Campaign #QueerAtWork for IDAHOBIT

The International Day against Homophobia, Bi-, Inter- and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) has been celebrated annually on May 17 since 2005 to highlight discrimination against the LGBT*IQ community, to raise awareness of existing inequality structures and to take a united stand for diversity and tolerance. May 17 marks the day in 1990 when the WHO removed homosexuality from the diagnostic code for diseases. For this year’s IDAHOBIT, we are calling on all LGBTIQ employees, regardless of their company, to post a portrait photo on their social media channels with the hashtag #QueerAtWork.

How can i participate in the Campaign?
  • Inform and approach LGBT*IQ people from your own network and beyond to make them aware of the campaign
  • Create a portrait photo using the templates, whether printed out or digitally using a tablet. (Be sure to clarify in advance whether you may use the employer’s company logo along with the template. Instead, you can use the company name or use the template without company information.)
  • Post your own campaign photo along with the statement on May 17 2021, 9:00 am (CEST) with the respective hashtags and taggings on whatever social media channels you use

All the information, including the statement and template for the action, can be found summarized here as a download.

Hashtags

#IDAHOBIT2021
#QueerAtWork
#ProutAtWork
#FlaggeFĂŒrVielfalt
#LGBT
#[Diversity-Hashtag of your company]
#[Diversity-Hashtag of your corporate network]

Taggings

PROUT AT WORK
Facebook: @PrOut@Work
Instagram: @proutatwork
LinkedIn: @PROUT AT WORK-Foundation
Twitter: @proutatwork

If applicable, own company

Position yourself and your company as a supporter of the campaign and call on employees and executives to participate. Use the campaign to effectively advocate against LGBT*IQ discrimination internally and externally. The campaign is based on an idea by Magenta Pride, Deutsche Telekom’s LGBT*IQ employee network, and is supported by it.

IDAHOBIT 2021

Facts

Studies show that workplace discrimination experiences are still part of everyday life for many LGBT*IQ people. The study “Inter in the Office?!” The work situation of inter* people in Germany under a differential perspective to (endo) LGBTQ+ people.”, published in 2020 by Prof. Dr. Dominic Frohn states that 37.7% of (endo) trans and/or non-binary people surveyed, approx. 30% of inter* respondents and approx. 20& of (endo* cis) LGB+ people directly experience workplace discrimination , in the form of e.g. job rejection, transfer or dismissal.

It’s not surprising, then, that according to a Boston Consulting Group survey (2018/19), 22% of respondents see coming out at work as a potential career risk. 42% would lie to their manager about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. More background information and studies on LGBT*IQ (in the workplace).

Support

Discrimination against LGBTIQ people is evident at other levels of society besides the workplace. Deal with these issues and make yourself aware of existing inequality structures. Only by becoming aware of these structures and grievances can you actively contribute to their dismantling. The points mentioned here are only an excerpt and not a complete list of possibilities with which you can start your commitment for LGBTIQ equal opportunities and against homophobia, bi-, inter- and transphobia.

Blood Donation

Discrimination against LGBT*IQ people is evident at other levels of society besides the workplace. Deal with these issues and make yourself aware of existing inequality structures. Only by becoming aware of these structures one can actively contribute to their dismantling. The points mentioned here are only an excerpt and not a complete list of possibilities with which you can start your commitment for LGBT*IQ equal opportunities and against homophobia, bi-, inter*- and trans*phobia.

EU LGBT*IQ Freedom Zone

In 2020, some Polish municipalities and cities declared their region as so-called “LGBT-free zones”. The establishment of entire regions where, according to the signatories, no LGBT*IQ people live is a clear attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and inter* people. As a first step, the European Parliament has declared the EU as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” to send a clear message against the homophobic rhetoric and sentiment against sexual minorities in Poland. Find out more about the current events in this regard.

Selbstbestimmungsgesetz

The currently valid “Transsexuellengesetz” (TSG) is deeply discriminatory and should be replaced by the self-determination law. “The parliamentary group BĂŒndnis 90/Die GrĂŒnen has submitted a bill “for the repeal of the transsexual law and introduction of the self-determination law” (19/19755)”. On May 19, there is a discussion on this in the Bundestag, in which it will also come to the vote. You can currently still contact suitable deputies in this regard.

A basic Law for all

Demand the addition of Article 3 GG, because LGBT*IQ people are still not protected by Article 3 in the German Basic Law. Many people within the LGBT*IQ community experience discrimination, exclusion and hate violence. We feel that a protection by the Basic Law is indispensable and therefore PROUT AT WORK is one of the first signatories of the appeal “A Basic Law for All”. Sign also now the petition or contact your delegates.

Legal Equality for queer Families

Stand up for the rights of rainbow families. Compared to children of heterosexual couples, the second mother must first adopt her child to provide legal protection – even if the parents are married. For example, support the nodoption campaign, which opposes stepchild adoption among rainbow families and advocates for recognition of parenthood.

People from the LGBT*IQ Community

As part of Awareness Day, we asked people from the LGBT*IQ community which role models helped them come out and why. We also asked them what structural changes they would like to see for more LGBT*IQ equality.

Sandra Vollmer, Vorstand Finanzen und HR, 1&1 Mail & Media Applications SE

Welche Role Models haben Dir beim Coming Out geholfen und wieso?

“Ich habe mich intensiv mit dem Outing v.a. anderer trans* Frauen beschĂ€ftigt. Sowohl im persönlichen Austausch mit anderen trans* Frauen, aber auch durch Recherche und das Studium vieler Biografien. Besonders bewegt haben mich die Lebenswege von Valerie Schnitzer (“Geheilte Seele – Befreites Ich”), die ich im Rahmen einer Lesung persönlich kennenlernen durfte, und natĂŒrlich die Geschichte von Anastasia Biefang, die als FĂŒhrungskraft in der landlĂ€ufig als „konservativ“ geltenden Bundeswehr ihre berufliche Transition erfolgreich vollzogen hatte. Wenn man es so will, war Anastasia fĂŒr mich der Moment, wo ich mir sagte ‚Okay, Sie hat das klasse gemacht. Wenn das als FĂŒhrungskraft in der Bundeswehr möglich ist, muss eine Transition in meinem Unternehmen fĂŒr mich als VorstĂ€ndin ebenfalls nicht unmöglich sein?‘ Und auch wenn ich am Ende die Kraft und den Mut fĂŒr mein Outing aus ganz vielen unterschiedlichen Quellen geschöpft habe, war ihre Geschichte sicherlich eine davon!”

Welche strukturellen Änderungen in der Arbeitswelt wĂŒnschst Du Dir fĂŒr mehr LGBT*IQ-Chancengleichheit?

“Ich wĂŒrde mir wĂŒnschen, dass noch mehr Entscheider_innen althergebrachte Rollenbilder und Vorurteile abbauen, und mit geistiger Offenheit Vielfalt als Chance verstehen. Chance deshalb, weil ich fest davon ĂŒberzeugt bin, wenn alle Mitarbeiter_innen ihre Talente einbringen und entfalten können, entstehen vielfĂ€ltige und neue Ideen. Außerdem trĂ€gt das zu einem komplexeren und umfangreicheren VerstĂ€ndnis der Kund_innen bei, zu denen auch die LGBT*IQ Community zĂ€hlt. Und zu guter Letzt erhöht das die AttraktivitĂ€t als Arbeitgeber_in. Um das zu erreichen Bedarf es klarer Zielvorgaben durch die UnternehmensfĂŒhrung / Aufsichtsgremien, und ein professionelles Diversity Management, das einen bunten Blumenstrauß an Maßnahmen treibt und Fortschritte in der operationalen Umsetzung misst. Tendenziell also eher ein Marathon als ein Sprint! Und gerade deshalb sind Initiativen wie der IDAHOBIT so wichtig. Sie geben DenkanstĂ¶ĂŸe, zeigen Handlungsalternativen auf und schaffen im besten Fall den NĂ€hrboden fĂŒr ein VerĂ€nderungsbewusstsein.”

Sonsoles PĂ©rez Laporta, Unternehmenskommunikation, AUDI Planung GmbH

Welche Role Models haben Dir beim Coming Out geholfen und wieso?

“Inspirierende Role Models haben zwei Merkmale: Wir können uns mit ihnen identifizieren und sie zeigen uns, was wir werden können: stark, mutig und sichtbar.”

Welche strukturellen Änderungen in der Arbeitswelt wĂŒnschst Du Dir fĂŒr mehr LGBT*IQ Chancengleichheit?

“Coaching und Mentoring-Programme fĂŒr die LGBT*IQ-Community und AufklĂ€rung fĂŒr potentielle Allies. In der DiversitĂ€t sind wir stark, wenn uns die Vielfalt und ihre Vorteile bewusst sind und gefördert werden.”

Thiago Machado, Global Senior Brand Manager, Beiersdorf

Which role models helped you coming out and why?

“Having peers and leaders openly out gave me the confidence to be myself and authentic at work – it gave me the confidence to be myself and keep working continuously to build a successful career. Having a role model made me realize I can be myself, that I can share about my personal life and take initiatives for a more inclusive environment. It does make a difference and I strongly believe that having people to look up to encourages me every day to do my best and be the example for the others around me.”

Which structural changes in the work environment aiming for equality of opportunities for the LGBT*IQ community do you wish for?

“First and foremost it is key that we integrate clear anti-discrimination guidelines into our HR policies and that we enforce these when we are made aware of behaviour that is not in line with these guidelines. Furthermore, every employer should offer similar benefits to same sex couples as they would to non-same-sex couples, that seems only fair to me! I also really believe in training to educate ALL our employees on Diversity & Inclusion, this plays a very important role for an inclusive and respectful environment. It gives the employees the opportunity to put themselves in the others’  shoes, respecting and valuing the diversity & inclusion. I wish for an environment where the workforce, globally, has the tools and information to understand that an inclusive workplace means more motivation, more productivity and more authenticity.
I wish that it is reflected not only in all internal touchpoints – recruitment & development, but also externally, positively impacting the society.”

Maik Brunkow, Employer Branding, KGMG Deutschland

Welche Role Models haben Dir beim Coming Out geholfen und wieso?

“Mein erstes großes Coming Out hatte ich leider nicht selbst bestimmt, aber ich habe meine sexuelle Orientierung auch mit 13 schon nicht verleugnet. Das lag zum Teil auch an vielen verschiedenen Stars im Musikbusiness, die schon erfolgreich Out waren. Ganz explizit waren das der Keyboarder einer deutschen Rockpopband und der Gewinner des britischen Castingformats Pop Idol.
Als nicht binĂ€re Person hatte ich nie ein richtiges Coming Out. Einzelne Freund*innen waren Teil des Prozesses, in dem mir klar geworden ist, dass die, die mir in meinem Leben in unterschiedlichen Situationen gesagt haben, ich wĂ€re entweder zu mĂ€nnlich oder zu weiblich, einfach unrecht hatten. In dieser Zeit hat es sehr geholfen, dass ein genereller gesellschaftlicher Wandel stattfindet. Die vielen Menschen, die sich nicht mehr einem binĂ€ren Geschlechtssystem einordnen wollen und das öffentlich zeigen, sind fĂŒr mich unglaublich wichtig. Irgendwann habe ich dann einfach angefangen, in meine Profile reinzuschreiben, dass ich Pronomen ablehne, wenn sie nicht benötigt werden. Sehr hilfreich war es fĂŒr mich aber auch, dass meine FĂŒhrungskraft aus einem Praktikum, das ich mal gemacht habe, jetzt auch in ihren Online-Profilen stehen hatte, dass sie nun they/them Pronouns verwendet.”

Welche strukturellen Änderungen in der Arbeitswelt wĂŒnschst Du Dir fĂŒr mehr LGBT*IQ Chancengleichheit?

“Manchmal könnte man denken, wir wĂ€ren schon am Ende der Gleichberechtigung angekommen. Ich glaube nicht, dass wir schon soweit sind. Auf gesellschaftlicher Ebene mĂŒssen wir unbedingt die rechtlichen HĂŒrden fĂŒr Geschlechtsangleichungen heruntersetzen und dringend die Stiefkindadoption fĂŒr gleichgeschlechtliche Paare erleichtern. Am Arbeitsplatz folgen daraus fĂŒr mich ganz konkrete Änderungen: es gibt in vielen Unternehmen immer noch keine Möglichkeit, Angaben zum Geschlecht mal eben zu Ă€ndern. Außerdem unterscheiden Policies zur Elternzeit und zur RĂŒckkehr aus der Elternzeit noch hĂ€ufig zwischen MĂ€nnern und Frauen. Gleichgeschlechtliche Paare werden hier nur selten direkt angesprochen. Neben einem langfristigen Wandel von Unternehmenskulturen, sehe ich hier die grĂ¶ĂŸten Baustellen.”

Merve Aksoy, Schauspielerin

Welche Role Models haben Dir beim Coming Out geholfen und wieso?

“Maren Kroymann, ihre selbstbewusste offene Art hat mir gezeigt wie selbstverstĂ€ndlich das ist und trotzdem eine erfolgreiche Schauspielerin sein kann. Ruby Rose, sie steht zu sich und ihrem Lifestyle, ihrem Style. Sie zeigt die „nackte“ Wahrheit. Sie engagiert sich fĂŒr homosexuelle Rechte. Ich finde sie sehr mutig. Ich möchte auch andere inspirieren und unterstĂŒtzen durch meine Sichtbarkeit beim Coming Out zu helfen.”

Welche strukturellen Änderungen in der Arbeitswelt wĂŒnschst Du Dir fĂŒr mehr LGBT*IQ Chancengleichheit?

” Ich wĂŒnsche mir besseren Schutz vor Diskriminierung. Firmen sollen Diversity-Trainings und geschlechtsneutrale Toiletten anbieten. In Jobbeschreibungen die neutrale/korrekt gegenderte Version wĂ€hlen (also “Fachperson” statt Fachmann, oder Reinigungsfachkraft statt Putzfrau). Die Möglichkeit gerade fĂŒr trans Personen, schon vor der öffentlichen NamensĂ€nderung den gewĂ€hlte Namen im Betrieb/Mailadresse usw. zu verwenden. Eine interne Ansprechstelle, wo Diskriminierung (von Kund*innen oder Mitarbeitenden) gemeldet werden kann.”

Counseling

LesMigras

“LesMigraS is the anti-discrimination and anti-violence section of lesbian counseling Berlin e.V.”

Gladt e.v.

” GLADT is a self-organization of black and of color lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, inter and queer people in Berlin, which stands up against racism, sexism, trans* and homophobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination and offers a diverse range of counseling services.”

Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes

“The counseling team with lawyers can inform you about your rights in a case of discrimination or sexual harassment, show you possibilities if and how you can enforce your rights, strive for an amicable conflict resolution and try to name experts close to your home.”

Bundesverband trans*

“The Bundesverband Trans* (BVT) sees itself as an association of individuals, groups, clubs, associations and initiatives at regional, state and national level, whose common endeavor is the commitment to gender diversity and self-determination and the commitment to human rights in terms of respect, recognition, equality, social participation and health of trans or persons not located in the binary gender system.”

Deutsche Gesellschaft fĂŒr TransidentitĂ€t und IntersexualitĂ€t e.V.

“Die dgti hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, die Akzeptanz von Transidenten innerhalb der Gesellschaft zu fördern und deren Stigmatisierung entgegenzuwirken. Sie soll Betroffene und Interessierte beraten und betreuen, sofern dies gewĂŒnscht wird. Ein wesentlicher Aspekt der Arbeit sollte die (Re-)Integration von Betroffenen in den Arbeitsprozess sein, um so der Gefahr des sozialen Abstiegs zu begegnen, der heutzutage noch mit dem sozialen Wechsel verbunden ist. Sie tritt fĂŒr mehr Offenheit der eigenen IdentitĂ€t gegenĂŒber ein und trĂ€gt der Vielfalt menschlichen Daseins Rechnung.”

We look forward to a successful campaign!

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The International Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on March 31. This day should be used to empower the trans* community, create awareness for trans* topics and draw attention to existing discriminatory structures. We would like to contribute again this year to achieve more visibility for t* in LGBT*IQ.

To kick off the event, we held a panel on March 29th with the topic “trans* at work – existing difficulties & discrimination-free transitions”. Together with our panelists Julia Monro and Andrea Schuler, we mainly talked about stressful situations that trans* people can find themselves in during their transition. We illuminated these negative moments, let trans* people speak with their individual experiences in order to make existing discriminatory structures visible. It is important for us to present this side as well, in order to see and work out where there is room for improvement for companies and the responsible parties – and thus for the trans* people concerned. This way, mistakes can be avoided in the future, allowing more trans* people to look back on their transition in their company with positive feelings.

Panelists:

Julia Monro

Julia supports the German Society for Transidentity and Intersexuality e.v.  in public relations and offers counseling for transgender people. In 2018, she founded her own project called Transkids and offers workshops at schools as a lecturer of the PĂ€dagogisches Landesinstitut. She is involved in the trans* community to improve the living situation of transgender people and reports, among other things, from her own biography of experiences of discrimination in society and the world of work.

Andrea Schuler

Andrea Schuler’s area of expertise is the impact of gender diversity in social and professional contexts. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Management of Social Innovations, Andrea was involved in the ERASMUS+ project Transvisible on the labor market integration of trans* people for the German Trans* Association. There, she collaborated on the publication TransVisible – A Guide for Better Labor Integration and Economic Empowerment of Trans* Women, among others. Andrea works as a psychosocial counselor at the Trans*Inter*Beratungsstelle MĂŒnchen.

In the panel, the two experts asked the following question, among others.

“HOW CAN EMPLOYERS POSITION THEMSELVES TO MAKE TRANSITIONS GO WELL?”

Julia Monro, FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND TRANS* ACTIVIST

“Enormously important is the orientation to the person themselves, i.e. they set the pace and the direction. This additionally conveys appreciation and respects self-determined decisions, which increases satisfaction and loyalty.”

Andrea Schuler, CONSULTANT AND TRAINER, TRANSINTERCOUNSELING CENTER

“Many trans* people leave the company before they transition. So it’s incredibly important that a company sets the framework in advance for a good, shared, safe transition.”

n addition, in order to show examples of how a good and joint transition can work in the company, besides the existing difficulties, we asked trans* people the following question.

“WHAT HELPED YOU THE MOST IN A PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT DURING TRANSITION?”

Alice Oehninger, BIOLOGY LABORATORY TECHNICIAN TRAINER, BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

“The uncomplicated change of form of address and e-mail, etc., even before my official name change helped me immensely. My colleagues have always addressed me correctly from the beginning. Their trust and flexibility have strengthened me enormously.”

Adrian Hausner, Site Reliability Engineer, Google Germany GmbH

“I was especially helped by the ‘Trans at Google’ network. Having a community like that behind you is immensely empowering, and the fact that discrimination against trans* people is absolutely not accepted, plus the ability to use gender-neutral restrooms. That’s also very important for non-binary colleagues.”

Leonora Friese, Business Consultant, AXA Konzern AG

“During my coming out and transition, I benefited especially from the support I received from HR. For example, by informing the workforce with an interview in the employee newspaper, a panel discussion on DiversityDay and a video about me and my work in the Group. Together we also developed a guideline on coming out and transition, so that we can continue to support other people in the future.”

THE PERSON QUOTED WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS

“As a non-out, non-intersex non-binary trans* person, I would experience a great relief if my employer recognized and supported my gender identity – even if the registry offices do not. For me, this includes in particular firmly established offers to use my self-chosen first name wherever it is legally possible – e.g. in daily interactions, in e-mail addresses, on door signs, etc.”

Joschua Thuir, HEAD OF TEACHING GROUP | SPECIALIST TEACHER FOR LAW AND ADMINISTRATION, FEDERAL POLICE FORCE

“I was very happy to be able to fall back on an official contact person who is also trans* before my outing at the workplace. Since she had already gained outing experience in the authority and shared it with me, I was well prepared for negative reactions, indiscreet questions and other unpleasant situations.”

Franka Uhlig, BUSINESS INFORMATICS SPECIALIST, IBM GERMANY GMBH

“After coming out, I immediately received positive signals from my management and HR. Particularly helpful was the support in changing my name in the online systems, on my employee ID card and on my mail address, so that I could quickly ensure my appearance as a woman in the company and to customers.”

What can help me as a trans* person in a professional context? What counseling centers are there that I can turn to? Besides answers to these questions, we also offer an excerpt of possibilities that companies have to accompany a transition well. In addition, there are further tips for trans* persons and on the question of how you can be an Ally by supporting colleagues in transition.

FURTHER TIPS FOR TRANS* PEOPLE

The people quoting already offer some insight into support options. Here at a glance is an excerpt on further assistance:

  • Seek allies and role models within the company.
  • If possible, work with the company to create a communication and action plan.
  • Very important: You set the pace!
  • Connect with the LGBTIQ network, if one exists. We have compiled a list of LGBTIQ networks in companies and organizations.

TIPS FOR COMPANIES AND ALLIES

  • A Transition Guide clearly specifies who is responsible. Note: the trans* person determines the pace and whether an action should be implemented. Every transition is individual.
  • Enable name and pronoun changes before the official decision is made.
  • Training sensitize HR and management
  • Establish and strengthen an internal LGBTIQ network with dedicated trans contact persons
  • Inform yourself about the topic trans*
  • Use gender inclusive language, ask for a person’s pronouns so they use the one chosen by the trans* person and not their deadname. Deadname is the old, discarded name of a trans* person.
  • Only ask questions that you would answer yourself
  • Consciously stand up for the rights and against the discrimination of trans* persons

ADVISORY SERVICES (GErmany)

FEDERAL TRANS* ASSOCIATION

“The Bundesverband Trans* (BVT) sees itself as a union of individuals, groups, associations, federations and initiatives at regional, state and national level whose common endeavor is the commitment to gender diversity and self-determination and the commitment to human rights in terms of respect, recognition, equality, social participation and health of trans people or those not located in the binary gender system.”

GERMAN SOCIETY FOR TRANSIDENTITY AND INTERSEXUALITY E.V.

“The dgti has set itself the goal of promoting the acceptance of transidents within society and counteracting their stigmatization. It should advise and support affected and interested persons, if so desired. An essential aspect of the work should be the (re-)integration of affected people into the work process, in order to counteract the danger of social decline, which is still associated with social change today. It advocates more openness to one’s own identity and takes into account the diversity of human existence.”

Transmann e.V.

“Nationwide, volunteer-based, non-profit association for all woman-to-male (FzM/FtM) trans* and inter* people.”

TransInterQueer e.V.

“TrIQ is a social center and a politically, culturally and in the research field active association, which stands up for trans, intersex and queer living people in Berlin and beyond.”

TRANS*INTER*COUNSELING CENTER

“The project of the MĂŒnchner Aids-Hilfe e.V. is equally there for trans* and inter* people as well as their relatives and friends.”

TGEU

“TGEU is a membership-based organization that was founded in 2005. Since then, TGEU has grown steadily and established itself as a legitimate voice for the trans* community in Europe and Central Asia, with 157 member organizations in 47 different countries.”

Questions?

Contact us with questions and concerns about trans* in the workplace! We are happy to help.