The German Diversity Day takes place every year and is a initiative of Charta der Vielfalt e.V.. Companies and organizations across Germany participate with a wide range of online and offline activities on diversity – whether for their own employees or the general public. The aim is to bring diversity in all its dimensions into focus in the workplace. This year, the 9th German Diversity Day (#DDT21) will take place on May 18 and all actions will be collected digitally under the hashtag #VielfaltVerbindet. All further information about the day of action can be found on the website of Charta der Vielfalt e.V..
We are in!
We will guide you through our seven HOW TO guides for #DDT21 on our website and social media. The guides highlight social changes from a business perspective. They show options for action that put companies and organizations on the safe side while also taking into account the needs of employees. Gain insights into topics such as “Same-sex marriage” “The third gender option” or learn something about gender-inclusive language with our “Sprechen Sie LGBT*IQ” guide.
HOW TO – our lgbt*iq guides
HOW TO NO. 1 | GERMAN
Same-sex Marriage and What it Means for Businesses
Dear businesspeople and other interested parties, we would like to provide you below with a short guide regarding the changes you can expect in everyday business life as a result of marriage equality and how you can respond to them.
HOW TO NO. 2 | GERMAN & English
UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business
A theoretical overview of the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business and practical suggestions for implementation in everyday business life.
HOW TO NO. 3 | GERMAN
Do You Speak LGBT*IQ?
Language is much more than just a way to express ourselves – it’s also a mirror to our society. It tells us who is truly considered a full member and who is only included as a footnote. If you want to know how everyone can be included linguistically, you will find practical everyday answers and examples in this guide.
HOW TO No. 4 | GERMAN & ENGLISH
LGBT*IQ FOR BEGINNERS. WHY DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE PAYS OFF. A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS.
The perfect piece of reading for all employers who have understood that they will meet LGBT*IQ topics all over their company. A beginner’s guide from A as in acronym (what does LGBT*IQ actually mean?) to Z as in zero disturbances concerning personnel development. It will then be clear why the commitment to equal opportunities in the workplace is financially and culturally worthwhile and how diversity can materialize into minds and structures.
HOW TO No. 5 | GERMAN & ENGLISH
LGBT*IQ FOR EMPLOYEES. LGBT*IQ – AND YOU? COMING OUT FOR INSIDERS.
With this guide, we primarily address members of the LGBT*IQ community who wish to appear with their whole self in their everyday work. The guide provides answers to important questions and practical tips for coming out at the workplace.
HOW TO No. 6 | GERMAN & ENGLISH
ALLYSHIP. ALLIES AT WORK. A GUIDE FOR LGBT*IQ ALLIES IN EVERDAY WORKING LIFE
Anyone can be a LGBT*IQ ally anytime and anywhere – that is the ideal case! This guide is primarily aimed at the situation of employees. We show, where they can find other LGBT*IQ allies in their company and give them concrete recommendations for successful cooperation.
HOW TO No. 7 | german
THE THIRD OPTION AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION IN COMPANIES.
What does gender mean? What is the introduction of a third gender option all about? And what does it mean for employees and employers? In this guide, we have collected answers – as well as measures to implement the law in companies and create an open work culture.
Campaign #QueerAtWork for IDAHOBIT
The International Day against Homophobia, Bi-, Inter- and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) has been celebrated annually on May 17 since 2005 to highlight discrimination against the LGBT*IQ community, to raise awareness of existing inequality structures and to take a united stand for diversity and tolerance. May 17 marks the day in 1990 when the WHO removed homosexuality from the diagnostic code for diseases. For this year’s IDAHOBIT, we are calling on all LGBTIQ employees, regardless of their company, to post a portrait photo on their social media channels with the hashtag #QueerAtWork.
How can i participate in the Campaign?
- Inform and approach LGBT*IQ people from your own network and beyond to make them aware of the campaign
- Create a portrait photo using the templates, whether printed out or digitally using a tablet. (Be sure to clarify in advance whether you may use the employer’s company logo along with the template. Instead, you can use the company name or use the template without company information.)
- Send us your photo and signed consent form to use your photo as part of the campaign until May 13.
- Post your own campaign photo along with the statement on May 17 2021, 9:00 am (CEST) with the respective hashtags and taggings on whatever social media channels you use
All the information, including the statement and template for the action, as well as the consent form, can be found summarized here as a download.
#[Diversity-Hashtag of your company]
#[Diversity-Hashtag of your corporate network]
PROUT AT WORK
LinkedIn: @PROUT AT WORK-Foundation
If applicable, own company
Position yourself and your company as a supporter of the campaign and call on employees and executives to participate. Use the campaign to effectively advocate against LGBT*IQ discrimination internally and externally. The campaign is based on an idea by Magenta Pride, Deutsche Telekom’s LGBT*IQ employee network, and is supported by it.
Acceptance not tolerance
Dr. Sabine Nikolaus,
Country Managing Director Germany,
“We at Boehringer Ingelheim support a culture of inclusion, diversity and appreciation, where people’s differences are valued and respected. We want our people to feel comfortable, so that they can unfold their full innovative power.”
Let’s talk about intersectionality, baby – A personal report
“There is no such thing as single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives”, says Audres Lorde and is absolutely right. The lines of life are different and varied and no dimension of diversity stands on its own. What does multiple discrimination mean in everyday life and why can privileges and oppression not be offset? A report from a quota refugee.
Executive Assistant to CHRO,
“For me, intersectionality is a description of the reality I live in, a concept that has never been a concept in my life. But it clearly shows me, that forms of discrimination never stand on their own and if we do not see them, we can not solve them.”
for more togetherness during covid-19
Global Junior Brand Manager,
“We want to be there for everyone, anytime – especially during this challenging time. This is true externally with our brand NIVEA and also true internally with our network Be You. During Covid-19 being there for everyone has become more difficult, this is why we implemented an online and offline pride week #PRIDEINSIDE in order to show We are here for you, no matter who you are and who you love.”
The DIVA Survey: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020
As part of the first ever Lesbian Visibility Week, DIVA Media Group teamed up with Kantar to bring you The DIVA Survey: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020. The results of this brand new piece of research capture the diversity of our community, highlight the unique challenges we face as women-loving women and shine a light on an often under-researched group.
Business Analyst and Global Head,
“There were many really interesting findings within the research: Firstly, the disparity of visibility in the LGBTQI community. Secondly, the differences across age in terms of the language we use and the age at which people come out and thirdly, the experiences of LGBTQI parents and their children.”
Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer,
“The different diversity dimensions of Diversity and Inclusion at Sodexo mean so much to all of us at the company, they represent our heart and the people who are the core of our organisation and all of our different traits, background and abilities. They help us to understand who we are and what we need to do ongoing to be sure people feel they are included and belong.”
Moderation: Yara HOffmann
Founder & Executive Director
of the Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ)
“Intersectionality is not an option, it is the only solution to overcome oppression and eradicate social inequality. Intersectionality is easy to implement: it means fighting discrimination within discrimination, making inequalities within inequalities visible, and empowering minorities within minorities”.
Education consultant, anti-discrimination and diversity trainer and trainer for the theatre of the oppressed
“To incorporate intersectional and queer_feminist perspectives into my work means for me: I am always learning new things and I am constantly changing and questioning my perspectives.”
Trainer and Activist
“I fight for the perception and centering of human rights, needs and demands of people pushed to the fringes by our society. In my professional, I focus on, racism, sexism, classicism, heteronormativity, bisexuality and north/south hierarchies in inequality and injustice Marginalized. The intersectional view of the entanglement of inequalities both in biographies and in social structures is particularly important to me.”
Senior Associate Diversity & Inclusion,
PwC Deutschland GmbH WPG
“With D&I, it ultimately depends on inclusion – acceptance and the respectful and successful coexistence of the various components of a given group of people or organization. Reaching this goal is not a sure-fire success, so people should deal with the peculiarities of these different groups of people, get to know them, understand and act accordingly. Otherwise there is a risk of splitting what should unite us, which would endanger us in the long term.”
“I want to live in a world, in which features that distinguish us do not lead to discrimination. In other words, in which it does not matter how we look, where we come from and what prerequisites we have. Here, I see the concepts of intersectionality and personal responsibility as central to standing up for this vision.”
Panel: inclusive language
Moderation: Yara HOffmann
Diversity & Inclusion Program Managerin,
“Together with a project group of dedicated volunteers I worked on a guide for inclusive language. In this way, we are covering many perspectives and involving the employees to whom we are giving these recommendations from the very beginning. The current focus of the guide is on the topic of gender-sensitive language, further aspects such as racism and disability will follow step by step.”
Head of CoE Life Balance & Disability,
“Language changes culture and culture affects language. In my case, the use of inclusive language has raised my awareness on how I communicate. I do make a more conscious effort in order to avoiding the exclusion by my communication. This also includes the topic of barrier free communication, for example for people with (dis)abilities.”
“There is a turkish saying: “The tongue is sharper than a sword.” I am very aware of this, when I write my texts and columns. What effect do my words have on my counterpart? Am I at eye level? What is my intention? I ask myself these questions as a journalist.”
Head of Content OTTO Corporate Communication OTTOCOMS, Co-Founder & Co-Project Manager of the OTTO-Team “Gendergerechte Sprache”
“In society and in some companies we are on the right track to a fair language that includes everyone. At OTTO, we are pushing the issue of gender language forward, because for us it is not just a * or a fashionable. Gender-appropriate language includes everyone and doesn’t exclude anyone.”
Panel: queer representation in the media
Moderation: Tobias Reckmann
Head of HR-Strategy, Innovation & Diversity,
Deutsche Bahn AG
“For me, it is elementary to anchor diversity both top-down and bottom-up and to pursue a strategic and cultural approach. That is why diversity is also part of the approach of our HR director and is taken into account in all measures and decisions – eg. succession planning and talent management. It is also important to me, that our employees can actively contribute and receive support – this happens as part of DB’s internal diversity initiatives, but also through cooperation with external networks.”
“Stereotypes simplify marketing. Good, non-discriminatory marketing is much more demanding. You always have to work a little harder and think more intensively.”
Co-Founder & Managing Director,
Achtung! Broadcast GmbH
“Stereotypes are antagonists of diversity, but (unfortunately) human. We can all catch ourselves pigeonholing people according to our own rules – it’s just so beautifully simple. What helps: Reflection – break the stereotype – we have to rethink our own patterns.”
Pressesprecher & Co-Founder MORE*,
OTTO GmbH & Co KG
“Those who use clichés over the long term, contribute to the solidification of social prejudices. And yet we shouldn’t always take everything so seriously – and sometimes be able to laugh at ourselves. Stereotypes and diversity do not have to be mutually exclusive. It is more a question of dosage and packaging.”
Panel: breaking the glass ceiling
Moderatorin: Dr. Eva Voss
Vorstandsvorsitzende der Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)
“Grundlage für mein Handeln ist den eigenen Weg zu finden, als Mathematikerin, CEO, Mobilitätsexpertin und Genderaktivistin. Und diesen Weg finde ich, weil ich Wegbegleiter*innen hatte und habe, die mich dabei ermutigen und unterstützen.”
Vorstandsvorsitzende des Charta der Vielfalt e. V.
„Hinterfragt und brecht gesellschaftliche Rollenbilder und Denkmuster. Seid unbequem. Überzeugt Allies. Nur so können wir die gläserne Decke durchbrechen und Chancengleichheit erreichen.“
Baloise Life (Liechtenstein) AG
“To break the glass ceiling long-term and sustainably, we all need to work on our conscious and unconscious biases.”
“Bleib wie du bist! Wir Frauen müssen uns nicht verstellen oder besonders maskulin sein, um Erfolg zu haben. Wir können unsere Stärken zu unserem Vorteil nutzen und mit emphatischem Führungsstil Teams leiten und diese zu Glanzleistungen bringen.”
Project Manager Esports Community,
“Sich für Diversity einzusetzen war schon immer People Business. Ich stelle immer wieder fest, dass es zuerst um Verbindung und den Menschen im eigentlichen Sinne geht und es erst die persönliche Ebene benötigt, bevor es um Arbeitsthemen gehen kann. Ich sehe wie Projekte in der Praxis ins Stocken geraten, weil dieser Punkt nicht genügend beachtet wird. Kluge Digitalisierung kann uns hlefen, für unsere Anliegen jeweils Verbündete zu finden, Netzwerke aufzubauen und zu pflegen. Uns verbindet mehr als uns trennt.”
talk: LGBT*IQ and racism
Lorenz Narku Laing,
“It is perfectly clear that measures in the fight against discrimination always benefit those affected by different realities. The fight against heterosexism cannot be thought without also fighting against racism. Furthermore, it is important that both, in the racism-affected communities and in the LGBTQI * community consciously think about blind spots.”
The power of collaboration
Employee networks play an important role in inclusion. While each network has its own specific goals and interests in mind, the networks can achieve even more impact in the company through further networking and selective cooperation, when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Interactively, we investigate the advantages of networking networks, how this networking can succeed and which best practices exist.
“All diversity dimensions have to be thought together, because only then we can achieve real inclusion. Through the cooperation of LGBT+ networks and women’s networks, the D&I agenda can be pushed forward together, for example.”
Leader Strategic Initiatives,
EY Strategy and Transactions EMEIA
“Women as well as LGBTI need others to put their ambitions into action and to bring diversity & inclusion forward. It is perfectly obvious that we have to support each other as allies, also because a part of the LGBTI Community are women.”
the Dimensions of diversity and stereotypes in diversity communication
Communication on diversity, especially imagery, often solidifies stereotypes that we actually want to break down. The disabled person is shown in a wheelchair, people with an international background by people of color. There are also classic stereotypes for queer people. How can we communicate about diversity in a sensitive and inclusive manner without resorting to the visible (and often wrong) dimensions? How do you achieve good diversity communication that appeals to everyone?
“The diversity dimensions are both cure and necessity at the same time. We need them for a KPI-driven diversity management. At the same time, we must not make the mistake of reducing the desired “mindset diversity” to measurable and comprehensible dimensions. Because what the dimensions do not show is inclusion.”
Innovation is driven by Diversity – how can we drive Inclusion?
Diversity is the Mix. Inclusion is making the Mix work. But how can we create a culture of inclusion?
In our workshop, we would like to exchange best practises with the participants and generate new ideas. How can Diversity Networks/Employee Ressource Groups work together? How do we bring the dimensions together? How do we manage to see employees as individuals with all their facets? What can individuals contribute?
Head of Diversity & Inclusion Germany,
“Ultimately, it is important that we see and value our employees as individuals. In all their facets, not just in one. Therefore, we at Boehringer Ingelheim focus on a culture of inclusion that let people be themselves.”
Our new team members: Sandra Stadler, Frauke Becker and Philipp Rossi. Read more about our new employees.
“Trying to change something is always better than just letting it be”.
This maxime from Inga Beale not just represents a business principle, but is also the formula for success when it comes to inclusive and welcoming people management. In 2014 – after 327 years of company history – Beale was the first woman at the top of the insurance and reinsurance company Lloyd’s of London. She opposed the corporate environment that had been shaped by straight white men, and created a culture that is inclusive and welcomes members from the LGBT*IQ community. At the 2019 dinner night of the PROUT AT WORK foundation she talked about corporate responsibility and how companies can change societies for the better.
For the fourth time, the PROUT AT WORK Foundation invited senior executives from major German and international enterprises and institutions as well as the auditing firm Ernst & Young for their joint DINNER BEYOND BUSINESS in Düsseldorf. Attendees included representatives from Metro AG Continental, BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, RWE, Google, UniCredit Bank, Nestlé, OTTO, thyssenkrupp, KPMG, Commerzbank and IBM.
The high-profile company representatives enjoyed the view over the Rhine from the GAP15 skyscraper in Düsseldorf while having a first-class dinner in a casual ambience and listening to the inspiring talk from Lloyd’s director Inga Beale.
“Taunts” are defined as the exchange of teasing comments. This is also how the lyrics of fan songs of the football team of Brighton & Hove Albion, South England, are referred to. However, these lyrics are really homophobic. Brighton is considered to be particularly tolerant of LGBT*IQ, and that’s why many people choose to live there. Calling these lyrics “taunts” is just an excuse for people to say things they should not say – with this statement Beale started her dinner talk.
“When there were such songs in the 2013/14 football season, some fans and also some of the filmmakers and police officers found them funny. But for others, they were scary and offensive.”
That was five years ago. “Today, of course, it’s better,” says Beale and winks to the audience. She receives ironic laughter – because everyone knows that not much has changed since then.
“The same thing happened again in a match against Brighton this month, although a referee in France had just interrupted a football match because of a homophobic banner in the fan block,” Beale says.
Of course, it is usually just the minority of the fans standing out with such homophobic slogans. “But it’s often the same minority that also spreads racist slogans, and makes the majority of visitors feel uncomfortable – although they actually love being in the stadium, because they are interested in the competition and the sport, regardless of whether any of the players might be gay.
Nevertheless, there is still no active gay football player in the UK. “Why come out if it does not bring anything?,” asks Inga Beale, the question haunting many gay sportsmen.
Similarities in sports and business
Beale does not start her talk with a soccer story by chance: How athletes are treated in sports competitions really represents how employees are treated in the competitive business world. “Is acceptance and inclusivity in business actually better than in sports?”
For Inga Beale, who began her career in 1982 as an underwriter for international reinsurance at the London-based Prudential Assurance Company, answering such questions is not all about gut feeling. It’s about numbers and facts. As a member of the Stonewall’s Development Council she has access to data that is regularly being collected on equality and inclusion in international working life. So, of course, Beale refers to some statistics:
“Two thirds of LGBT*IQ are convinced that there is homophobia in sports, and 70 percent of football supporters have experienced discrimination. At the same time, 18 percent were confronted with negative comments from colleagues at work. About a third of them therefore hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Although Beale led the OUTstanding list of the top LGBT*IQ business personalities last October and was first on the Financial Times top 100 queer executives list in 2015, she also had to deal with such negative experiences at the beginning of her career.
“When I was in my twenties, I almost left my company. I was disillusioned.” For many years she tried to hide herself, kept distance and even told her longtime partner not to call her at work so she would not come out inadvertently. In 2008, she took her fate into her own hands and came out. “Leading two parallel lives made me sick.” This was like a heavy burden falling off her shoulders.
Dare to change
In 2014, Inga Beale was appointed as the first female CEO at Lloyd’s and became the main driver for creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in the international insurance industry.
In 2015, for example, she launched the Dive-In Festival as a global initiative to promote diversity in this industry. The goal of this event is to give employees the opportunity to tap into their full potential and, at the same time, show decision-makers the business case for looking beyond the traditional definition of diversity.
Since then, the three-day festival in September has been a platform for contemplation and conversations around gender, age, cultural background, sexual orientation, social mobility, beliefs, caring responsibilities, mental health, and physical constraints related to talent development and professional growth.
The truth is: “People who are afraid can never give their best,” says Inga Beale as it turns dark over Düsseldorf in front of the windows of the E & Y floor. Creating an inclusive work environment should therefore not only be a top priority for every executive, but for all employees.
Those who consistently pursue this goal can also change a huge sector like the insurance industry within only 5 years towards being significantly inclusive and LGBT*IQ welcoming.
“I was the first CEO at Lloyd’s that talked about LGBT*IQ. Before there has always been a lack of women and everyone was white. People started to giggle when I used the word “lesbian”, for example. But I kept doing that until my staff used those words themselves and later started their own networks.” And Beale goes even further: What works in one of the most important international economic sectors can also be transferred to national societal structures.
“If global companies that operate in countries where there’s discriminations against lesbians, gays and transgender people would strongly commit to inclusion and acceptance, they could change the core of societies even there,” Beale closed her speech.