Sophie Jeckmans leads the way:
I transitioned towards the end of 2017, and at the time I just wanted to live my life, and to just be. However, I noticed that people were touched by my story, and I could enrich their lives. At the end of 2019, Rainbow Lions (ING) was looking for a new board member, preferably a woman and/or a transgender colleague. Lucky for them, I matched both criteria. Quickly thereafter, there was a request from WP to host a webinar together with ING. I together with Maxim Buise from Aegon, shared our coming-out stories. That got the ball rolling with WP on the Trans+ community, as we saw that gender identity needed a specific voice as well. In the meanwhile, I was out and proud at ING and it is the best feeling is hearing when I hear that someone is so empowered by my story that they can open that door and step out of the closet themselves. I once was asked, “isn’t it ironic to stand in the spotlight, in order not to stand in the spotlight?” Yes, it is, but if I stand in the (literal) spotlight, at least one other doesn’t need to. That makes it worth it.“
This year at the international conference, the newest WP Community, Trans+@WP was presented to the members of Workplace Pride in an impressive way. It took some time to define the name of this community, as complicated choices had to be made. Defining what Trans+ stands for was therefore the first important task of this community. In order to properly highlight this community, it is important to summarise the discussion. “The name Trans+ is linked to Transgender. Transgender can mean people who are transitioning (typically a binary perspective, MTF – male to female – or FTM), or can mean the umbrella term covering everyone who identifies as non-cisgender. To distinguish that the community is for the latter (and their allies), we added the + and included the umbrella in the logo. Sometimes the identifiers AFAB/AMAB (assigned female/male at birth) are used as well by a wide variety of transgender, non-binary and intersex people. However, these terms are not identities in and by themselves. Calling a transman “AFAB”, for example, erases his identity as a man. Instead, use a person’s requested pronouns and self-description”.
“Trans+ would very much like to create awareness by supporting and empowering and making visible the voices of trans, non-binary, and any non-cisgender professionals in and beyond the workplace.”
Mission/Vision of Trans+@WP
- Empowerment: empowering the community by becoming an integral part of every level in the WP organization. Via a committed WP board, the Trans+@WP community will become visible to all stakeholders and events. As a community, we will step into the spotlight so others don’t need to.
- Workplace awareness: supporting companies in their effort in increasing trans+ awareness. Trans+@WP does this by providing feedback driven by the WP benchmark and being available as a sparring partner.
- Community building: within WP we aim to build a network of trans, non-binary, and non-cisgender professionals to get to know and enable talent in each other.
Trans+@WP goals 2022
- Start the community and grow the leadership
- Present the mission charter to the WP board and get their support
- Organise at least one event with one of the WP members.
- Be visible at the WP International Conference & during the WP Gala
Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, ideas, feedback, request for support