Angelique Meul leads the way

On several occasions during my career, I experienced and witnessed that women are treated differently than men –not always in a positive way. I can also relate to stories of women telling me they feel like a chameleon sometimes. Trying to fit in, in different ways on different levels. Although working in a progressive organisation, I felt it was necessary to set up the pink community. Our community strives for a safe workspace for queer colleagues. This goal has not changed or is being achieved yet. Though different things have changed on different inclusion topics: from raising more awareness from working floor levels to top management to boosting better and more equal policies for queer colleagues. Also, two more communities were founded. The current five main communities interact, connect and support each other on several levels. This is what it is about to me; developing your own community, by connecting with and learning from other communities to make changes together – slowly but surely. The WP Women Community stands for more visibility and awareness for queer women. It is about sharing experiences & knowledge, working & supporting each other, and with this kind of energy and focus setting change into motion within our organizations.”

Women@WP is striving for more queer women in leadership roles. Many conversations reveal that women in influential positions are still not pushing for these positions. We also notice that within the WP activities, the lesbian and bisexual agenda is less visible than the gay and transgender agendas. We want to do further research on this and talk with inspiring influential people in order to bring about change. There are already interesting figureheads who can inspire lesbian and bisexual women at the top and therefore serve as role models. To be successful, queer women leaders are pressured to present themselves in exactly the same way as their heterosexual/cis-gendered peers, betraying nothing in their behavior or communication that challenges or threatens the hetero- and or cis-normative status quo (Fine, 2017). This is referred to as the ‘good homosexual’, that is an individual who is out in the workplace but is complete without reproach, and embodies behaviors in their workplace that are read as heterosexual or cis-gendered. Besides that, the conventional Western leadership trope of ambition, strength, power, and assertiveness is imbued with masculinity. This leads to male (and trans-male) leaders subscribing to a model of masculinity. However, the expectations of female (and trans-female) leaders are more complex to navigate, as femininity must be apparent so that they are intelligible as a woman to their followers. There appears to be an obvious and ironic double bind for some lesbian leaders as a lesbian might not be viewed as a ‘real’ woman but may embody non-traditional leadership (Fassinger, 2008). It can be challenging for aspiring leaders who are queer women to thrive within a heteronormative and cis-normative culture if there is dissonance between their embodiment of leadership and expectations of what a leader should look like

Mission/Vision of Women@WP 

  • Outreach, co-operation & networking among Queer Women 
  • Raising awareness by exchanging information and knowledge on Queer diversity and inclusion within the Women@WP Community
  • Making Queer Women professionals & leaders more visible in the workplace

Women@WP Goals 2022:

  • Strengthen the community by organising at least two times a year a joint activity. This can be a webinar or a live session at a location.

Connect with us at  [email protected] with questions, ideas, feedback, request for support