Workplace Pride International Conference 2022

As the world slowly emerges from the global pandemic and at the same time digests the major social changes regarding gender, race, and polarisation, we all know that we have crossed a threshold from which there is no way back. The workplace has been profoundly affected by these events and few groups have felt this more than LGBT+ people. Our global community has seen both setbacks, as well as new opportunities coming from these changes, and most of us, realise that the path we take now will set the tone for the coming years or even decades. 

Workplace Pride’s 2022 conference will look at all angles of this path forward. We will examine the inherent power of companies, governments, and communities working together to foster greater LGBT+ inclusion in jurisdictions around the world. We will engage with civil society and with the next generation to create a meaningful and sustainable dialogue and, with all stakeholders, we will redefine the standards that impact LGBT+ workplace inclusion. 


Nr. 1

Title: “LGBTIQ+ inclusive environment for refugee students & scholars

An influx of refugee students and scholars from countries at war such as Ukraine and Syria to safe countries raises the question of how universities can create an LGBTIQ+ inclusive environment for them. Organised by the Workplace Pride Community; Academia@WP, this panel looks at the challenges that LGBTIQ+ refugee students and scholars face, ranging from the practical and immediate problems to more long-term issues such as mental health. It will take an overall look at issues all refugee students and scholars face and then do a deep dive into issues specific to refugees from the LGBTIQ+ community. All this and more will be addressed by a stellar panel including a refugee student and scholar as well as a university leader. 

Moderator: Michiel Kolman, co-chair WPP and lead of the Academia@Workplace Pride community.

Nr. 2

Title: “Business engagement with Civil Society Organisations “     

The aftermath of recent major social changes such as MeToo, BLM, and the global pandemic has led to a major re-assessment by employers all over the world about how they engage with communities all over the world. No one has a better grasp of these developments than the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who live it every day. But how do businesses effectively connect with CSOs and vice versa when each group often has preconceived notions about what does or does not work? This breakout session uses the CSO Toolkit, developed by Workplace Pride and other parties to look at all sides of this timely issue and sort out a practical and effective way forward for all parties. 

Moderator: Fiona McAuslan, writer and strategist from the UK

Nr. 3

Title: “Using technology to safely connect with the LGBTIQ+ community during pandemic or war”

In the last few years, the global LGBTI+ community has faced unprecedented challenges to stay connected due, mainly, to the Covid pandemic. But now, with ongoing wars in Ukraine and Syria, it is even more difficult to get in touch. All of these communication challenges can have an indirect impact in the workplace as well. In this breakout session, the Workplace Pride Community: Tech@WP, looks into how we connect to our communities in these difficult times and as safely as possible while still staying anonymous. Knowledge-matter experts will share their stories on how technology can be used to connect and stay in touch. Designed as a highly interactive discussion, breakout participants will have the opportunity to share their own challenges and technical solutions that help our wider community to stay connected in difficult times. After the conference, a small toolkit will be created with the ideas that were discussed and will be published on the Workplace Pride website.

Moderator: Martijn van den Tillaart, ASML

Nr. 4

Title: “‘What women want, by women” 

Organised by the Workplace Pride Community Women@WPP this breakout session will be in the form of a talk about what LBTIQ+ women need and want as women within their work. With an opening presentation by an expert, it will take into account the many different ambitions of LBTIQ+ women and the increasing gains over the years in women participating in paid work. The session will dive into social differences and highlight good practices for women in the workplace. And, while designed to inspire, the breakout will also to identify tools and establish ownership so that participants are better equipped for challenges in their own workplaces.

Moderator: Angelique Meul, Board Member Workplace Pride

Nr. 5

Title: “Measurement as a vehicle of change” 

The old adage of “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” is just as relevant for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion as any other initiative within an organisation. But how do you go about measuring something that is often hard to pin down or even define? And how can you collect data from a group that is often invisible? This interactive breakout session looks at these challenges but also explores solutions for how measurement can become an agent of change providing modern organisations the tools they need to realise progress on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. 

Moderator: Brian Yothers, Director of Operations, Workplace Pride

Nr. 6

Title: “On workdays we wear pink: Attracting and retaining young LGBTQ+ employees

In recent years a tremendous generational shift has taken place in the LGBTIQ+ workforce, especially among younger Gen Z and millennials. Not just LGBTIQ+ but all employees increasingly value inclusive workplaces. However, surveys show that 75% of LGBTIQ+ employees experience negative day-to-day interactions at their place of work related to their identity. Employees who experience negative incidences on these topics are 40% less productive and 13% more likely to quit. It is therefore essential for organizations to invest in an overall cultural change, not only to attract talent but also to retain talent. 

This session, organised by Workplace Pride Community Young@WP, shares tips and tricks for how to successfully create a more inclusive workplace. The roles of gender identity and sexual orientation will be discussed as well as an approach on how to navigate these topics, leading to better business performance and stronger innovation. But more importantly, a safer and more inclusive workplace. 

Moderator: Maral Arikan, Board Member Workplace Pride

Nr. 7: 

Title: “Lessons from the field: International challenges to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion”

Workplace Pride’s recently published Corporate Advocacy report which was supported by IBM has concrete suggestions for how companies can influence LGBTIQ+ discriminatory legislation around the world. Using the report as a starting point, this breakout session focuses on the additional challenges that employers face in international settings and explores initiatives and best practices to address them. This includes leveraging allyship in non-friendly regions EY, targeted methods for gaining internal support in Dubai and focusing on effective economic arguments. This interactive session will encourage participants to bring their own challenges and solutions to the table 

Moderator: TBC

Nr. 8: 

Title: “Enhancing performance on LGBTIQ+ inclusion through sustainability”

As our conference theme implies, re-defining the global standards for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion is a task that must be done together and with all stakeholders. Just as implicit is the need to make this effort sustainable and aligned with commercial value drivers as this results in benefits for all. This breakout session takes the lesson learned at the 2019 Workplace Pride International Conference and translates them into the new, post-pandemic, post social upheaval world that we all now live in. Questions such as ‘how to tie LGBTIQ+ Diversity and Inclusion into long-term business growth models?’ and ‘how can businesses use technical solutions to connect their LGBTIQ+ initiatives directly to sustainability?’ will be explored in detail in this highly-interactive session. 

Moderator: Bianca Nijhof, Co-Chair Workplace Pride

Nr. 9

Title: “Executive MBA for (future) LGBTIQ+ leaders in the business world and beyond”

Workplace Pride and the Central European University (CEU) have launched a dedicated Executive MBA fellowship targeting LGBTIQ+ managers which is highly subsidised through a generous grant by the Soros foundation. The fellowship is aimed at anyone with several years of working experience who wants to give their career a boost and possibly be ready for a C-suite position. Future roles for these LGBTIQ+ leaders can be in the corporate world but also in positions in government, NGOs, etc. In this breakout session, co-organised by Workplace Pride Community Academia@WP, participants will take part in a ‘mini’ business case, which we will solve together as a team, that will give a flavour of the Exec MBA program. Representatives of the CEU will introduce the Workplace Pride – CEU fellowship and run the mini business case. 

Moderator: ThomasLammel, Sr. Program Mgr. CEU Executive MBA

Nr. 10

Title: “Practical solutions for workplace challenges” 

While many new organisations are engaging with LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion for the first time, it is worth noting that some have been working on this for many years and even decades! In this highly interactive breakout session, Workplace Pride brings the expertise of its Global Benchmark top scorers together those who are just starting on their LGBTIQ+ workplace journey. 

Designed as a ‘round-robin’ session, participants will have the opportunity to hear from 4 experts on practical topics such as: 

  • Sustaining & leveraging LGBTIQ+ ERG’s
  • Embedding Leadership Support
  • Understanding the business case
  • Involving clients in your LGBTIQ+ efforts

Moderator: David Pollard, Workplace Pride

Nr. 11

Title: Practical tips for building stronger professional relationships with non-cisgender people

With transgender and non-binary people making up an estimated 0.5 – 2%  of the population, the chances are significant that one or more of your co-workers would put themselves on the trans+ spectrum. While there has been a lot of attention on non-cisgender people in the media lately, the focus is rarely on their role in the workplace. During the breakout session we put this topic on the table by providing practical tips to help individuals, and the organisations they work for, build professional relationships with trans+ co-workers. Designed as an open, low-threshold discussion, we will explore themes and topics as well as concrete practical solutions and suggestions that participants can put into practice right away! This session, organised by the newest Workplace Pride Community, “Trans+@WPP” will also briefly outline the group’s plans for the coming year. 

Moderator: Sophie Jeckmans, Trans+@Workplace Pride 

Nr. 12:

Title: “New ways of working: Full inclusion in a post-pandemic world”

The repercussion of the Covid pandemic has shaken the world of work to its core. Employers of all types are bracing themselves for how to create workplaces where all types of people can truly be themselves and work on their terms. While LGBTIQ+ inclusion has a leader with this topic in many ways, new ‘non-traditional’ aspects of workplace inclusion such as neurodiversity and employees/clients with HIV-Aids have entered this space as well. This interactive breakout session hears from experts and practitioners about the direction of post-pandemic workplaces and helps to answer the question; “what does a fully-inclusive, post-pandemic workplace look like, how does it impact the LGBTIQ+ community and what can employers do to ensure progress?”.