Gütersloh, 10/19/2020

Digital Podium Discussion About Coming Out At The Workplace

Subject: Employees
Country: Germany
Category: Project

In mid-October, the German “be.queer” network held a digital podium discussion at the occasion of the international Coming Out Day. The topic was the coming out of Bertelsmann employees. Representatives from various corporate divisions reported about their experiences.

Under the title “Coming out within the Bertelsmann Group”, the German “be.queer” employee network held a digital podium discussion at the occasion of the international Coming Out Day in mid-October. Around 50 participants followed the discussion round in which representatives from various corporate divisions of Bertelsmann participated, including Malin Meier of UFA Show & Factual, Rafał Chmiela of Arvato Financial Solutions, Amy Röhle of Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, and Lovis Andreas Dengler of Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe. Sociologist and psychologist Leila Al Zihairi moderated the discussion. Due to their largely positive experiences, the four speakers encouraged coming out not only in one’s personal life but also in one’s professional environment. This creates trust and visibility, and it encourages more people to come out. After the discussion, the listeners seized the opportunity to ask questions and share their own experiences.

Marie-Luise Kühn von Burgsdorff, Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management at Bertelsmann, was thrilled: “The event once again clarified the contribution of ‘be.queer’ toward an open and appreciative corporate culture. I thank the colleagues for their commitment to more diversity at Bertelsmann.” Michael Lauk, Chairman of the network, added: “We have always been able to count on the Group’s support. This clarifies that we don’t engage in pinkwashing!” The event was also praised by numerous participants, who expressed their gratitude for the inspiring words and the discussion.