Member Exchanges

8 November 2022

Workplace Pride’s second Member Exchange Session was held on November 8, 2022, on the topic of Embedding Leadership Support.

Thank you to our two presenters, Jose Nava from Unilever and Ronald Niewenhuis from KPN, for sharing some great insights, to the Workplace Pride Relationship Managers for organizing, and to our Director of Program Development, Yuli Kim, for moderating. Also, we would like to extend our gratitude to the forty-eight people who attended! 

We would like all Workplace Pride members to have access to what we learned from this session. Below, you can find the most important metrics and takeaways, including a link to the recording of the session:

Key takeaways:

Have a clear and compelling story about LGBTIQ+ Inclusion.
What is your strategic intent? Be clear about what you are trying to achieve, what you are doing, and why. Back this up with data/measures, for example, from the Global Benchmark and your own engagement surveys, to support. Be very clear about what you need from leadership – what is your ask of them? Position LGBTIQ+ inclusion as a business imperative with evidence, including data points, when engaging leadership.

Always connect LGBTIQ+ inclusion and related activities with your organizational values and business strategy.
Make it crystal clear that you support LGBTIQ+ people and do not tolerate discrimination. Do this with your code of conduct, policies, employment contracts, collective labor agreement, employee benefits, and leadership development programs and training. Refer back to these when you encounter resistance.

Find an active sponsor, advocate, or “cheerleader” at the executive level or board of your organization.
Listen for executives who are seeking information about diversity, equity & inclusion, and/or employee resource groups, and engage them. Do your homework and find out where they are in terms of their journey by using a stakeholder analysis so that you can adjust your approach accordingly. Some may know a little and need more education first, while others may be more informed and want to know what they can do to help.

Peer pressure can accelerate even more support. 
When you have executive support, don’t forget to ask them to speak on your behalf to gain support from their peers, who are most likely other executives. An intersectional approach can also be helpful. For example, joining forces with other employee resource group sponsors, as they probably “get” it and can join forces to support LGBTIQ+ employees as well.

Set clear goals. Monitor them and measure progress – and report among stakeholders.
Grassroots initiatives can help build awareness. Position yourselves to co-create the agenda and plans for the coming year(s). Identify what measures will help you grow leadership support and focus on actions that drive those metrics.

Future topics:

How do you engage the “floor”?
There was some dialogue in the Zoom chat (Gian Battista from Schiphol Group and Martijn van den Tillart from ASML) that this could be an interesting topic. Workplace Pride will add this to the list for a future session. This topic of the so-called “white- and blue-collar inclusion”  has had our attention for some time, so we will certainly put this on the agenda for subsequent topics in 2023 for the member exchange sessions.

There was a lot of good information in the dialogue – you can listen to the full meeting below:

Recording: Member Exchange Session – November 8, 2022 – Embedding Leadership Support

You’ll hear more about the next Membership Exchange Session topic, time, and date as we get closer to the next event. We’ll keep you informed!

We held our first Member Exchange Session on March 15 on the topic of Creating a Transgender Policy, and we would like all our members to have access to what we learned from this session, here are the most important metrics, takeaways and the link to the recording of the session.

  • 42 people attended
  • >80% of attendees joined to learn
  • >60% of respondents either have no Trans policy or are just getting started
  • 96% of respondents learned something that will help them and found the session a good use of their time.

Key takeaways:

  • Get sponsorship from the top – it’s “good to have HR or DEI officer intrinsically motivated” so that they be visible in their support and help you get the time and resources needed. Research shows that 1.2% – 1.5% of the population is transgender – even if no one has come out in your org, data says that they are likely there but in the closet.

  • Learn what is needed and educate your stakeholders – “don’t assume you know”, connect with the Trans community in your org or with a Trans CSO/organization to learn (Workplace Pride L&D, Corporate Queer, Transvisie as NL examples).  Let ERG educate the business about what is needed and why. Create a guiding document that helps everyone understand what is needed to support Trans people in the workplace.

  • Make it practical and take concrete steps – taking on a whole policy may be daunting, focus on smaller steps like “what it needed to change gender and name in IT systems” or “get the required medical procedures for transitioning added to health insurance benefits – either private or government depending on location”. 

  • Location/region-specific assessments – looking at what medical and health benefits are covered will differ by location.  What you as an organization need to do will depend on how much is already covered by the government or social structures in a location. There is no known resource of which countries/locations cover which aspects, you will need to do that work with your local Benefits team. 

A link to the meeting recording is here: Recording: Member Exchange Session – Transgender Policy