Dutch Government Makes History by Endorsing Amsterdam Declaration, Paving the Way for LGBTIQ+ Inclusion in Workplaces

Workplace Pride Foundation’s Declaration of Amsterdam receives groundbreaking official endorsement

IDAHOTBIT, May 17th, 2023 – The Workplace Pride Foundation witnessed a momentous milestone as the Dutch government became the first national government employer globally to endorse the Declaration of Amsterdam. Created by the Workplace Pride Foundation in 2011, this historic endorsement signifies a groundbreaking action in advancing LGBTIQ+ empowerment and inclusion within work environments.

David Pollard, Executive Director of Workplace Pride, emphasised the Declaration of Amsterdam’s transformative potential, stating that it can bring about tangible change by establishing a framework for inclusive policies and practices. Such measures foster safe spaces where LGBTIQ+ employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work, ultimately enhancing individual well-being and driving productivity, innovation, and overall organisational success.

Christine Holtkamp of Workplace Pride conversed with Boris Dittrich, human rights

activist, writer, and politician, discussing the (inter)national developments in the field of LGBTIQ+ discrimination and emancipation. Furthermore, Christine spoke with Professor Dr Jojanneke van der Toorn of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion at Leiden University, about the significance of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace and the scientific research she is doing around this topic for Workplace Pride. In addition, Marjan Hammersma, Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW), shared her perspective on the importance of LGBTIQ+ inclusion within the government. She emphasized that there is also work to be done in the area of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the overseas territories (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba).

Secretary General Maarten Schurink of the Ministry of the Interior and Dutch Kingdom Relations, representing the government with its 140,000 employees, affixed his signature to the Declaration. Speaking about the significance of this commitment, Schurink stated, “Our goal is to create a comfortable work environment where individuals can be their authentic selves, with equal opportunities for all, regardless of origin, gender, or orientation. While numerous employee-driven initiatives foster inclusivity, this formal endorsement demonstrates our clear ambition and holds us accountable to our employees.”

David Pollard, Director of Workplace Pride, emphasised the far-reaching impact of the endorsement, not only within the government workforce but also nationally and internationally. This significant step sets an inspiring precedent for other governments to prioritise LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.

Prominent representatives from government departments, including Marjan Hammersma (Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science), Carsten Herstel (Director General of Social Security and Integration at SZW), and Nanette van Schelven (Director General of Customs at Fin), were present at the signing ceremony.

The Declaration of Amsterdam has already garnered support from over 50 major employers, including Utrecht, Amsterdam, and The Hague municipalities, as well as Accenture, CISCO, PWC, Shell, ASML, Philips, Microsoft, KLM, and Nike. With the Dutch government’s endorsement, the Declaration’s impact is set to resonate even further, heralding a new era of LGBTQ+ inclusion in workplaces nationwide and inspiring organisations worldwide to follow suit.