15 November 2021
Press release courtesy of KLM
KLM signed Workplace Pride’s Declaration of Amsterdam on Friday, 12 November. With the signing of this document, KLM commits to developing a working environment where openness and equality are fundamental and where there is an explicit awareness of diversity, inclusion and the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Declaration of Amsterdam was signed on Friday by KLM’s President & CEO, Pieter Elbers, and executive vice president of Human Resources & Industrial Relations, Miriam Kartman. The ceremony took place in the simulator facility at Schiphol-Oost, where cockpit and cabin crew do evacuation training. The signing also coincided with the 10th anniversary of KLM Over the Rainbow, a networking organisation promoting diversity and inclusion at KLM. The signing of the Declaration of Amsterdam marks a new and important step towards consolidating LGBTIQ+ inclusion at KLM.
The signing was also attended by Marjan van Loon, President & CEO of Shell Nederland, and Resi Becker, director of Mail Nederland at PostNL. KLM actively shares best practices with these companies. One important aim of signing the Declaration of Amsterdam is to join hands with Workplace Pride and its partners to promote diversity and inclusion not only in the company but also beyond the bounds of the organisation.
KLM is the 36th major (inter)national organisation to sign the Declaration of Amsterdam Together with Shell, Post NL, ABN AMRO, KPN, and other companies, KLM wants to permanently contribute to such issues as an inclusive corporate culture, safeguarding the interests of LGBTIQ+ colleagues on the work floor and active cooperation between colleagues with different personal backgrounds.
“KLM operates in an international environment, which means we employ people from diverse cultures and with many different backgrounds. As one of the nation’s biggest employers, our workforce also reflects the broader population of the Netherlands. We feel it is important that everyone is able to add value to our company in their own way; that everyone, regardless of their background, culture, religion, or orientation, feels heard, acknowledged, and supported by management, but more importantly by their closest colleagues. For me personally and for KLM as a whole, I believe that the combined strength of the different cultures contributes to the strength of our company and is of great significance to our customers, who are equally diverse.”
Pieter Elbers – President & CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
“We’re proud that KLM’s board has signed the Declaration of Amsterdam, thereby reaffirming its commitment and actively acknowledging the value of diversity and inclusion at KLM. Together with Workplace Price and the KLM board, we can continue to build up awareness, research, and training to achieve a more inclusive working environment. We see this undersigning as a vote of support and as an encouragement to keep up the hard work we have been doing for the past ten years and to be an example of diversity and inclusion in our own industry and beyond.”
Diederik Oelrich Winkelaar – Chair of KLM Over the Rainbow
Joining hands towards an inclusive work floor
One of the key objectives of KLM and Over the Rainbow is to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of people’s working lives. Over the past year, KLM and Over the Rainbow pursued a highly effective policy, which focused on “inclusive allies”. These are people who aren’t personally members of the LGBTIQ+ community, but who are actively and visibly committed to diversity and the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ colleagues. During the recent Workplace Pride Leadership Awards Gala, KLM Captain Lars den Hartigh won the Most Effective Ally Award. This is an acknowledgment of the approach adopted by KLM and Over the Rainbow and reaffirms their shared objective to be trailblazers in the field of diversity and inclusion on the work floor. This approach also confirms that a truly inclusive work floor can only be achieved through close cooperation.
KLM and KLM Over The Rainbow have spent years making diversity and inclusion part of working life at KLM. Employees can request personal support from KLM Over the Rainbow and the KLM management if they need help, for instance when coming out or if they face expatriation to countries where LGBTIQ+ rights are not upheld. Moreover, KLM’s “people strategy” stipulates that employees should experience KLM as a diverse and inclusive company. KLM also has a D&I Circle, which includes a number of KLM executives, who meet every quarter to discuss developments and progress with regard to D&I.
The effort made by KLM and KLM Over The Rainbow has, in the past four years, resulting in a 48-percentage-point increase on the Workplace Pride Global Benchmark. This is an annual survey, run by KLM Over the Rainbow in conjunction with D&I stakeholders and the HR department, to assess the state of LGBTIQ+ inclusion at KLM. KLM’s score of 68.3% on this Global Benchmark is high compared to other major organisations in the airline industry.
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