FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, has joined Workplace Pride as its newest member. FMO supports sustainable development around the world by empowering entrepreneurs in regions where commercial finance is hard to come by. With the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the core of its business, it is a natural step for the organization to visibly include LGBTI people in their overall diversity and inclusion efforts. The first step was the launch of their new LGBTI network, ‘BYou’, during an internal event held on Monday, May 20th.
At FMO’s headquarters in The Hague, the new network was put front and center by CEO Peter van Mierlo who said:
“Everyone must be allowed to be themselves at work. Here at FMO, we believe that respecting and celebrating our differences is key to a healthy and inclusive culture, and, in fact, to innovation. We want to be able to connect rationally and emotionally to each other. As humans, as colleagues and as professionals. I am proud to be able to help launch BYou.”
To place even more focus on this effort within the organization, FMO has also joined Workplace Pride as its newest member. Given its area of expertise in developing economies, the organization will be complementary to other members from the financial sector.
“We are delighted to have such a diverse organization as FMO join the Workplace Pride family. With its employees representing more than 50 countries and its financing activities in most developing countries around the world, the organization brings a unique perspective to the Foundation” said David Pollard, Executive Director, who, together with Van Mierlo, officially signed the membership agreement.
Following the signing, Hans Docter, Netherlands Ambassador for Private Sector and Development, spoke about the importance of reaching out to LGBTI communities in developing countries and how businesses can play a crucial role in making this happen.
The event was concluded by a moving presentation by Out and Proud, an NGO focusing on the story of LGBTI refugees from Uganda. The presentation gave all participants at the launch a look into the difficulties that LGBT people face in developing countries, which range from being ostracized by families, churches, governments and the workplace to actual torture and even death. It raised the question of how businesses and civil society can play a role in making this deplorable situation more visible and how governments can help facilitate the immigration process for LGBTI people who are being persecuted.
Congratulations go to FMO for quickly and comprehensively raising awareness of the possibilities for LGBTI inclusion within their organization as well as in cooperation with others.
See more photos from this event here.