Gütersloh, 01/08/2020

‘be.queer’ Plans To Step Up Its Activities

"be.queer" core team with Thomas Rabe
Trainees with the "Big Impact Initiative Award"

Subject: Employees
Country: International
Category: Project

The cross-divisional employee network is pleased with the increased appreciation for and sensitivity towards LGBTIQ issues within the Group. The team is very happy with the results of the past year’s activities. Many more internal and external activities are planned for the coming year.

Established in 2017, “be.queer” is the first cross-divisional employee network at Bertelsmann to promote an open and creative work environment for all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation and identity. With its intention, the network is creating an increasing amount of interest within the Group: the number of subscribers to the monthly “be.queer” newsletter has increased to 400, and the presence at external events and on social media channels continues to grow, according to the “be.queer” core team. Additionally, regular meetings of “be.queer” members take place at an increasing number of Bertelsmann sites. In total, the team is very happy with the results of the past year’s activities – and has planned plenty of new ones for the coming year.

“We are visible, and the network is continuously growing,” says Michael Lauk of Arvato Financial Solutions, who was elected as Chairman of the core team at the network meeting in Zurich. “This is delightful and motivating on the one hand; on the other hand, it serves as an incentive because we still have big plans. After all, an open corporate culture boosts the creative potential of employees, and we can all profit from that.”

Vice Chair Ingrid Höver of Arvato Systems adds: “Having to pretend or to play the role of a different person than one actually is takes energy and doesn’t help anyone. With ‘be.queer’ we’re supporting a tolerant and open work environment, enabling the full use of know-how and strengths.” At the meeting, the former spokespersons Kathinka Best, Michael Lauk and Lars Fröhlich were thanked for their work in the past year.

Highlights of the past year

Lauk and Höver recalled numerous highlights of their work in the past year, including the cross-divisional campaign for the “International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia” on May 17, the meeting with Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe, and the participation in the “Sticks and Stones” career trade show in Berlin, also in May. In addition, “be.queer” was present during demonstrations on “Christopher Street Day”  in Karlsruhe, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich, and coordinated the preparation and communication of a cross-divisional trainee film about “Coming out in the workplace” on “International Coming Out Day” in October. The film won the “Big Impact Initiative Award”  at the “Prout@Work Conference”.