Posts Tagged ‘LGBT@Work#8217;


“Leading out Loud” LGBT@Work 2018

Written on September 26, 2018 by Campus Life in Professional



“Why should CEO’s speak about LGBTQI* issues, equality, and inclusion? Not for profitability. It’s a question of justice and fairness.” – Santiago Iñiguez

On July 5, 2018, IEOut & Allies Club, IE University’s LGBTQI* & Allies network, hosted the 12th Annual LGBT@Work Conference at Madrid’s historic 19th century palace, Casa de América, located in Plaza de Cibeles. This year’s theme was “Leading Out Loud” and the event welcomed 200 attendees representative of 29 countries worldwide. LGBTQI* professionals from various industries around the world presented their company’s best LGBTQI* workplace inclusion practices, shared their personal journeys, and discussed what it means to be LGBTQI* in the global workplace today.

Since 2006, IEOut & Allies Club, IE University’s student-led LGBTQI* and allies’ organization, has proudly presented LGBT@Work, the longest-running LGBTQI* work conference in Europe and the 3rd-largest organized by a business school in the world.

“Be the change that you want to see, and that we need in the world today.” – Marijn Pijnenburg

The goal of LGBT@Work is to promote the free exchange of ideas and provide a unique networking platform for LGBTQI* students, professionals, and allies. Speakers, sponsors, and attendees from all over the world join LGBT@Work, creating a truly diverse, international, educational, and welcoming learning experience.

Santiago Iñiguez, Executive President of IE University, delivered the conference’s official welcome at 18:30 to an energetic room of attendees, representative of over 40 nationalities from around the globe: “It’s always an honor to be opening this event that we are so proud of.” His opening remarks addressed the conference’s 2018 theme, “Leading Out Loud.”

The 2018 LGBT@Work Speakers Series began with Hyung Hak Nam, President of UN-GLOBE of the United Nations, the group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex employees of the UN system. Nam spoke of his personal aim to change minds and attitudes in the UN system, and his desire to push the UN to be front and center in the fight for equality and inclusion for people of diverse sexual and gender identities everywhere.

“We [lesbians] need to be more visible because invisibility comes at a high cost: what you can’t see – you can’t be…We need to communicate, we cannot be hidden anymore. Go ahead and live out loud.” – Marta Fernández Herraiz

Next up to the LGBT@Work stage was Johan Turcios (USA), IEOut & Allies Club Coordinator, to introduce Marta Fernández Herraiz, founder of LesWorking & co-general director of REDI (Red Empresarial por la Diversidad e Inclusión LGBT in Spain), who delivered an inspiring message citing the need for lesbian visibility and her motivation behind creating the first international professional network for lesbian women. She is also a board member of the European Lesbian Conference and coordinator of REDI, the first professional network to promote LGBTQI* diversity and inclusion the in workplace in Spain. Her testimony included an emotional video starring the women of LesWorking titled, “Yo Lesbiana” – a video which was first featured on the front page of EL PAÍS on April 26th, the International Day of Lesbian Visibility, and has since received international recognition, awards, and over 500,000 views.

“Be the change that you want to see, and that we need in the world today.” – Marijn Pijnenburg

Joël McConnell, Director for Europe and Central Asia for IE University’s International Development Department presented Marijn Pijnenburg, Global Business Development Executive at IBM, LGBT@Work’s 12-year legacy sponsor. Pijnenburg spoke to the importance of sponsoring LGBQI* conferences such as LGBT@Work, citing the desire to see change in professional organizations in the coming years.

Alex Luzar (USA), LGBT@Work Committee, was next up to announce Luisa Ercoli, Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Barilla, who spoke about the importance of authenticity and the support from allies within organizations. In September 2013, Guido Barilla, the chairman of Barilla Group made controversial remarks regarding his refusal to feature gay couples in his company’s advertisements and his opposition to adoption by gay parents. Ercoli reflected on her personal experience working for the organization during this time – she transitioned from her position in marketing to a managerial position in the company’s diversity and inclusion office to help the company where she thought it needed it most. In response the to the chairman’s remarks, she and her colleagues created Barilla’s first LGBTQI* employee resource group and leveraged their authenticity to volunteer for special causes to help create a more inclusive workplace environment, allowing other employees to feel safe. Ercoli concluded her speech by

“Leverage your authenticity.” – Luisa Ercoli

challenging the audience to “bring your authenticity, create an employee resource group, volunteer for a special cause, and help someone to uncover.”

The first half of the LGBT@Work Speakers Series concluded with an introduction by Chris Chinting Kuo (Taiwan), IEOut & Allies Club Coordinator, and a powerful personal story by Joel A. Brown, Esq., CLC, Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumous LLC. Brown is based in San Francisco, California and specializes in cultural intelligence,

“He is black so he must be good at basketball – but he is gay so he is probably not that good.” – Joel A. Brown

leadership, and organizational strategy. As a change agent, Brown works strategically with organizational leaders to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully. His captivating storytelling led the audience to follow his high school and college experiences and the double-bias and intersectionality he faced as both a person of color and as a gay man.

Prior to the conference’s intermission, Santiago Iñiguez, Executive President of IE University, anad Michelle “Michi” Raymond, President of IEOut & Allies Club, took to the podium to present the 2018 IEOut & Allies Awards: The Leading Out Loud Award & The IEOut Allie’s Award.

Pictured: José de Isasa Fereres and Juan Ramirez, accepting the 2018 Leading Out Loud Award

The “Leading Out Loud” Award is given annually to someone who has demonstrated exceptional service and support to the LGBTQI* community. The recipient of this award is someone who has had a significant and positive impact in advancing LGBTQI* initiatives. This year’s recipients were the founding members of IEOut & Allies Club: José de Isasa Fereres, Frank Uffen, Paul Crabtree & Juan Ramirez. In attendance were José de Isasa Fereres and Juan Ramirez, who accepted the award on behalf of the founding members. During their acceptance speech, they surprised the audience by dialing in Paul Crabtree via speaker phone to deliver a riveting testimony of their experience founding IE University’s LGBTQI* club over a decade ago.

For the first time in the conference’s history, an Allies Award was presented to recognize someone who has had a significant and positive impact on the LGBTQI*

Ignacio Martinez Mancebo accepting the IEOut Club Allies Award on behalf of Maaian Lichtensztajn Kaplan, who delivered her second child earlier that day

community through their demonstration of exceptional service, advocacy, and support. Maaian Lichtensztajn Kaplan was the award’s inaugural recipient in recognition of her work with Fundación Eddy-G, the first LGBTQI* shelter-home for youth in Spain. Earlier in the day, Kaplan and her husband welcomed their second child into the world. Accepting the award on her behalf was her colleague and friend, Ignacio Martinez Mancebo. Speaking passionately of Kaplan’s formidable contributions to the LGBTQI* community, Mancebo concluded by addressing IEOut & Allies Club and Fundación Eddy-G’s long-standing partnership.

Following a networking intermission which included and assortment of traditional Spanish tapas and refreshments sponsored by Mahou, the second-half of LGBT@Work

“You need to be out to lead…Everyone has an opportunity to succeed if they are treated equally.” – Richard Sypniewski

kicked off with an energetic, humorous, and powerful testimony by Richard Sypniewski, CEO & Managing Director, SAGIN, LLC. Sypniewski was introduced to the stage by Jorge Hoyos (USA/Colombia), IEOut & Allies Club Coordinator. According to Sypniewski, “Education is a fundamental value that breaks down all the walls of indifference.” This belief led him to create SAGIN’s E3 fund which donates 15% of profits to organizations supporting Equality, Education, and Environment. In addition to his professional career, he spoke of his childhood, growing up in a working middle class neighborhood of Chicago, and the close relationship he shared with his father, whom he was raised by after losing his mother at the age of 3 to cancer. His charisma brought the audience to laughter when he openly advertised for a Spanish husband from the stage. “Like all gay American men at the moment, I’d like a second passport.” Sypniewski also developed his own drag character, “Wendy Sitti,” which he performs to raise money for causes supporting equality. He concluded by encouraging the audience to believe in themselves, “…Your success is not tied to working for a big company. Your success is within you. And once you’re out, you will start leading. Follow your heart.”

Pictured: Pedro Pina

Leandro Augusto de Oliveira (Brazil), IEOut & Allies Club Coordinator, introduced the conference’s next presenter, Pedro Pina, VP Global Client & Agency Solutions at Google. Pina is a Portuguese-born marketer who joined Google in 2013, overseeing Google’s deep engagement with some of the biggest advertisers around the world and their respective media/creative agencies. During his presentation which included emotional and inspiring videos, Pina spoke of the importance of online media channels in supporting the LGBTQI* community.

Pictured: Charles Myers

Sarah Finegan (Ireland), 2018 International MBA Student, welcomed Charles Myers, Chairman of Signum Global Advisors to the LGBT@Work Conference stage. Prior to becoming Chairman, Myers was the Vice Chairman of Evercore ISI and a member of Evercore ISI’s Executive Committee and Investment Policy Committee. In addition to his advisory career, he has had over 20 years’ experience in US electoral politics, having served as a senior member of the Finance committees of the 2008 and 2012 Obama Presidential campaigns as well as the 2016 Hilary Clinton for President campaign. Myers spoke about the importance of coming out at work and encouraged audience members to vote and elect leaders that were representative of their beliefs – leading out loud by taking a more active interest in politics.

Zayne Imam (South Africa), head of the LGBT@Work Speaker Committee and IEOut & Allies Club Coordinator, delivered an enthusiastic and heartfelt thankyou to IE University, the IEOut & Allies Club, the LGBT@Work Speakers and audience members, and took great pride in introducing the LGBT@Work Committee: Johan Turcios (USA), Sarah Finegan (Ireland), Chris Chinting Kuo (Taiwan), Jorge Hoyos (USA/Colombia), Leandro Augusto de Oliveira (Brazil), Ravinjay Kuckreja (Indonesia), Alex Luzar (USA), Cat Dawson (USA), and Samuel González Rodríguez (Spain). He concluded by congratulating and introducing Michelle “Michi” Raymond, LGBT@Work Committee Chairwoman, to the stage by saying, “all of this, everything that you see before you today…this would not have been possible if it were not for this woman, who I have the pleasure of introducing you, my friend, Michelle Raymond.”

“When speaking about leadership and living authentically – it is not just about being good at something… it’s about being good for something.” – Michelle “Michi” Raymond

Michelle “Michi” Raymond (USA) approached the stage by individually hugging and thanking each one of the student committee members. Her address to the audience was both heartfelt and cheeky as she explained her reasons for moving to Spain and heading IE University’s LGBTQI & Allies Club. Reminiscing about her decision to move to Spain for love, she spoke of the heartache that came when on the first day of her arrival, the relationship between her and her girlfriend abruptly came to halt. An “aww” from the audience was quickly deadpanned with, “hey, hey, don’t worry – the good news is that now I’m single,” accompanied by a grin and a wink. Raymond spoke of the importance of leading out loud and the support she received from IE University, especially from the institution’s Executive President, Santiago Iñiguez. Citing the need for action, she challenged the audience to consider when asking “Shouldn’t someone be doing this?” to instead question, “Am I that someone? Why aren’t I doing this?” She spoke proudly of IEOut & Allies Club’s rapid growth and the many events and partnerships that have been established with local organizations including: Fundación Eddy-G, REDI, Fundación Triángulo, and LesWorking, and multinational companies. Lastly, she introduced her friend and mentor, Selisse Berry, as LGBT@Work’s 2018 Keynote Speaker.

Pictured: Selisse Berry, 2018 Keynote Speaker

Selisse Berry is the founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. Since 1996, Berry has built the Global LGBT Workplace Equality movement by creating a network of multi-national companies and federal agencies to work toward LGBT education, empowerment, and visibility. When Berry founded Out & Equal, less than 4% of Fortune 500 companies had LGBT protections. Through her tireless efforts 96% of companies now protect their LGBT employees. In the past 20 years, Berry’s work has impacted more than 40 million people in over 50 countries. Berry captivated the room with her powerful story of coming out while studying for the Presbyterian ministry and California, even creating a support group called Seminary Lesbians Under Theological Stress (SLUTS). She concluded her awe-inspiring speech with a video highlighting Out & Equal Workplace Advocates’ push for LGBTQI* workplace rights, her legacy as the non-profit’s founder and former CEO, and closed with the unifying message, “When leading out loud – We are stronger together.”

Immediately following the LGBT@Work Conference, attendees were invited to join the event’s speakers and organizing committee members at the official Networking After Party on Casa América’s terrace overlooking Plaza de Cibeles. Conference attendees enjoyed a tapas-style dinner, drinks, and dancing while interactively networking with event speakers, sponsors, corporate recruiters, and partnering organizations. Business professionals from around the globe and undergraduate and masters students representative of 21 universities worldwide attended the 12th Annual LGBT@Work Conference, creating a diverse and electric atmosphere at the longest-running LGBTQI* work conference in Europe.

Gold: Salesforce
Silver: Amadeus, IE Foundation, Google, IE Talent & Careers, LinkedIn
Premier: RBC Wealth Management
Legacy: IBM
Supporter: U.S. National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)

2018 Conference Speakers (from left to right): Luisa Ercoli (Italy), Selisse Berry (USA), Pedro Pina (Portugal), Joel A Brown (USA), Charles Myers (USA), Marta Fernández Herraiz (Spain), Richard Sypniewski (USA), Hyung Hak Nam (Republic of Korea), (not pictured) Santiago Iñiguez (Spain)

About IEOut & Allies Club:
IEOut & Allies Club, IE University’s student-led LGBTQI* & Allies organization, is a network that provides educational, social, and professional support to LGBTQI* students, alumni, staff, allies, and surrounding communities. IEOut & Allies Club organizes events year-round that are open to all members of the IE Community, which range from educational workshops and volunteer activities to health seminars and networking social events. For more information about IEOut & Allies Club, please visit:


LGBT@Work 2017

Written on July 10, 2017 by Campus Life in Professional

On June 29th, IEOut Club, IE Business School’s LGBTQ+ & Allies network, hosted the 11th Annual LGBT@Work Conference at ABC Serrano located in Madrid’s Salamanca district.  This year’s theme was “The Best Way Out” and the event brought together over 240 leading LGBTQ+ professionals from around the world to present their industry and company best practices, share personal journeys, and discuss what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the workplace today.  This year’s conference was particularly special as it coincided with Madrid’s hosting of World Pride 2017, a historic event that brought more than three million people and associations from around the world to the city in celebration of diversity and equal rights.

The conference began at 5pm with a Business Networking Forum designed for graduating students transitioning into leadership positions in the working world.  The forum began with a corporate best practices panel conducted by Fundación SERES, an organization devoted to the promotion of Social Corporate Responsibility among major corporations.  The panel was moderated by Lucila García & Álvaro Merello of Fundación SERES and included HR representatives from companies who participated in the Fundación SERES “Good Practices in Diversity & LGBTQ” report.

Panel Participants:
•  Miguel Castro – Sr. Director, Lead for Culture & Identity – SAP Global Diversity & Inclusion Office
•  Carla Otero – Head of Inclusion & Diversity (Spain) & Co-Chair Women & Supporters  of Western Europe – Willis Towers Watson
•  Ángel Rodrigo – Resourcing, Diversity & Inclusion Team Leader – Vodafone España
•  Malek Nejjai – Global Chief Diversity Officer – Amadeus IT Group
•  José Javier Muñoz Castresana – Security & Civil Protection Director – Metro Madrid

Link to the report: CLICK HERE

The panel was followed by a diversity & inclusion workshop, led by Roy Gluckman, a subject matter expert from South Africa; an entrepreneurial workshop, presented by Darren Spedale, founder of StartOut, an organization for LGBT entrepreneurs in the United States; a personal testimony from Magda Markowska, a young professional and previously closeted lesbian who used her coming out process to create Nielsen’s first European LGBT Network;  and concluded with a presentation from Pierre and Adrien Gaubert, founders of myGwork, an online recruitment and networking platform for LGBT professionals and graduates.

Santiago Iñiguez, Executive President of IE University, delivered the conference’s official welcome to an energetic room of attendees, representative of over 37 nationalities from around the globe.  The 2017 LGBT@Work Speakers Series began with a personal testimony from Shelly McNamara, Vice President of Human Resources at Procter & Gamble.  She encouraged conference attendees to open their hearts and minds as she shared her journey as a member of the LGBT community to audience members from the perspective of a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and life partner.  She concluded her testimony with a poetry reading, a moving piece written in memory of her greatest ally, her mother-in-law, which moved some audience members to tears. Shelly encouraged those in attendance to live authentically and to work together at becoming better students, future employees, leaders, and human beings. 
Next up was Imran Khan, Creative Agency Lead of Google, who took to the stage to deliver an energetic and inspiring presentation about work life as a member of the Gaygler community, Google’s internal LGBTQ network.  Imran’s presentation included emotional videos relating to the influence technology has had over the past decade in advancing rights for LGBTQ persons, including the approval of same-sex marriage in France and the use of Google’s homepage as a platform for standing up against LGBTQ discrimination during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
The first half of the LGBT@Work Speakers Series concluded with a presentation by Vincent Doyle, IE University Professor & author of Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability. Vincent discussed in detail his experience with GLAAD, a U.S. non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people in the media, and explained his inspiration behind the authoring of his book. He concluded his presentation with a directive to the audience: to continuously reassess the way the LGBTQ+ community is represented to ensure that efforts in developing the business leaders of tomorrow are truly representative of the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum.  
Malek Nejjai, Global Chief Diversity Officer of Amadeus IT Group & Santiago Iñiguez joined together on stage to present Margarita Alonso with the LGBT Leadership Award, IEOut Club’s highest recognition for individual achievement.  The honor was bestowed upon Margarita for her significant and positive impact in advancing LGBT issues within IE University, while serving in her former position as the Director General of the IE Foundation. 
The second half of the LGBT@Work Speakers Series began with an introduction by Michelle Raymond, IE Business School PhD Candidate and President of IEOut Club.  In addition to providing a brief history about the advent of the LGBT@Work Conference, Michelle spoke about IEOut club’s year-round activities which include the club’s: partnership with Fundación Eddy-G, Madrid’s first youth LGBTQ+ shelter home; monthly social events; documentary screenings highlighting LGBTQ+ issues around the world; and information booths at campus wide events dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ awareness among students and faculty. She concluded by inviting to the stage and thanking the 2017 IEOut Club Coordinator Team: Zayne Imam, Leonardo Lima, William Monts de Oca, Cristobal Bozdogan, Rick Baray, and Arturo Avila.  
Sadiq Gilliani, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Lufthansa captivated the audience with his heroic account of his personal and professional coming out journey.  His success story spoke of the support system provided to him by his family and mentors within his organization, and also his determination and initiative to continuously take risks.
Zayne Imam, head of the LGBT@Work Speaker Committee, introduced the conference’s next presenter, Pauline Park, Chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and a 2012 Huffington Post “Most Influential Asian LGBT Icon.”  Pauline spoke about transgender issues and her experience co-founding and running New York’s first transgender advocacy organization.  She highlighted the fact that the fight for transgender equality transcends New York state’s borders and shared startling statistics about the lack of transgender protections nationwide. Pauline recounted an eye-opening experience and appealed to audience members that discrimination can assume all shapes and sizes, and protections must be set in place to represent everyone regardless of a person’s age, gender, or sexual orientation.
The final presentation of the evening was delivered by Brian Rolfes, Global head of recruiting at McKinsey & Company, and Co-Founder of GLAM, Mckinsey’s internal LGBTQ+ network. Brian’s energetic and interactive presentation highlighted research in support of LGBTQ+ persons and women in leadership positions within organizations.  He offered frameworks in support of his findings and walked audience members through his personal and professional coming out journey, which began at the advent of his career at Mckinsey, almost 20 years ago.  Brian concluded his thought-provoking speech with a gift presentation, representative of his home country, to the lead organizer of LGBT@Work.

Immediately following the LGBT@Work Speakers Series, attendees were invited to join the Business Networking Forum & Speakers Series Participants at the official Networking After Party. Conference attendees enjoyed a tapas-style dinner, drinks, and dancing while interactively networking with event speakers, sponsors, and partnering organizations.   Students representative of 27 universities worldwide and business professionals from around the globe attended the 11th Annual LGBT@Work Conference, creating a diverse and electric atmosphere at the longest-running LGBT work conference in Europe.
LGBT@Work 2017 was proudly sponsored by: Amadeus, IE Foundation, McKinsey & Company, Google, Agua enCaja Mejor, Clique, U.S. National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) & IBM.


LGBT@Work 2015

Written on November 23, 2015 by Campus Life in Professional

RDR_8164As every year Santiago Iñiguez, the Dean of IE Business School, opened the event reminding us that cultural changes do not happen overnight, it takes time to build a more inclusive society. He congratulated the IEOut Club because they are the architect of the future society.

From a corporative perspective it is important to know which values we are pushing ahead. He regretted that the friendly atmosphere that we can find here… does not exist in many parts of the world, there are intolerant regimes and societies, and we have to help change that.

Margarita Alonso shared latest news about the IEOut Club and LGBT@WORK that have given a further step in their internationalization as it has been chosen as best practices in LGBT inclusion at Out&Equal. She also reminded all of us that next year is the tenth edition and we have to craft the best event ever! And finally she has shared the AET 2015 award with all members of ieOut but very specially with IBM, with all coordinators and with all speakers who have shared knowledge, experience and have become role models showing that the best thing we can do is to be who we are and to be proud of it.



Integration became our law, regardless of race, color or creed. We also believed in the women workforce. And we also were the first company to say that we won ́t discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. It is not just a kind of poster statement: this is what we are.  He showed this video:

Furthet to IBM, there are different levels of action:

  • Foundational, like compliance with the law
  • Awareness, like elimination of barriers
  • Strategic, like leveraging a business culture based on diversity. This is where we are at IBM at this stage.

How we foster equal opportunities and diversity, including LGBTI? We implement a “Glocal” approach: Global strategy, Local execution. This allows us to take into account cultures.

We use internal and external media to give visibility to LGBT. We involve marketing and advertising at IBM to address LGBT people and Supporters. We’re very visible.

Every diversity dimension has a council that decides which are the next objectives to advance. Last ones for LGBT where: Global benefit equality; Leadership development; Community vitality; Workplace climate; Growth markets and Business development.

There is also a very strong culture of reaching out with strategic partners globally granting best practices and cutting edge innovation.


Manuel started sharing data: Our legal department handled a huge number of cases of LGBT discrimination at the workplace on the ground of:

  • Sexual orientation (236),
  • Gender identity (48),
  • HIV Status (30)
  • As well as cases of LGBT mobbing (61).

The company’s closets are still full. There is a big, talented and scared group of men and women into the closets of their companies. What do they fear?

  • Bullying
  • LGBT glass ceiling
  • Dismissal

The University of Pennsylvania made a research on the glass ceiling of people who are LGB or suspected to be LGB: counterfeiters, Integrators, Avoiders (the biggest group).

He presented different examples of harassment including dismissals and showing that in many cases they are provoked by top management but also very often by colleagues.

LGBTphobic prejudices are the main obstacles for real and full integration. This is why companies need to do an internal work. Spanish legal framework is not enough, as it does not protect from peers (focus is usually on managers) nor from isolated cases (as bullying is described as a repeated, hostile, intentional behavior). Discrimination still exists.

Many LGBTI employees renounce to their rights and benefits. This can happen because they don ́t want their company and colleagues to know that they are or will get married to a person of the same gender or sex. This is why companies should proactively promote LGBTI networks and Equality policies.

In the current scenario, in Spain every LGBT employee has to think about his own personal strategy. Therefore, previous legal advisement is always convenient. Reaching for LGBT legal professionals and services is crucial.


When we talk about being trans at school or university we usually think about transsexual students. What about the teachers? When we look at a baby the first thing we try to nderstand is whether it is a she or a he. What if we can ́t tell you the sex and you can ́t transfer your gender expectations on the baby?

Not knowing the sex of a baby is destabilizing… as much as not understanding the gender of a person. When a person has an identifiable sex or gender, is perceived as not human. People thought of them as monsters, because they had fear of them.

But we are not just sexed people, gendered people, LGBT people, we are also other things: we have intersectional identities, we have different interests, different histories and so on. We need trans*pedagogies to change these structures and offer greater freedom in education:

As Alejandra Elenes reminds us, it’s time to go beyond inclusion or assimilation, and go instead at the roots of the problem: social conditions and power relations.

Valentina Flores suggests to avoid prescriptive pedagogies and to rethink your role as a teacher from your own gender identity. This means to think about how your gender identity will affect your discourse either in how it will be perceived by the students, influence the dynamics of your class or set the limits of what you consider acceptable or not to hear: Thinking of us as intersectional beings allows us to challenge the concept of “normal”.

Humor facilitates the learning process by displacing fear of LGBT into curiosity. What makes us a “boy” or a “girl”? Our genitals or our identity? “Queerness” is about looking for something that we fell is still missing, is about rejecting a definition here and now to insist instead on the value of potentiality.


Marta started sharing a touching story about how one LGBT@WORK changed her vision: “I had recently came out at that time. I didn ́t have any lesbian friend. I came here almost forced by my heterosexual friends and I was very scared… but it was very good, because I discovered a new world!” She also realized the misrepresentation of lesbian women.

Marta participated in the first Fitur Gay (LGBT) lesbian panel. This was very important. Many LGBT destinations are really only for gay men. Where are the lesbian destinations?

Then she cofounded Lesworking in 2014. We connect all together in order to be stronger.

We were invited to give several speeches in many countries. We were given visibility and we tried to give visibility to the lesbian community. We received several awards. We came out on the media.

If we have to select one article, is probably this one about the lesbian executives managers who are afraid to come out of the closet but want to come out now.

Being a lesbian woman has plenty of opportunities & challenges. We are the same proportion of population as gay men. There are also many opportunities in the business world lesbians have different needs than gay men and heterosexual women in important industries like culture, travel and leisure and family.

You can view a video presentation of Marta Fernández Herrainz here.


Very often in the file we have in the intranet to present ourselves to the rest of our colleagues we put pictures with our wives and husbands, children, pets etc. What happen if you cannot disclose who really are your beloved ones.

According to a study conducted by Human Rights Campaign, 62% LGBT graduated at university go back into the closet when they start their first job. But we should not be afraid of saying who we are.

P&G is a top company for Reputation & Leadership. Diversity and Inclusion is also in our DNA. Our vision is to be recognized as the Global Leader in Diversity & Inclusion. We are in the top 10 of the Global Diversity ranking, we score 100 at Corporate, and we support ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act. Also, we cofounded the Business Coalition for Global Workplace Fairness by HRC.

Gable was born in the 90 ́s. It is sponsored by Top Management and present at all functions and levels: We promote LGBTI networking and then assess how this impact on employees engagement. We do this by asking people if they can identify themselves according to their sexual identity,  gender and sexual orientation and then pose a number of questions regarding engagement and equal opportunities. We can then overlay this survey with another survey we have and detect whether employees feel supported by the company and also whether those in an ERG score higher in engagement.

image1And the answer is yes. Best Practices worldwide are somehow still hard to implement in Spain. A common counter-argument is that the Spanish legal and social contexts are favorable to LGBTI people, so no action is needed by the company:

Despite the Spanish legal and social framework is perceived as positive or at least as neutral by the Non-LGBTI people, LGBTI employees are still afraid of coming out because they feel they won ́t be respected in the workplace neither as a professional nor as a person: There are at least 3 clear benefits for companies enabling and promoting LGBTI diversity:

 1)Increase Productivity

2)Get value

3)Know your Human Capital

RDR_8309Coming out is a personal decision and nobody should make this decision under pressure or under fear of coming out. We believe that a way to empower the invisible diversity in our company is by removing the fear of coming out. This can be achieved by giving visibility to Top Management Support.

Where is your company in the pyramids? Is your company supporting LGBTI Employees Networking? Are there HR visible employees? Any top manager is out? You should expect to find some reluctance. It is a matter of normal distribution: in every context there will be reluctance, opposes and people with bias. Just deal with them.

For the same reason (normal distribution) some employees will not see the need to talk of LGBTI issues .on the basis that “we’re always talking about gay people!” A humorous way to address reluctance may be by showing statistics about what topics we search more on the web. There are more researches on google about football, family and kids than homosexuality.

So we’re not always talking about homosexuality. Educate people on diversity and we wouldn’t need to talk about inclusion.

A majority of people think diversity is good, so: are you inclusive or exclusive? … because there is not a medium term.

We thank Roberto Boccardi for the amazing report!

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