Our mission

Roots Inspire is a leadership development platform by ethnic corporate leaders for ethnic aspiring leaders.

Our mission is to maximise the potential of ethnic talent and increase ethnic diversity in corporate leadership positions.

We facilitate today’s ethnic role models to help create the future ethnic role models that our society needs!


Join these leading employer brands and try out our programme

Hoe werkt het

Aspiring leaders

Aspiring leaders follow our one year programme with workshops, events and mentoring, whereby you self-select your mentor through our web portal.

Key benefits

  • Access an influential network
  • Prepare yourself for leadership
  • Demonstrate your ambition

Our mentors

Our mentors are corporate leaders coming from underrepresented ethnic groups themselves. They allocate their mentoring fee to a charity of their choice.

Key benefits

  • Share your experience
  • Learn from your mentees
  • Support your charity

Corporate partners

Our corporate partners offer our programme to their ethnic aspiring leaders. Roots Inspire provides guidance and materials for the selection process.

Key benefits

  • Show your commitment
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Build your leadership bench

Our portal in action

Our portal is where the magic happens: a safe environment where ethnic talent prepares themselves for future leadership.

Watch this 2-minute video to see what you can expect on our portal.


Farah WeannaraUnilever“Having a mentor is really great for your career development, but having a mentor who understands where you’re coming from,…, that’s priceless.”

Joseph PitkinCBRE“This programme is an essential part of your actual development. It’s something you do if you really want to progress and get the best out of yourself.”

Merve KaramanABN AMRO“Please join! There’s lots of amazing people here and there’s a lot of impact that you can make by talking to those people.”

Rachid AmriuiAlliander“Roots Inspire isn’t a roadmap to success for dummies, nor is it a programme towards becoming a CEO. I rather think of it as a school with a two-way mirror between you and your mentor.”

Rachid AmriuiAlliander“Roots Inspire isn’t a roadmap to success for dummies, nor is it a programme towards becoming a CEO. I rather think of it as a school with a two-way mirror between you and your mentor.”


Sergio Panday


I was born in Suriname to a Curacaoan mother and an Indian-Surinamese father. I moved to the Netherlands at a young age and was raised by a single mom on a secretary salary. The odds were not in favor of a successful 17 year long international banking career.

 It took me years to learn how to navigate a predominantly white corporate world and even more years to learn how to merge the two completely different worlds I was operating in. Once I found that balance, my connection with the corporate world improved and I found that having a different cultural background that offers fresh perspectives actually started to work in my favor.

I want to help ethnic minority talent speed up the process I went through, so they can maximise their potential in their careers and in society. I co-founded this platform with that single mission and my dream is that this platform will start to make waves of positive change to our society as a whole.

Melvin Spalburg


I was born in the Netherlands to parents who migrated from Suriname and spent my life in and between the Surinamese and Dutch cultures.

Growing up, there was the Caribbean, Surinamese warmth and laughter of my family around me. But I also took perspective of the Dutch directness in a professional environment. A versatile career covering various Supply Chain leadership roles has led me from Amsterdam, London to Singapore and Bangkok. I am passionate about sharing my experiences from living and working in different countries, with young professionals of colour.

Personally, I know how important it is to those with an ethnic diverse background to have at least one foot in each culture, to stay true to yourself and to be able to establish meaningful relations on both ends. This skill helps, if well-used, any professional to adapt & excel, while keeping close to one’s core values. There are many more like us, willing to share and inspire. Let Roots Inspire help you find them.