Women@WorkplacePride is striving for more queer women in leadership roles. Many conversations reveal that women in influential positions are still not pushing for these positions. We also notice that within the work place activities, the lesbian and bisexual agenda is less visible than the gay and transgender agendas. We want to do further research on this and talk with inspiring influential people in order to bring about change. There are already interesting figureheads who can inspire lesbian and bisexual women at the top and therefore serve as role models.
To be successful, queer women leaders are pressured to present themselves in exactly the same way as their heterosexual/cis-gendered peers, betraying nothing in their behaviour or communication that challenges or threatens the hetero- and or cis-normative status quo (Fine, 2017). Besides that, the conventional Western leadership trope of ambition, strength, power, and assertiveness is imbued with masculinity. This leads to male (and trans-male) leaders subscribing to a model of masculinity. However, the expectations of female (and trans-female) leaders are more complex to navigate, as femininity must be apparent so that they are intelligible as a woman to their followers. There appears to be an obvious and ironic double bind for some lesbian leaders as a lesbian might not be viewed as a ‘real’ woman but may embody non-traditional leadership (Fassinger, 2008). It can be challenging for aspiring leaders who are queer women to thrive within a heteronormative and cis-normative culture if there is dissonance between their embodiment of leadership and expectations of what a leader should look like.
- Outreach, co-operation & networking among Queer Women (expanding our community)
- Raising awareness by exchanging information and knowledge on Queer diversity and inclusion within the Women@WorkPlacePride Community
- Making Queer Women professionals & leaders more visible in the workplace
- Support Workplace Pride members
- Strengthening the community by organising at least two times a year a joint activity. This can be a webinar or a live session at a location.
- Actively expanding the women community – a representative from each WPP member
- Make queer women leadership more visible
- Visiting LGBTIQ+ communities in companies and sharing D&I experiences to discuss their good D&I practices
There are 3 topics (goals) that we want to develop (further):
- Working from patriarchal (male) organisational structures¹
It is about cultural change. What we want to achieve therefore also says something about our own behaviour (what have we achieved so far and/or needs our permanent attention). So, what should we as women do to make lasting change and achieve things for ourselves?
- Female/male ratio in organisation
This concerns various points, including the promotion of women to middle and top management, the retention of (young) women in your organisation and talent management.
Queer women leadership; What does it mean to be queer women leader? What extra’s do you bring to the table, what obstacles do you have to concur.
- Visibility (more& different)
It’s about being visible at different levels – in networks, in sessions, other than the ‘usual suspects’, what does it mean for your visibility if you work in an environment where you have to work harder than the man to be seen and recognised. It is also about empowerment in one’s own organisation. Discuss different topics from different angles.
“Our community strives for a safe workspace for queer colleagues.”
Angelique Meul leads the way
“During my career working I experienced and witnessed that women are treated differently
than men –not always in a positive way. I can relate to stories of women telling me they feel
like a chameleon, trying to fit in, in different ways on different levels. Although working in a
progressive organization, Municipality of Amsterdam, I felt the necessity to co-found our
lgbtiq+ community. Our community strives for a safe workspace for queer colleagues. We
achieved several changes like raising more awareness, developing our community (and
ourselves) by learning and working together with management & other communities and to
create better and more equal policies for queer colleagues. This is important to me: to make
Connect with us at [email protected] with questions, ideas, feedback, request for support