Young@Workplace Pride is a community under Workplace Pride, focused on supporting young (up until 35 years) LGBTIQ+ individuals. It consists of four voluntary board members who are all part of the LGBTIQ+ community themselves. With several events and initiatives (detailed below) we try to connect and support young LGBTIQ+ individuals as they are experiencing what it is like to be a queer young professional and to be their true self in the workplace. We find this very important, as 41% of young professionals go back to the closet when starting their first job. We try to provide a network to support these individuals, by offering guidance and by creating spaces where it is possible to discuss LGBTIQ+ related topics. It is very important for Young@Workplace Pride that queer young professionals feel valued, safe, and comfortable to be themselves at work.
The Mentorship Program
A very direct way in which Young@Workplace Pride provides support is via the annual Mentorship Program. In this program we invite employees of Workplace Pride member companies to work on their personal development, or help someone with their personal development, or both by reverse mentoring. We connect mentors and mentees (as well as sparring partners) together who match in their help request and expertise. The current program has more than 70 participants from over 15 countries who have the opportunity to attend hybrid trainings with external trainers and guest speakers. Topics included ‘thriving together’ and ‘corporate activism’. The Mentorship Program is currently in its second cycle and is something we are very proud of.
The Young@Workplace Pride community also hosts and attends several events. We are part of the International Workplace Pride Conference, hosted a Christmas Connection Event last year and we are currently gearing up to our biggest event yet. This event is in collaboration with KLM and will take place in the hanger in Schiphol on IDAHOBIT (17-05-2023). This once-in-a-lifetime location will be used to host 250 people of all ages (LGBTIQ+ and allies) and focuses on the theme ‘Role models’. If you have not received an invitation for this yet but would love to attend, or if you have any other questions or suggestions, please reach out via our email: [email protected]
- Empowerment: Offer development opportunities for young LGBTIQ+ people to grow as individuals and professionals.
- Workplace Awareness: Support organisations in raising awareness about the needs and challenges of young LGBTIQ+ people in the workplace.
- Community building: Build strong relationships within the LGBTIQ+ community by offering opportunities for networking within and between generations.
Maral Arikan leads the way
“It was actually when I was already working my first job, also within ABN AMRO that I came out of the closet. Which was scary as hell because it was a white masculine, hetero-normative environment with all the prejudices present you can think of. And although responses were really supportive I found myself in situations where I wondered, wasn’t it better to stay closeted at work? When you are starting your professional career you are in a phase in your life where you are discovering yourself personally but also professionally and in the combination of the two. I found comfort within our internal pride network, with like-minded people, some role models even and this made me realize how important this was and shaped me into the person I am today. And that is why I truly believe there is a need for young @ WP, for young people under 35. But don’t stop reading when you are not in this age range, because we need the other generations as well. The ones who were on the barricades back in the day, we need your knowledge and life experience. And for the older generation, there might also be something to take away, the whole woke culture can use some explanation. So besides cool informative events throughout the year, we will start a 7-month mentorship program in November, where we link mentors and mentees. The difficulties nowadays might differ from the struggles 10 years ago, but the way how to address and overcome them probably has quite some overlap.“
Connect with us at [email protected] with questions, ideas, feedback or request for support