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We were excited to welcome Wolfgang Link as a guest at our PROUT PERFORMER Lunch Talk on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

Click here for the recording of the interview (German):

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About Wolfgang:
© Seven.One/Robert Brembeck

Wolfgang Link was appointed to the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE in March 2020. He is responsible for all entertainment activities of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and is CEO of Seven.One Entertainment Group.

He joined the ProSiebenSat.1 Group in 2009 as Head of Entertainment at SAT.1, and was later responsible for all entertainment formats of the German station group as Senior Vice President, bringing ‚ÄúThe Voice of Germany‚ÄĚ to Germany, for example. From 2012 to 2016, he was Managing Director of ProSieben, became Managing Director of ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland GmbH in October 2013 and took over as Chairman of the Executive Board shortly afterwards. In 2019, as co-CEO, he was responsible for merging the station brands, content, marketing and distribution operations under the umbrella of the Seven.One Entertainment Group, which will operate in 2020.

After studying communications, arts and psychology, Wolfgang Link initially worked for various musical and live productions. From 2003, as a producer and executive producer at Grundy Light Entertainment, he helped make the ‚ÄúDeutschland sucht den Superstar‚ÄĚ format a success, among other things.

Regularily, our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

This event took place in German.

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GUEST OF THE DAY

Lars Ottmer
Head of controlling, SWISS International Airlines, 13th place PROUT EXECUTIVES 2021

Lars has worked in various positions at SWISS International Airlines and its parent Lufthansa Group since 2000. At the moment, he is the Head of Controlling at SWISS, and before that he held senior positions in HR, leadership development, market and fleet strategy within the Group. He has twice acutely fought for the survival of SWISS during this time, most recently because of the Corona pandemic.

Within the Group, Lars is committed to the LGBT*IQ community and open interaction. For example, he helped SWISS take a barely veiled stand in the ‚Äúmarriage for all‚ÄĚ referendum in Switzerland, and in his younger years he was also a political activist, including as a member of the city of Zurich‚Äôs parliament. In his wild party years, he was also a co-organizer of the Zurich ‚ÄúStreet Parade‚ÄĚ.


Regularily, our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

This event took place in German.

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Guest of the day

Max Appenroth
Trans* activist, diversity consultant, moderator, PhD student at Charité University Medicine Berlin, Research & Community Sexual Health Officer for GATE -Global Action for Trans Equality.

Max is so involved in so many ways that we don’t really know where to start – Max is a trans* activist, diversity consultant, moderator and is doing his PhD at the Institute for Public Health at Charit√© Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin. Max also works as a Research & Community Sexual Health Officer for GATE – Global Action for Trans Equality. Besides all his work and commitment, Max also won the election for Mr. Gay Germany 2022.

With their own company ‘diversity sparq’, Max offers workshops and trainings for companies, institutions and med/nursing care facilities that want to experience and learn more about sexual and gender diversity.

Regularily, our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

This event took place in German.

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Guest of the day

Birgit Spors
Head of Marketing + Digital Channels (Director) at KfW Bankengruppe
3rd place PROUTExecutives 2021

Birgit Spors is responsible for all customer interfaces at KfW Germany. In this role, she plays a key role in driving KfW’s connectivity to the digital economy. She wants to make funding simple, digital and accessible everywhere. Internally, she is involved in KfW’s Rainbow Network and, through her management function, also sends an important signal that equal opportunities are a reality at KfW and that she is an exemplary diversity employer.

Regularily, our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

This event took place in German.

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guest of the day

Dr. Christophe Campana
Founder and Managing Director of Campana & Schott
3rd place PROUTExecutiveAllies 2021

Dr. Christophe Campana is founder and managing director of the Campana & Schott group of companies. He has over 25 years of experience in (top) management consulting and is a member of various expert and advisory boards. He has been instrumental in shaping the company’s open, tolerant and diverse culture from the very beginning.

Christophe is also a sponsor and one of the biggest supporters of Campana & Schott’s LGBTQ+ network SCOUT. He has already accompanied the community on its way to coming out and is its trusted ally, advisor and friend.

The PROUT PERFORMER lists 2021 are online!

The nomination process already started at the beginning of the year and now the time has finally come! You can now get a glimpse of this year’s PROUT PERFORMER lists and be inspired by impressive individuals and their stories.

Regularily, our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

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GUEST OF THE DAY

© Lichtbildatelier Eva Speith, Darmstadt

Philip Heßen
Head of HR Strategy & Transformation bei Merck
Ranked 6th on the TOP 100 OUT EXECUTIVES list 2020

Philip He√üen joined Merck KGaA, a leading science and technology company based in Germany, in 2014. Initially Philip held the position of Head of Global Rewards, followed by his role as Head of HR Germany and is currently responsible for the Global People and HR Strategy, acting as Head of HR Strategy & Transformation.  

Philips professional career started with Siemens, where he was responsible for the initiation of a share-based incentive and establishing an employee-share-culture. In 2011, he transitioned to the high-tech company OSRAM as Global Rewards and Executive HR Manager and, among other things, supported the company’s flotation (IPO) and Divesture from the parent company Siemens.

INTERVIEW WITH DR. JEAN-LUC VEY ON THE START OF NOMINATIONS FOR THE PROUT PERFORMER-LISTS

“LISTS LIKE PROUT PERFORMER SHOW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO TALK OPENLY ABOUT your SEXUAL orientation AND GENDER IDENTITY AND BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR CAREER AT THE SAME TIME.”

Hello Jean-Luc. Thank you for your time and for giving us the opportunity to do this interview. PROUT AT WORK is publishing the new PROUT PERFORMER lists for the first time this year. How does it come about?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: First of all, I would like to thank everyone involved in GERMANY’S TOP 100 OUT EXECUTVES for making the list as successful as it has been over the last three years. Those are mainly the role models who made it onto one of the lists, but also every single nominee. I would also like to thank those who nominated their colleagues and people they know. Above all, I would like to especially thank the jury and our cooperation partners.

They have all contributed a great deal to the visibility of the LGBT*IQ community in Germany. The lists have shown that it is possible to be open about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity in everyday working life without experiencing negative career consequences. With their commitment to equal rights and equal opportunities for LGBT*IQ people at work, those who made it onto the list serve as role models for the entire LGBT*IQ community and beyond.

PROUT AT WORK terminated the collaboration with our partner at the end of the year. However, the visibility of LGBT*IQ at work is still very close to our hearts. Therefore, we have decided to continue the lists with a new name, to further develop them and to publish them on our own in 2021. Being out in the workplace should be the rule and not the exception. We will continue to work for this in the future with our various projects.

Why are these lists so important?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: As already mentioned, this is mainly about visibility. Studies continue to show that many LGBT*IQ students go back into the closet once they start their professional lives, out of fear that coming out will have a negative impact on their careers. Lists like PROUT PERFORMER show that it is possible to be open about your sexual orientation and gender identity and be successful in your career at the same time. This helps others to have the confidence to come out as well. And this in turn has been proven to have positive effects on mental health and productivity at work.

What is the difference between the new PROUT PERFORMER-lists and the former TOP 100 OUT EXECUTIVE lists?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: In order to make the PROUT PERFORMER-lists even more attractive, we first carried out a survey among old candidates to find out where they felt there was still room for improvement. We took this feedback to heart in the following redesign and incorporated it into the structure of the new lists. Therefore, we now have more distinct categories in the PROUT PERFORMERS-lists and for example have created a separate list for SMEs. In addition, Executive Allies are now also being recognised on a special list. Another new aspect is that we only rank the top places on the list, as we do not want to create competition between the individual candidates.

But why rank the top places anyway?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: This is because there are still some people who have done particularly outstanding work for LGBT*IQ equality at the workplace over the past year – with important initiatives, new projects or other activities. We would like to give them special attention by highlighting them at the top of the list.

What part does the PROUT PERFORMER jury play in this?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: We spoke with the jury ahead of redesigning the lists, too. We are very proud to have won such top-class people for the project again. But we are also aware that due to their important roles in their companies, they often do not have the time to evaluate each candidate individually – this was also expressed in their direct feedback.

Therefore, the first evaluation will be carried out by the PROUT AT WORK-Foundation, which will use the information and criteria submitted to determine who will earn a spot on the list and who, because of their exceptional achievements, will have a chance to reach one of the highest-ranking positions. These people are then asked to introduce themselves to the jury through a short video clip, and the jury then determines the top positions. This way we were able to secure the prominent jury members and still ensure an attractive evaluation process for the nominees.

How can people nominate their role models for the PROUT PERFORMER-lists?

 

Jean-Luc Vey: Nominations are now accepted through our website. It can be found at proutperformer.de. We are looking forward to all nominations and to creating more visibility for LGBT*IQ at the workplace together with our community.

Thank you for this interview, Jean-Luc!
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A talk with… Markus Bader

Who is your LGBT*IQ Role Model? Nominations via our new website are open now! Find out more additional info about our new project.

Once a month our board member Albert Kehrer invites an inspiring role model of the LGBT*IQ community or an LGBT*IQ Ally for a chat. You can look forward to an interesting exchange about role models and visibility in the LGBT*IQ community.

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Guest of the day

Nick Mott
Senior Adviser at Dentons; Chair Dentons Global LGBT+ network
100 OUTstanding LGBT+ Executives Role Model Lists 2018 and 2019

Nick has been at global law firm Dentons for many years, most recently as Assistant General Counsel (Partner). Between 2014 to 2019 he was also Diversity and Inclusion Partner in the UK during which he significantly raised the visibility and importance of Inclusion and Diversity within the Firm. He co-founded Dentons UK  LGBT, Black Professionals and Asian Professionals (Fusion) networks, and was an early promoter of the concept of intersectionality . He also set up, and continues to chair, Dentons Global LGBT+ network which connects Dentons LGBT+ staff and their allies across its many regions, and raises awareness in a variety of ways, including an annual Dentons Global Pride Day. A passionate supporter of trans* colleagues, Nick instituted Dentons’ UK transitioning policies and related training, and has promoted greater staff awareness of trans* issues. During Nick’s tenure as D&I partner, Dentons UK was listed as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer for 4 years running.  Dentons is also recognised as a Stonewall Top Global Employer 2020.

Externally Nick supports a number of LGBT+ charities including Diversity Role Models (which supports schools and pupils with LGBT+ awareness and bullying prevention) and is a volunteer with Opening Doors London as part of their tele-friending service for older LGBT+ people.

Nick retired from the partnership in 2020 and is now a senior global adviser to Dentons, advising on LGBT+ issues and awareness. He was proud to be named in the 100 OUTstanding LGBT+ Executives Role Model in 2018 and 2019.