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Internationally Maltese – Runner-Up: Francesca Farrugia

With over 25 nationalities, the Bank is the embodiment of a multicultural environment, with each nationality introducing its own outlook, opinions and perspectives to the table. This fosters mutual respect among employees and creates a synergistic environment. When taking the time to speak to individuals who are coming from different countries and cultures, you learn new ideas, new ways of doing things and new perspectives, which in turn encourages employees to think outside the box and face problems in a different manner. As in everything else, there may be conflict which is healthy and only pushes employees to be tolerant and better themselves.

The sense of community spreads across everything we do, whether that is chatting over a coffee or working on a task or project together. This is shown not only on the job but even through employees taking interest in the cultures of a foreigner’s country, sharing travel tips, local knowledge and teaching one another words and phrases from our native language. Everyone tends to bond through the experiences which each person has gone through, and having a perspective of how things are done outside of our tiny island is rewarding. Whenever I visit a new country, I now have a small insight of what the country will be like and what to expect, just through having spoken to a colleague who grew up there.

I feel that working with my foreign colleagues has enriched me in ways that I would not have gotten elsewhere. I’ve been able to learn skills and gain a new way of thinking, enabling me to appreciate different ways of working.

The Maltese are not the same Maltese of 10 years ago. Our community is evolving and benefitting from everything that each person who relocates and settles in Malta brings with them. Without this international factor, Malta would not be the same and neither would our Bank. Each foreign employee has brought a different perspective to how things are done and pushed us local employees to expand our limits. Ultimately, when walking around the office, I do not feel that anyone distinguishes between a Maltese and a foreign employee, since we are all working for the same objective and working as one team is the only way we will reach it.

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