Summary notes: Member Exchange Session – February 7, 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined and participated in today’s Member Exchange Session.  As we did not track the actual participants, we are sending this to all our member contacts who were included in the invitation to the session.  If others in your organization participated, please feel free to share this with them.

We had more than 80 participants and there were still 68 on the line at the end of the call, so we know that this topic was important to many of our members.

Special thanks go to our presenters for their impactful stories: 

Ben Bolt (ISS)
Sterre Mkatini (University of Twente)
Nino Cilona (Shell) 

Here is a high-level summary of some of the key points:

  • Allies or another more neutral third-party can step in and respond in a more objective and less personal and emotional way to empower the community. Knowing where to find this support is key.
  • Avoid the “knee-jerk” reaction – Damage control by removing the offending post should be an option, but if you have strong support in the responses – you may not want to pull it too quickly.
  • Plan ahead – anticipate the situation where negative comments come in and have a support plan in place for where affected individuals can reach out for help.
  • Educate your employees about psychological safety to foster inclusive culture. While you can capture everything in policy, a listening and respectful attitude in an organization is the basis for safety. Management and HR play a role in facilitating this.  Consider embedding this in your code of conduct. Plan for dealing with other employees who are threatening – e.g. through intervention via their line management. 
  • Build support from the top of the organization – know to what extent you have the support of your organization specifically leadership, HR and communications are important.. When there is an incident, call on that support to have the organization (leaders) make a clear statement of organization’s position and how that is not in line with the negative comment. Turn the incident to an opportunity to share your organizational values.
  • Consider the location in your response – the Rome/Embassy model can define what level of support you can expect from leadership in different countries or regions.  Depending on whether the location is a ‘when in Rome’, and ‘embassy’ or a ‘advocacy’ location helps you know how leaders can respond in support.
  • Intersectionality – examples shared show that this goes beyond LGBTIQ+ and that there is more education to be done to point out hostile situations that women, the trans community, allies are also exposed to.

The link to the recording is below – please feel free to share with others within your organization.  This is one of the benefits that Workplace Pride offers to our members, so we ask that you not share the recording and summary outside of your organization.

recording link   Passcode: 6.!pXViT

The following sessions topics and presenters are still being planned.  We have planned dates and time to try to flex the time slots to be more friendly to other time zones (see below – note these times are Central European Tim)).  We will send an invitation for the next session as soon as we have more details worked out.

Session date/time:

Feb 7     12:30-13:30 CET – complete

Apr 4     09:30-10:30 CET

Jun 6     16:00-17:00 CET

Aug 15   12:30-13:30 CET

Oct 10    09:30-10:30 CET

Nov 28   12:30-13:30 CET