September 23, 2013
On Friday, 20 September, Workplace Pride organized a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels. Approximately 40 participants from different member organizations boarded a bus in the morning for the trip to Brussels where they spoke with organizations there dealing with LGBT rights. (see below for full article in Dutch)
Op vrijdag 20 september organiseerde Workplace Pride een bezoek aan het Europese Parlement. Ongeveer 40 deelnemers van verschillende lidorganisaties stapten ’s ochtends op de bus om in Brussel te spreken met organisaties die zich inzetten voor LHBT-rechten.
De eerste presentatie werd verzorgd door Sophie Aujean van ILGA Europe, een internationale LHBTI organisatie (de ‘I’ staat voor intersex). Zij draagt in haar werk bij aan het verkrijgen van daadwerkelijke rechtsbescherming tegen discriminatie in het onderwijs en de gezondheidszorg. Sophie: ‘ILGA brengt 408 Europese LHBTI organisaties bijeen, waaronder COC Nederland. Er zijn in Europa slechts vier landen, waar ILGA niet vertegenwoordigd is; dat zijn Vaticaanstad, Liechtenstein, Monaco en Andorra. Wij hechten groot belang aan het leggen van contacten met bedrijven. Deze kunnen namelijk binnen Europa veel invloed uitoefenen en zijn een interessante factor zijn in de strijd voor gelijke rechten.’ ILGA wil daarom graag het contact met WPP levend houden.
Daarna vertelde Andrej Lavtar over het werk van de EU LGBT Intergroup. Andrej is assistent van parlementslid Jelko Kacin uit Slovenië, die vooral actief is op het gebied van LHBT zaken in de West Balkan. Aan de hand van voorbeelden illustreerde hij hoe moeilijk het is om bijvoorbeeld een Gay Pride parade te organiseren. EU parlementariërs doen hun best door activisten te adviseren en politieke druk uit te oefenen op regeringen. Daarnaast zijn zij vaak zelf aanwezig om deel te nemen aan deze evenementen.
Benjamin Desurmont is voorzitter van Égalité, het interne LHBT netwerk van de EU organisaties. Net als bij de meeste WPP leden, werkt hij vrijwillig en alleen in eigen tijd aan LHBT onderwerpen. Hij sprak ons dan ook tijdens zijn lunchpauze. Zijn conclusie was dat ondanks de EU regels voor LHBT gelijkheid de organisatie intern nog een weg te gaan heeft met het toepassen ervan. Op de foto (r) Simone Zwaga en Boudewijn Moolenaar, die de discussie leidden.
Na de lunch volgde een rondleiding door het indrukwekkende gebouw en een afsluitende borrel. Veel dank aan gastheer Roger Chadwick van het EP en aan het organiserende team John Boekee, Sonja Töpfer en Tom Bijlmer voor een goed programma en perfect verlopen dag!
September 11, 2013
During Workplace Pride’s 2013 International Conference, leaders from member organizations spoke about the importance of continued efforts towards greater visibility of LGBT people in the workplace.
Workplace Pride’s Connecting Networks Events are specifically designed to bring the Foundation’s members together to exchange ideas and best practices and is one of the main benefits of membership. In October, Connecting Networks’s host Philips, is breaking new ground by exploring the, sometimes controversial, topic of marketing to the LGBT community and how its approach can be used for other LGBT network applications.
For more information, see the event listing below.
‘Connecting Networks’ talks about LGBT Marketing:
Did you know that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers are much more brand loyal than straight consumers? And that in Europe alone, 55 million LGBT consumers represent over $ 2 trillion in purchasing power?
Leading up to International Coming Out Day, Philips PRIDE is organizing a Marketing event around LGBT Consumers. We are all LGBT consumers, so we are all part of the target audience. What works for us and what doesn’t? And looking at how leading companies target LGBT consumers, can we apply these lessons to our own LGBT networks as well? How can we do better marketing for ourselves, or for the companies we work for?
Connecting Networks Event
Philips has invited other companies (like Unilever) to talk during this Connecting Network event on how brands can increase their ‘pink’ market share. We will look at great examples, and want to generate ideas about possible concepts for LGBT Marketing. We will have breakout sessions to make sure we have a really interactive session. And of course we close the afternoon with drinks.
Join us, and bring your Marketing colleague!
Join us, no matter if you are straight or LGBT. And make sure to bring somebody from your Marketing department along as well, as a straight ally.
When: Wednesday October 9th, starting at 15:00h.
Where: Philips Headquarters, Amstelplein 2 in Amsterdam (next to Amstel station).
We have limited seats, please register latest by October 7th by sending an e-mail to Philips.email@example.com
September 6, 2013
Workplace Pride Website Updated: To keep up with changing technology, Workplace Pride has switched to a new content management system called “WordPress” for its website. WordPress allows quicker and easier changes to the website meaning the Board and staff can communicate better with the Foundation’s members. In addition, WordPress allows easier viewing on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones while keeping the basic design of the website.
For information regarding submitting articles or for advertising on the site, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
National Coming Out Day Executive Round Table 11/10/2013
For the second year in a row Workplace Pride is planning an Executive Roundtable meeting to celebrate National Coming Out Day on October 11th. This meeting is arranged exclusively for the top level executives of Workplace Pride members and their guests who are potential members. Last year’s event, held at the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, provided fertile ground for discussion.
This is a unique form in which the decision-makers of those organizations truly concerned with LGBT advancement in the workplace can get together for peer-to-peer discussions. It is an open and candid vehicle for the exchange of best practices, discussion of challenges and planning for the future.
This year’s event will be held in the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam. Each Workplace Pride Member will be asked to send one top-level executive to the event which will be by invitation only. The theme of this year’s event will be “Creating the Workplace Pride International LGBT Benchmark: Making the Declaration Count”. The dinner event on Friday 11 October will be led by Mr. Harry van Dorenmalen, Chairman IBM Europe.
For more information and to make sure that your executive is represented at the Round Table contact: email@example.com
Dow Benelux Signs Declaration of Amsterdam
On Wednesday, 4 September, Dow Benelux became the 16th Workplace Pride Member to sign the Declaration of Amsterdam. The Declaration was signed by Mr. Willem Huisman, Chairman of the Board of Dow Benelux in a ceremony that took place at Dow’s large production facility in Terneuzen, Netherlands. In attendance were many members of the GLAD Network (Gays, Lesbians and Allies at Dow) as well as other officials of the company.
“This is a significant event, because it is yet another major employer that stands behind the principles of the Declaration” said David Pollard, Executive Director of Workplace Pride who represented the Foundation at the event. Dow’s mix of many production-related employees from a number of cultures and backgrounds makes the promotion of a more LGBT friendly working environment more of a challenge, but the company is determined to put it’s best foot forward to do so.
For more information about GLAD contact the site implementation leader for the Benelux Maarten Hermans:firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman of the Board Dow Benelux: Willem Huisman
Workplace Pride recently interviewed Charlotte van den Hoven van Genderen (working at Achmea) and Boudewijn Moolenaar (working at UWV) about Workplace Pride’s Young@Work initiative. Charlotte and Boudewijn are Program Manager’s for Young@Work and give a unique insight to this topic:
Charlotte van den Hoven van Genderen
Why is it that Workplace Pride is reaching out to younger LGBT people?
We feel that there is a new generation LGBT in the workplace that needs a voice. I personally experience a difference between the ‘older’ and the ‘younger’ generation in ways of, for example, activism and visibility. Where generations before me really had to fight for there rights (written rights/policy etc.) my generation is (formally) accepted as LGBT in the workplace. This needs a different approach.
What do you see at the biggest challenge to young LGBT people in the workplace?
With my previous answer in mind, I would like to point out that because this formal acceptance we can do a lot more as LGBT employees. Most companies have a LGBT policy where there is given room and a platform for LGBT. I think you can contribute on an employee/social level and on a business level.
Even though most companies have LGBT policy there are still people who don’t feel safe in their work environment. By being visible as LGBT and providing a platform you can reach out and you are more approachable for employees who are dealing with issues on a LGBT level, personal and/or in the workplace. We can show the business what LGBT can bring and contribute to the business. You can think of, customer approach, special marketing, creativity on a different level etc. etc. This is a point of view that refers o all kinds of diversity in society, not only LGBT, for example cultural diversity.
the other hand we face a challenge. I personally get a lot of reactions of colleagues and friends where they ask me: Why do we need a platform like this? You are not discriminated right? I thought everybody can be gay or bi these days? These thoughts are common for the ‘non’ LGBT part of society. While we know that there is still a big part of the LGBT community that is not comfortable at the workplace and may not come out, what of course will effect their personal health and the business as well. So we still need this awareness, just on another level.
What would you say to young LGBT students just looking for a job. How should they approach their sexuality with a prospective employer?
For me personally it was never a problem. When I was looking for a job I was open about me having a girlfriend at that time. It could have been a boyfriend and I would have also mentioned it when it would have come up. My advice would be, just be open if asked or if you want to mention it, mention it. It will only show your life experience, coming out is still an issue for most people, so I think it will make you a stronger candidate.
What does the Young@Work program include? When will it take place?
This year’s program will include the participation of the young participants in all the big events of the ‘I can be myself @ work’ campaign (gaypride, coming out day, photo exposition etc). In december we will evaluate all the experiences, input and idea’s from all the young participants in a brainstorm session to develop a broader young@work program for the year 2014.
We organise a meeting every month with all the participants to discuss themes and their experiences of the workfloor at the companies where they work. The outcome of these meetings will also be input for the brainstorm session in December.
Do you think that organizations can do anything in particular to be more welcoming to young LGBT people? If so, what?
Yes I think they can do a lot of things. Organizations can start by creating an active diversity policy. This policy should be promoted actively with all employees. The organization can initiate starting a network for the LGBT’s and a network for young employees. These networks should work together to combine each other’s strengths and to create a platform in the organization where young LGBT employees can explore their talents and develop their careers.
Organizations could also actively promote their diversity policies in the recruitment of new employees.
What would be your advice for colleagues (either LGBT or straight) when confronting someone they think may be LGBT but not out of the closet?
Coming out is always a personal decision. If somebody is not ready you cannot force him or her. But If you think your colleague is very much doubting about what to do, you can always talk to him/her about it (in a careful matter) and just ask what their doubts are. And maybe you can take away some of these doubts and help him/her to get closer to coming out.
For more information about Workplace Pride’s “Young@Work” program write to email@example.com