On 11 October 2019, National Coming Out Day, LUMC (Leiden University Medical Center) became the first research hospital and the first member from the health care sector in the Netherlands to join Workplace Pride. To celebrate this milestone, a lively and colourful celebration was organised at LUMC.
LUMC Pride network leaders Professor Dr. Martine de Vries and Jeroen Metzemaekers opened the event and highlighted the importance of National Coming Out Day and being able to be yourself at work. They mentioned the great work done by the LUMC Pride network and the support of LUMC for LGBTI inclusion, while also pointing out that there was a long way to go for total inclusion of all staff, faculty, students and (potentially) patients.
Professor Dr. Willy Spaan, Chairman of the Executive Board of LUMC officiated for the medical center by focusing on the importance of LGBTI inclusion and responsibility that comes with being the first academic hospital in the Netherlands to join Workplace Pride. He acknowledged that there is work to be done on many levels such as the unconscious bias in diagnosis by doctors. As an example, Professor Spaan pointed out that when a patient is gay, it has been shown that an HIV exam is more frequently done than other exams to rule out diabetes or other options.
Representing Workplace Pride was David Pollard, Executive Director, who explained the work of the Foundation, and detailed its measurement instrument for LGBTI policy and practices, the Global Benchmark. Pollard also pointed out that workplaces, where employees can truly be themselves, benefit not just the employees but the employers and other stakeholders as well. In the case of LUMC, this translates into staff that better understand and interact with LGBTI patients and their families which should have a positive impact for all concerned.
The celebration was concluded with a humorous performance by Pastor Gremdaat (Paul Haenen) who addressed the importance of inclusiveness in a stand-up comedy act, as well as the unveiling of a work of art by Margriet van Breevoort. Taking the form of a rainbow unicorn, mixed with a goat and a seal, the piece celebrates uniqueness and diversity and is a lasting reminder of the importance of inclusion. It will be placed in the lobby of LUMC and was designed to stimulate questions, hopefully followed by a discussion or a reflection on things and people that are different from ourselves.
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As an employer, the LUMC gives great importance to inclusiveness in the workplace. This means that everyone who wants to contribute to the ambitions of the LUMC gets equal opportunities regardless of gender, cultural background, sexual orientation or physical impediments.
“Workplace Pride can help us further shape our diversity and inclusiveness policy to be the open community in which everyone is welcome and his or her talents can contribute to the goals that we – as an organization – have stated. “
Jeanneke Meulenbroeck, HRM director at LUMC.
We welcome LUMC as the first academic medical center in the Netherlands to join Workplace Pride and are excited to see how they raise the standard for LGBTI inclusion in the Dutch health sector.