How can large and small companies contribute to improved equal opportunities? What are the barriers? And why should questions on raising further awareness not be ignored, despite the progress that has already been made? Albert Kehrer, Co-Founder and CEO of PROUT AT WORK, talks about this in an interview with MPULSE.
Pure marketing is when the company just says how great it is in these aspects, when products are simply launched in rainbow colours, but when there is no communication on what it is doing for its workforce or how it otherwise deals with the issue - this is also called 'pinkwashing'. Progress is, however, when LGBT*IQ is visible at all levels of the company and is communicated internally and externally by the board of directors or management on issues such as LGBT*IQ and diversity - fortunately, there are more and more companies that are implementing this very consistently.
How exactly can companies raise awareness? Are there any best practices?
There are many ways in which companies can act and show commitment. On the one hand, they portray outed managers and committed employees from the LGBT*IQ network. Internal and external statements can be shared, for example on days such as IDAHOBIT or the International Coming Out Day. Awareness sessions can also be offered so that the workforce learns to understand issues relating to LGBT*IQ diversity. Internal LBGT*IQ networks also create additional visibility and are an important point of contact for the topic. It is also important that allies in top management take a stand against homo-, bi- and trans*phobia in internal communication, both written and verbal.
Diversity leads to more creativity and innovation and should be lived by all companies.Albert Kehrer, CEO of PROUT AT WORK
About … Albert Kehrer & PROUT AT WORK
Diversity and Prout Performer List at METRO
Since summer 2017, METRO has been a member of the PROUT AT WORK network. Being a PROUTEMPLOYER, METRO wants to provide an open working environment for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, all characteristics and attributes. The employee network METRO Pride, founded in 2014, is an internal network that aims to ensure more openness, exchange and visibility. In addition, initiatives such as the Diversity & Inclusion Days make the dimensions of diversity tangible for all employees.
With the PROUT PERFORMER lists, PROUT AT WORK creates visibility for role models, who make a substantial contribution for equal opportunities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersexual and queer persons at work. The awarded PROUT PERFORMERS show that a successful career at work is possible regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. In 2021, several METRO employees made it to the lists: Nikita Baranov, Executive Assistant to CHRO METRO AG, takes second place among the PROUTVoices. Dirk Haushalter, Office & Property Development Management METRO DIGITAL, is also ranked. Among the PROUTExecutiveAllies, Andrea Euenheim, CHRO and labour director of METRO AG, leads the ranking, Veronika Pountcheva, Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion METRO AG, and Laura Halfas, Global Director Corporate Responsibility METRO AG, are also listed as supporters.