In light of Lesbian Visibility day (April 26th 2021), we are honouring Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-Binary, Intersex, Queer, and straight ally women role models.
The women on this list are all nominated by colleagues and members from the Workplace Pride community. Some companies have shared many names, and in one particular company, there was clearly a team effort to nominate the same colleague multiple times!
The list is inspired by initiatives such as the “DIVA 100” and similar initiatives. As this is our first year, we are certain there are many great role models missing. So we hope that next year we’ll have a much longer and even more diverse list as well as representation for as many of our member organisations as possible. Having said that, let’s honour these fantastic women!
We encourage you to think of the LGBTIQ+ women and allies in your organisation and honour them too this week!
There are also various activities this week. In recognition of Lesbian Visibility Week, Workplace Pride is joining forces with our strategic partner, Catalyst for our latest “Keeping Members Connected” webinar entitled “Intersectionality – Rising to the challenge to be yourself at work” on the 29th of April.
For a list of other activities by many organisations see
Later in the year, as part of our Workplace Pride Leadership Awards Gala, we will also pay tribute to the entire LGBTIQ+ community world-wide. We want to use the same formula then; further information will follow later in the year.
The list is in purely alphabetical order :
Maral Arikan (she/her)
Data Management Consultant at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. & Researcher at the University of Amsterdam.
#Out at work
Maral is one of the long term driving forces behind the ABN AMRO LGBTIQ+ employee network. She advocates for putting diversity & equality on the agenda and enjoys inspiring others as a public speaker on the value of inclusiveness.
As a Product Owner in the data management field and doing a PhD in IT innovation, she finds her way in a male dominated world. She is half Turkish and has a girlfriend and thus understands what it is to deviate from the norm. She however doesn’t shy away from using this as a conversation starter. She believes in the power of dialogue to increase awareness and effectuate change.
Malou van den Berg (she/her)
She is an expert lead of the data science innovation team of ABN AMRO’s Detecting Financial Crime unit.
#Out at work
Malou is one of the driving forces behind the ABN-AMRO LGBTIQ+ employee network. She feels passionate about inspiring people for the cause of diversity and does not hesitate to raise her voice when needed.
Leading a diverse team of 30, Malou sets an example by creating an inclusive environment with a focus on one’s strengths and encourages individuals to be their true selves
As a mother of a three-year-old child, she experiences the impact of heteronormative society from the very beginning of life.
Nia Bezuidenhout (She/her)
Segment Business Partner at Sodexo.
Nia has been characterized as an ambassador and a voice for the LGBT population, she is an active member of Sodexo’s Global Pride in addition to her role as Deployment Manager
We have always found that she has the right words at the right time, great at making an impact when it comes to fighting for LGBT rights, she is an ambassador for breaking down stereotypes and is a positive asset in employee relations. She is an example throughout the UK as she is the Co-chair of the LGBT Committee (Pride UK&I Network), she has contributed innovative ideas to attract and retain LGBT talent, she is an activist at times when it is necessary to make visible the gaps that exist in the face of reality of the LGBT population, having the right word at the right time is a positive asset in employee relations.
Her people respect the leadership of her team and the people around her and she demonstrates this by being active in each of the Global Pride Sodexo initiatives.
Liz Bostock (she/her)
Owner of iManageProjects and Laughing Buddha Artist’s & Event Management, inHouseParties, Blushrr, Music Curator & DJ at Hoxton Amsterdam, and Resident DJ at W Amsterdam
#Out at Work #Out in SMEs
Besides being an entrepreneur and DJ, Liz is one of our great team members (since 2012) at Workplace Pride working – mostly behind the scenes – on many workplace inclusion activities. Since 1992 when Liz moved from the USA to the Netherlands, she became active in the Amsterdam LGBTIQ+community.
She was part of the bid team to bring the Gay Games in 1998 to the Netherlands. She programmed the 10 locations during EuroPride in 1994 as well as involved in the organization of Canal Pride in 2010 and was a member on the board of COC Amsterdam in the mid-1990s. She continues to bend the barriers about gender, sexual orientation, and race in the workplace through her work and presence onstage.
Claudia Brind-Woody (she/her)
IBM Managing Director
Claudia Brind-Woody has been one of the most prominent LGBT+ Executives in business for many years. She is probably one of the most senior corporate lesbian executives at the moment. She is a member of IBM’s senior executive leadership team, and has an extensive track record of LGBT+ advocacy and (corporate) activism, driving LGBT+ Inclusion around the world. She has made a difference in the global LGBT+ landscape and has been a role model to many.
Frieda Van den Broeck (she/her)
Global Improvement Leader MPC/AIR at DOW chemicals
Belgium/ The Netherlands
#Out at Work
On proposing who we (as Dow’s ERG in BENELUX) nominate for this recognition this year, one individual stood out – Frieda. Unanimously – the network stand behind her nomination.
Frieda has always been very comfortable with her sexual orientation. That led her to being a clear role model in an Industry (Chemical Industry) that has the reputation of being male dominated and not very diverse or inclusive. In bringing her whole self to work, she has been an important part in the journey that Dow has been on since 2000 to dispel that prejudice and make Dow one of the most inclusive material science companies globally. Her active engagement in Dow’s LGBTIQ+ employee resource group GLAD, sometimes as the hard worker behind the scenes, sometimes as the visible showcase for inclusion, has helped accelerate this journey. Because even in liberal societies like the Netherlands and Belgium, it is clear that full inclusion of every member of society, regardless of race, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation or any other personal attribute, still requires a lot of hard work.
One specific example here is Frieda’s tireless efforts to create, test, and roll-out an inclusion game that connects all Dow’s ERGs with every employee in the Netherlands in all aspects of inclusion. This game was successfully rolled out and is now being leveraged globally.
Ali Buck (she/her)
Marketing Operations Specialist at Xpress Technologies, Inc. | I&D Advocate
#Out at work
Ali is an active member of the Young@Workplace Pride group as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Council at U.S. Xpress (Xpress Technologies) where she actively advocates for LGBTIQ+ diversity.
Charity Chandler (She/her)
Senior Manager, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Sodexo
Wow, no words are really needed for this nomination. Since joining the company, Charity has been proactive in being able to help implement initiatives that benefit the LGBT population and make visible the reality and barriers they face in their daily lives (not only their approach to diverse sexual orientation but not also in intersectionality), she is passionate about marketing and that also makes her philanthropic support different causes and organizations throughout the United States.
Today Charity is an active member of the PRIDE US committee and is also responsible for global communications for Sodexo’s Global Pride network. After being outstanding for many years in customer relations positions (many of them in airline and university lounge segments), she now has the important role of implementing inclusive culture in all of our US operations and being an ambassador of diversity to all.
Charity shines and vibrates around these songs immensely, her proactivity makes her the voice, the drive, and the soul.
Lisa van Ginneken
Member of parliament (Tweedekamerlid D66)
#Out in Public Services and/or Politics
I really believe Lisa is making the change for who she is and how she positions herself and the community.
Need I say more to the first transgender person in Dutch parliament.
She breaks ground in national politics with a positive, constructive, and open presence and program.
Mickey van Helden (she/her)
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, EMEA at Baker McKenzie
Mickey is a role model as diversity & inclusion specialist in her own organisation but also as an active contributor to the women in the Workplace Pride community.
Christine Holtkamp (she/her)
Owner Allrights Consultancy, Relationship Manager at Workplace Pride Foundation
#Out at Work #Out in SMEs
Christine has been an active contributor to the LGBTIQ+ community for years. In her role of relationship manager she is actively bringing organisations and people together. She is also an active contributor to the women at workplace pride activities always going the extra mile!
In addition to her work as a relationship manager, Christine is an example of how you can be yourself at work, in her capacity as a teacher at various educational institutes. By being open about her identity, she encourages and inspires her students to be proud of who they are, and how they can take this forward with the people they work with.
Christine is also committed to human rights internationally. During the World Outgames in Antwerp she was responsible for the organization of the Human Rights Conference, where she connected people from all over the world, from Brazil to Russia, from Canada to Cameroon. Closer to home, Christine is committed to The World House Amsterdam, especially in the support of undocumented LGBTIQ+ refugees.
Thanks to her extensive network and experience, Christine is able to connect many organizations, such as recently The Rainbow House in Amsterdam with the Pink House in Antwerp.
Yuli Kim (she/her)
Diversity and Inclusion Professional at Inclusion Sensei
#Out at Work #Out in SMEs
Yuli is a seasoned professional with an academic background in Diversity and Inclusion studies. As she is Lesbian, Japanese with Korean heritage, married to an American and living in The Netherlands, she is intersectionality personified. Yuli is Workplace Pride’s Learning & Development Manager and, as such, is at the forefront of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.
Marike van Lier Lels (she/her)
Supervisory board member at RELX
Marike, member of the LGBTIQ community, serves on many boards of leading multinationals as non-executive board member and is highly respected in the Dutch world of business.
Leila Lohman (she/her)
Co Executive Director at Eurocentralasian Lesbian* Community
#Out at Civil Society Organisations/ NGOs
Leila is one of the driving forces behind the Eurocentral-Asian Lesbian* Community bringing together LGBTIQ+ women and activists across europe and central asia. She is an avid Human Rights Coordination, project/program management, outreach and capacity/alliance builder. I am thrilled that Leila has recently joined the Young@Workplace Pride team bringing together the human rights and business world.
Martha McDevitt-Pugh (she/her)
Team Lead, Global KYC Risk and Control at ING
Martha has been a force for LGBTIQ+ inclusion and equality for over 20 years. She was one of the founders of the ING rainbow employee network in 2004 and has been an inspiration to us all both at ING and Workplace Pride. Martha also actively campaigns for LGBTIQ+ equality in the USA – her birth country – through among others love exiles and democrats abroad.
Angelique Meul (she/her)
Strategic advisor for the public space at the Municipality of Amsterdam
#Out Executives #Out in Public Services and/or Politics
Angelique is one of the founders of the LGBTIQI+ network of the municipality of Amsterdam. Since the founding in 2016 she has been leading the RAN network (Roze Ambtenaren Netwerk). In that role she also actively works together with the ‘pink’ networks of other large cities and Government Pride sharing knowledge and organising joint activities like events with topics like international Women’s Day (2020) and international Day against Racism (2021). Also the network has been very much part of the development of the Inclusion & Diversity policies within the organization of the municipality. In 2020 she has been asked to be the Proud face of Pride Amsterdam for the municipality of Amsterdam. Further she is on the board of Workplace Pride and an active co-organiser and participant of the Women@Workplace Pride activities. Angelique’s voice on the Workplace Pride Foundation board is highly appreciated.
Marion Mulder (She/her)
Co-founder and Board Member Workplace Pride Foundation / FutureMaker
FutureMaker, Digital Transformation, Innovation, AI Ethics, Design Thinking #SDGs #futurism #GenderFreeTech at MuldiMedia
#Out Executives #Out in SMEs
Marion is one of the co-founders of Workplace Pride. For the last 16 years she’s been an advocate of LGBTIQ+ women at work. Regularly speaking out on the topic, organising activities for the community, creating awareness.
If you’d ask me to share a name of only one person who comes to my mind when I hear LGBTQIA+, it is Marion Mulder. Marion has been at the forefront of shaping LGBTQIA+ culture, building the community in the Netherlands, and creating awareness for many years. As well as being pro-active in creating change and acceptance in society, she dedicates her strong expertise in the Digital & Tech field to mitigate bias from technology & enable gender free digital solutions. Marion is an inspiring speaker, coach and mentor who has supported already many women and non-binary people in their out-of-the-closet journey. She embraces the voice of LGBTQIA+ in a truly inclusive way, inspiring businesses and people becoming more accepting and supportive.
Bianca Nijhof (she/her)
Managing Director at NWP (Netherlands Water Partnership)
Bianca is Co-Chair of Workplace Pride. This is a volunteer position she does next to her day-job as Managing Director of NWP. Bianca is a great leader with sustainability in the core of her DNA which she brings to our Workplace Pride organisation. She is amazing in connecting different topics, sharp and creates an atmosphere in which opportunities flourish. She is using her skills and international network to advance the cause of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion world wide.
Margot Slattery (she/her)
Chief Global Diversity Officer at Sodexo
Margot is an extraordinary person and is a recognized activist against issues that concern the LGBTIQ+ population, during the years that she has been in Sodexo she has openly expressed her positions and has fought to break down the stereotypes, prejudices and barriers that the LGBT population faces at a global level. She is a dedicated activist and spokesperson for realities, she is actively participating in symposia, forums, etc. providing words for building the social fabric and a sense of community. Here are some of her career and achievements in her professional life:
Limerick-born Margot comes from a farming background and graduated from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology as a trained chef. She began her career working as a chef in several well-known establishments, first in Dublin and then London, after a few years, she took a junior management role with a well-known Irish contract catering company. It was acquired by Sodexo and with them, Margot progressed through several roles, increasing in seniority, until her appointment as managing director in September 2012 followed by country president in 2015 and Global Diversity & Inclusion Chief in 2019
As country president, Margot’s role includes corporate governance and directorial responsibility for growing the various business segments-corporate, government, education, healthcare and homecare that operate in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Margot is committed to furthering the Diversity and Inclusion agenda within and outside the company and in October 2012, Sodexo was one of 11 founding partners and signatories of Ireland’s first Diversity Charter.
Margot is a member of Sodexo’s global LGBT network leadership team, which has been influential in promoting and championing LGBT equality across the world. She also chairs the UK and Ireland sexual orientation workstream, part of Sodexo’s diversity approach.
She was the founding chair of Sodexo’s Women Work network launched in 2011 to help female employees enhance their professional and personal growth.
Marion Tahapary-Keislair (she/her)
Advisor in Business Management/Diversity and Inclusion/Vitality, Chairperson of the DB Staff Platform at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Also a member of Dutch Government Pride (DGP). And a Workplace Pride board member.
#Out at Civil Society Organisations/ NGOs #Out in Public Services and/or Politics
For years, Marion has worked to put the subject of LGBTIQ+ inclusion on the map within the Dutch national government. She has been the chairperson of DGP for a long time and in this role, she has highlighted the importance of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in her own modest but resolute way. At the moment, this subject is an integral part of the national government. In addition, she is active in several Civil Society Organisations, making her a natural icon of lesbian visibility. I would like to nominate her for a lifetime achievement award.
Kathleen Tisdale (They/Them)
Area General Manager at Sodexo
#Out at Work #Allies
Kathleen is inspiring and is a hero. Having been rejected by their parents when they came out as a non-binary identified lesbian, and having been homeless at one point in their life, they use their experience to motivate themselves and others to help LGBTIQ+ homeless youth in the greater Orlando area. They also are an Area General Manager feeding cast members at Disney World, leading a team of employees for whom they have created safe spaces. Kathleen has been actively involved with the PRIDE EBRG as both a regional and national leader and was recognized with a $5,000 grant to their charity of choice (Zebra Coalition) for work to stop hunger in the community. They lead our external partnerships and are working to cultivate new ones. They provide support, love, and hope for those in their communities and I am proud to call them friends.
Melanie Tymec (She/her)
Architect senior Office 365 at Sodexo
#Out at Work
Since she joined the company, Melanie has been extremely active. she belongs to the LGBT committee and always makes visible the realities of the LGBT population, she is a fighter for the lesbian and trans population of the world, she is an active member of the LGBT committee in France and being fond of technology and focused on detail, she always finds valid and clear options and initiatives to provide visibility to the causes that need it. She is a champion of innovation and also provides easy and agile solutions to what is required in matters of diversity and inclusion , openly dialogues about homosexuality, she has known how to reinvent herself, not following the avant-gardes or trends of the moment, but seeking her own feeling, her own voice.
Prof.dr. Martine de Vries
Professor in Medical Ethics and Health Law at Leiden University Medical Center
#Out at Work #Out in Public Services and/or Politics
Martine is co-founder of the Pride Network at LUMC, in a working environment where it is not always obvious to talk about her relationship with a woman. Martine plays a pioneering role in the gender clinic at the LUMC. Children and young people from all over the Netherlands report to this clinic. Sometimes, the children are only six years old, but they have been struggling with their identity and body for a large part of their young lives. Currently, only the LUMC and the VU Medical Centre offer a full treatment programme for children and adolescents with ‘gender dysphoria’: a deep sense of unease about the sex you were born with.
Emilie Wain (she/her)
Executive Assistant at Sodexo
#Out at Work
Emilie has been characterized by being very proactive in LGBT issues, she is currently an active member of the LGBT committee, in fact, she is in charge of divulging everything that has to do with the Global Pride committee (responsible for the communications of our ERG) and in fact through her direct contact with Sodexo’s board of directors, she is the direct voice to them of the achievements and initiatives carried out by our ERG.
She has a high sense of teamwork and whenever she can, she is the voice of those who do not have visibility of the reality of the LGBT population.
She is a facilitator by nature and at every moment she vibrates with this reality, she is a feminist, she has a high philanthropic focus, she gives the extra mile, her speech in support of minorities is intense, she anticipates what may happen, she has a high focus on detail and that makes it vibrate intensely with the realities of the LGBT population