GALA, ING’s Pioneering LGBTIQ+ Employee Network, Marks Two Decades of Impactful Advocacy
November 16, Amsterdam: In a vibrant and heartwarming celebration, ING’s Rainbow Lions, formerly known as GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association), commemorated two decades of relentless dedication to LGBTIQ+ empowerment and workplace inclusion. The event united founders, including David Pollard, Executive Director of Workplace Pride, along with chairs and supporters from both the past and present. Together, they reflected on the remarkable journey of being ‘out’ in the workplace and envisioned the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Reflecting on Progress
The event was a poignant moment to reflect on the early challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals in the workplace and the incredible strides made over the past 20 years. The founders and chairs shared anecdotes of the network’s inception and the hurdles overcome to establish one of Europe’s first LGBTIQ+ employee networks. From those initial challenges to becoming an influential force advocating diversity, inclusion, and belonging, the Rainbow Lions have played a pivotal role in shaping a more tolerant and accepting work environment, both inside and outside of ING.
ING Group Executive Board’s Endorsement
Andrew Bester, Head of Wholesale Banking and sponsor and supporter from the ING Group Executive Board underscored the enduring significance of the LGBTIQ+ community within ING, emphasising its role as a vital and integral part of the organisation. He acknowledged the strides made and reaffirmed the commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.
From its humble beginnings, the Rainbow Lions have expanded their influence across various ING countries, becoming a symbol of diversity and progress. The network’s commitment to fostering an environment where individuals can be their authentic selves has resonated, creating a positive ripple effect throughout the organisation.
As the Rainbow Lions celebrate two decades of progress, the event also served as a platform to discuss the future challenges that the LGBTIQ+ community still faces. Participants engaged in conversations about the ongoing work needed to address these challenges and continue the journey towards true equality.
The 20th-anniversary celebration of ING’s Rainbow Lions was a testament to the power of advocacy, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the LGBTQI+ community. Cheers resonated throughout the event, echoing the collective pride in the progress made and the determination to continue the journey towards a more inclusive and accepting future. 🌈🦁🎉
David Pollard, Marion Mulder, Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Dimitri Elve, Ezra Clarke, Francesco D’Argento, Kim L.
#INGRainbowLions #20YearsStrong #RainbowLions20 #INGGala #WorkplacePride #DiversityandInclusion