no matter what, we have friends and allies, and even though we are early in discussions, it’s very encouraging that the organisation is willing to engage more and put it into a strategy. When I first started this, I didn’t think this would ever be possible.” 

Everyone at SEB is open and supportive, which is something Evaldas appreciates. 

“When people come to work at SEB, they find friends and diverse thinking is repeatedly encouraged. I believe my duty is to leave something better behind and build something that makes the environment better for those who come after.”