2023 International Conference

Workplace Pride proudly welcomed participants to our 2023 International Conference, which took place on May 26th at the Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This annual gathering brought together numerous stakeholders to showcase the remarkable advancements made by the LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion movement worldwide. However, we also acknowledged the persistent challenges faced by the LGBTIQ+ community, some of which posed significant threats to our safety and well-being.

Throughout the event, our stakeholders grappled with various dilemmas, such as determining which regions to prioritize for outreach efforts, navigating diverse legal frameworks and cultural practices, and defining the identities of both ourselves and our community members. We recognized that the decisions we made would shape policies, practices, and individuals for years to come.

Under the theme of ‘Tracks of Change: Defining the future of LGBTIQ+ Workplace Inclusion,’ this year’s conference unfolded within the fitting setting of the Spoorwegmuseum.

Under the respective tabs, Workplace Pride invites you to explore an array of valuable resources, including presentations, key findings, video interviews with notable conference speakers, a gallery of captivating images, and a comprehensive wrap-up video, encapsulating the essence of the event.


Roundtable 1

Executive Roundtable:  “ A Critical Transition for LGBTIQ+ Inclusion: How are business leaders navigating the ethical and social issues of our time?”

The roundtable will be a safe-space for top leaders to share their own experience, approach and priorities regarding the topics of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion with their peers. It will operate under Chatham-house rules and is by invitation only.

Breakout 1

Empowering LGBTIQ+ Employee Networks

Demonstrating the value of LGBTIQ+ Employee Resource Groups (EGS) and maintaining interest in them over time is always a challenge. How can ERG’s remain strategically focused and simultaneously maintain that ‘grass-roots’ feel and purpose? ING’s ‘Rainbow Lions’ is a large and impactful LGBTIQ+ ERG that has been around for almost 20 years. They have a multitude of activities but, more importantly, know how to present their accomplishments in a way that is inspirational to other ERG’s. In this breakout, led by Dimitri Elve, Ezra Clarke and Sandra van Scheppingen, you will learn how to create greater impact with your ERG.

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Breakout 2

The Winding Road to Self-ID

Creating positive impact for LGBTIQ+ employees has always been a challenge for employers. Community members are not readily identifiable and sometimes even choose not to be. But without knowing your target group, how can organisations make the needed changes?  What challenges can organisations expect when implementing Self I-D programs?

In this session we will engage with participants on implementing Self-ID programs. We will hear how Shell and Accenture have made progress, what obstacles they faced, and how they managed them. This session will inspire participants to take initial steps to implement Self-ID in their own organizations and to identify opportunities to use this data in creating more inclusive workplaces. 

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Breakout 3

Creating Fully Gender-Inclusive Workplaces

Gender inclusivity in the workplace is a constantly changing topic. How do organisations take this necessary step while being sensitive to the communities and individuals that will be impacted?

In this workshop, Mike van de Langenberg will guide you in the process of making your workplace inclusive of all genders. As someone who is non-binary and has implemented these steps themselves, they will share their experiences as you go on a journey together. This session is designed to be as interactive and stimulating as possible so that participants are fully equipped with the most relevant and up-to-date information!

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Breakout 4

Enabling company-wide LGBTIQ+ inclusion for operational and office staff

Reaching all LGBTIQ+ employees in an organisation can be a real challenge. Whether in a factory, a call center, or on the road, the use of traditional communication channels are not always effective. 

In this highly interactive session, ASML, Schiphol Group and Tata Steel have joined forces to further explore this challenging topic. We will look at the gaps between workers and discuss how they can best be bridged. The outcomes of this session will later be followed up in one of the Workplace Pride’s Member Exchange sessions.

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Roundtable 2

Free to Be Me Roundtable: 

“Empowering LGBTIQ+ Communities in the Global South”

Freedom is a term often used lightly. But for many LGBTIQ+ community members around the world, ‘freedom’ to be themselves is a luxury they simply cannot afford. Sadly, Workplace Pride members are active in many countries where their LGBTIQ+ colleagues and the communities they represent struggle to be themselves every day: a struggle which translates directly into the workplace. 

This roundtable highlights the work of the 5-year Free To Be Me program which aims to improve the lives of LGBTIQ+ people in 14 Global South countries. Funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the program interacts with civil society organisations, businesses and the diplomatic community in each of these countries. As a ‘Technical Partner’ in the program, Workplace Pride’s role is to create substantive links amongst these stakeholders with a focus on socio-economic development. This roundtable brings together representatives of the program and LGBTIQ+ community members from several different countries who will engage with the participants in interactive discussions. Collectively we will not just explore the challenges, but also determine how organisations can play a constructive role in making progress.

A highlight of the roundtable will be the launching of the Workplace Pride Free to Be Me Mentorship Program which will directly link those who want to share skills with those who need it the most.

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Key Findings

Breakout 5

Allyship 2.0

Non-LGBTIQ+ allies have long been a very effective channel to get across the message about greater inclusivity in the workplace. But programs that support their efforts require regular updates and, as the LGBTIQ+ global landscape continues to change – efforts to keep Allies engaged needs to be updated as well.  

This inter-active session will zoom in on the challenges that organisations experience with their Ally programs, but will also look at how leaders in this area are making progress through ‘re-inventing’ their approaches. Key concepts will be explored and methods to energise allies through concrete actions will be discussed in the session. 

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Breakout 6

Business Action for LGBTIQ+ in the sustainability context

The social side of sustainability has seen a tremendous increase in interest in the past few years. But what is social sustainability and how can your organization benefit from its implementation – particularly when it comes to LGBTIQ+ topics? 

The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality was established in 2021 to address inequality at the heart of business’ agenda for sustainable growth. Their flagship report provides a clear and compelling case for business action to tackle inequality. It includes 10 comprehensive, credible and impactful actions that business leaders can leverage to help build a world of opportunity for all. This session will explore the report and how it addresses creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and value chains. Join in this interactive session to learn more about the 10 actions and discuss how to include the topic of LGBTIQ+ in the DEI and sustainability agenda of your business.

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Breakout 7

Setting up ERG’s in challenging countries

Most internationally active Workplace Pride members see the advantages of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) but creating them in countries where homosexuality is legally or culturally challenging represents real obstacles. Often we make assumptions for some countries or regions when, in reality, real progress can be made. What then is the best way to encourage the creation of ERG’s Globally? 

This session will drill down into those challenges, but also highlight the possibilities and opportunities to make real progress for local LGBTIQ+ employees. Examples in China, the Philippines, Kenya and the Middle East will be covered in this interactive session.

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Roundtable 3

Communities Roundtable: 

“Achieving belonging through intersectionality”.

While organizations aim to be diverse and inclusive, the ultimate goal is for everyone at work is to have a true sense of belonging. However, this is not achieved overnight as we all bring different and often multiple identities to work. Adding to this, workplaces themselves can be diverse: corporate, government, civil society and academia as examples. So how do organisations and individuals go about realising this ‘true sense of belonging’? 

In this roundtable the 5 Workplace Pride Communities bring their unique perspectives together in an intersectional framework that contributes to achieving a greater sense of belonging at work. Together with the session participants, the Workplace Pride Communities will co-create a path towards belonging by examining  5 specific cases: each with its own dimension of intersectionality. Together we aim to create a broader framework that empowers organisations to take concrete steps towards inclusion and belonging. 

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2023 International Conference
Morning Plenary Session
2023 International Conference
Afternoon Plenary Session

Here are the highlights of the event, click here

2023 International Conference Highlights
2023 International Conference Opening Video