12 January 2022
Dear Workplace Pride members and friends,
First of all, let me wish you all a great start to the new year.
2021 was a huge challenge for most of us with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic impacting every element of our lives and work. Despite this, Workplace Pride was able to make significant progress that has benefited our members and the LGBTIQ+ community. Milestones for the Foundation have included:
Our conference in Hungary brought together business, diplomatic, and local civil society organisations on the difficult topic of how to create inclusive workplaces for LGBTIQ+ people in a hostile political environment.
The Academic conference organised by Workplace Pride’s special professor for LGBT inclusion at Leiden University, Dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn, was held in May of last year. This seminal event brought together scholars from around the world on the topics of LGBT workplace inclusion and was the culmination of the first 5 years of the Chair, which I am happy to say will be extended for another 5 years.
Summer saw our first truly Hybrid International Conference held in June which pushed the boundaries of what is possible with the difficult backdrop of the pandemic. The event brought together many prominent speakers such as Jim Flittering, CEO of our member DOW Chemicals, and Lisa van Ginneken, the first transgender member of the Netherlands Parliament.
In August the Foundation was invited by the organizers of Copenhagen World Pride to coordinate their Workplace Inclusion Day which created a forum for businesses and other LGBTIQ+ civil society organisations from across Europe and the world to take a deep dive into workplace issues from many new perspectives.
And last but certainly not least, was our memorable Leadership Awards Gala which brought many of our stakeholders together to highlight their contribution to our movement. It was truly an unforgettable evening!
All of this was done within the context of a significant increase of more than 25% in the number of Foundation members and everything that this entails from an organizational standpoint.
For 2022 we will certainly continue to push the boundaries for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion around the world.
In the first quarter of the year, we will be launching our white paper on LGBT corporate advocacy, we will be organising a conference for our members in Dubai and will plan webinars on various topics that support more inclusive workplaces.
The foundation’s “jewel in the crown”, the 2022 Global Benchmark survey, opens for submissions on February 1st. and we will be making this valuable tool even easier to access for those employers wishing to make progress on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.
We will also continue our work on the important Free to be me project, which is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and which supports progress for our community in 14 countries in the global south.
Looking further ahead, our international conference is planned for June of this year while a groundbreaking conference in Japan tackling the issues of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion and beyond in a unique environment is planned for the 2nd half of 2022
Workplace Pride’s special programs for women, Young people, technically focused LGBTIQ+ people and Academia will be ‘re-imagined’ as “Workplace Pride Communities” with the goal of providing them more structure and, realise greater impact for the specific groups that they represent.
And of course, our major focus of working together with our members via dedicated relationship managers and through our supportive Learning and Development program will continue and even be expanded in the coming year…. always taking into account the priorities of the LGBTIQ+ community and the many stakeholders that we work with.
In closing, I’d like to add that, while the pandemic is far from over, a new workplace reality is on the horizon. And while LGBTIQ+ communities and individuals continue to be threatened around the world, we also continue to make tangible progress and we should not forget that.
The Workplace Pride Staff, Board, and member organisations will continue to work hard in 2022 to improve LGBTIQ+ inclusion, transforming workplaces worldwide and we invite you to join us on this very important journey.
We wish you a Happy New Year from Workplace Pride!”