Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
"As an employer, we have the responsibility to create a climate of mutual respect and trust in our company. Employees who experience a welcoming and hospitable workplace that values them can focus all their energy on contributing to Bertelsmann’s success. "
Immanuel Hermreck, Chief Human Resources Officer of Bertelsmann
In addition to age, gender, origin and physical abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity significantly contribute to the personality of each employee. Concealment or suppression of sexual orientation or gender identity restricts personal satisfaction and labor productivity is negatively affected due to a fear of rejection. This is equally true when acceptance of a person’s sexual orientation is not offered in the workplace.
Employees of any sexual orientation or gender identity are welcomed at Bertelsmann. Every person and every employee has the right to express their identity in the workplace. As an employer, Bertelsmann promotes a working environment of mutual respect and tolerance, in which the value and dignity of each individual is recognized and appreciated.
Employee Network "be.queer"
Bertelsmann sponsors "be.queer," the first cross-divisional network for LGBTIQ employees and allies at Bertelsmann. "be.queer" promotes an open and creative working environment for all employees, regardless of their sexual identity or orientation. The abbreviation "LGBTIQ" stands for lesbian, gay, bi-, trans-, intersexual and queer people. The word "queer" – from which the name of the network derives – stands for any sexual identity or orientation that deviates from the perceived norm of heterosexuality.
The employee network was founded in May 2017 by representatives of RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, BMG, Arvato, Bertelsmann Printing Group and the Corporate Center. "be.queer" wants to promote diversity and make it visible in all Bertelsmann divisions and companies.
The activities of "be.queer" include meetings in various cities where Bertelsmann employees can discuss LGBTIQ topics and their different experiences in everyday working life. In addition, "be.queer" visibly promotes an open and appreciative corporate culture at internal and external events such as Christopher Street Days and career fairs.
The employee network can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a promoter of the PROUT AT WORK foundation, Bertelsmann greatly profits from its experience with the organization. Founded in 2013, PROUT AT WORK, offers LGBTQ networks an exchange platform and support on themes related to sexual identity and orientation in the workplace. Displaying the PROUT EMPLOYER Logo on their homepages and websites, Bertelsmann and its divisions are demonstrating the Group’s engagement in promoting more diversity externally as well as internally.
To learn from other companies and develop a network, Bertelsmann is a signatory to the Charta of Diversity.