Ana Mingo combines her volunteer role as the Secretary General of Brussels Binder with her career in EU Affairs in the energy and climate sector. With more than 10 years of experience in public affairs for industry associations and having lived in 9 countries across Latin America and Europe, Ana’s experiences have profoundly shaped her perspective. Working with associations, especially in the voluntary sector, has taught her the value of diverse perspectives and the power of collective effort.

Ana Mingo
Secretary General, The Brussels Binder

Ana’s Story: Discovering my passion for associations

Working in the international association sector is both challenging and rewarding. It requires harmonizing diverse member opinions, a task that sharpens collaborative skills. This sector calls for keen listening, clear communication, sensitivity to group dynamics, and the ability to forge consensus. My drive to join this sector, stemmed from a desire to contribute to a meaningful cause. The power of being part of something larger than oneself is immense, and Brussels Binder’s focus on diversifying public debates is significant. Diversity not only enriches discussions but also unveils innovative solutions to complex issues. I would encourage anyone looking for a career that offers both personal growth and the chance to make a societal impact to consider this path.

Ana’s Approach: How to #InspireInclusion through open communication and continuous learning

As the Secretary-General, I am deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment, a commitment that is rooted in my diverse background and experiences. This diversity has instilled in me a profound appreciation for various perspectives, which I actively apply in my role. At Brussels Binder, I have been involved in various DEI initiatives that aim to improve communication and foster understanding. This focus on open communication ensures that every voice is heard and valued, creating a space where diverse ideas can flourish. I strongly believe in the power of continuous learning and remaining open to change, especially in the context of DEI. To this end, I have emphasized the importance of ongoing education on DEI topics within our team. This approach not only keeps us abreast of the latest developments and best practices in DEI but also reinforces our commitment to these principles in our daily interactions and decision-making processes. By embodying these values, I strive to #InspireInclusion across all levels of our association, from our teams to our leaders and members.

Ana’s Perspective: On the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion for associations

In the context of associations, DEI are more than just buzzwords; they are not only a moral choice but a strategic one, key to the sustainable growth and future readiness of associations. Embracing DEI will bring varied perspectives that are crucial for creative problem-solving and effective decision-making and will make an association more relevant, extending its reach and strengthening community ties. In addition: Associations that prioritize DEI are often viewed as forward-thinking and attract a diverse pool of talent and resources.

Ana’s Initiatives: Actions and Inspirations for fellow association leaders

To effectively embed DEI in our association, our approach begins with fostering a culture of active listening and empathy, ensuring every member feels valued and heard. This is complemented by inclusive communication practices, where language and styles are accessible and respectful to all. Education and awareness about DEI are continuously promoted through training sessions and workshops, deepening our members’ understanding of its benefits. Leadership plays a crucial role in this journey: by demonstrating inclusive behaviours in their actions and decisions, our leaders inspire others to follow suit.

A key initiative in our DEI journey has been the Male Allyship campaign, starting with a comprehensive survey and actively involving men in DEI discussions. Additionally, our DEI Working Group and the appointment of board members who are DEI experts highlight our top-down commitment to these values. Recognizing that the journey towards DEI is an evolving process, we acknowledge that there is still work to be done. However, DEI is already a fundamental element of our organizational culture, guiding our actions and decisions as we strive for ongoing improvement and growth.