9th LGBT+ Business Forum | October 7th, 2021

Inclusive Employer Branding: How to be attractive to LGBTI+ and other diverse talents

Together with the Forum’s co-initiator IBM and this year’s host and cooperation partner Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG Vienna Insurance Group, we showed that LGBTI+ Diversity is a relevant aspect of a successful employer branding strategy, ranging from the executive level, recruiting and marketing department to the organisational culture including (straight) allies.
The Forum aimed at giving businesses the effective tools to stand out in the “War for Talents” as an attractive employer – not only for the LGBTI+ community itself, but also for their relatives, friends and all people, who want to work for an open-minded company that embraces diversity.
This message was emphasized by the opening words of Doris Wendler (Member of the Managing Board, WIENER STÄDTISCHE Versicherung AG Vienna Insurance Group) and Patricia Neumann (VP, Data, AI and Automation Sales Leader, IBM EMEA) who opened the 9th LGBT+ Business.

From Diversity to Inclusion

Our keynote speaker, Rotraud Diwan (Hi! Employer Stategies) showed how employer branding drives cultural change:

  • Organizations are part of the society.If they want to invent relevant products and services for an increasingly diverse people landscape – they have to become more diverse internally to integrate different perspectives during product and service development and for marketing to different target audiences.

  • Use your Employer Brand to drive change in the organization by incorporating inclusive development tasks into the driver aspect of your EVP, start working on the internal change and communicate about your ambition and plans.

  • Developing an inclusive corporate culture needs initiative and sponsorship from the C-level. Top management must be role models with respect to behavior, language and visible decision making.

  • Developing an inclusive corporate culture is a task for everyone working in the organization. You can not delegate it to some one else. If you choose to change your behavior in your working environment, then you automatically start to change the corporate culture.

Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a decision.

Our panelists’ insights were the centerpiece of the 9th LGBT+ Business Forum:
Dr. Rassa Seyedi (D&I Leader, IBM DACH): Millennials want to shape the future of their organization and are eager to work with a diverse group of people. While diversity is a fact, inclusion is a decision.
Thoman Gaiswinkler (Enterprise Account Executive, LinkedIn DACH): Diversity needs to be actively appreciated. You need to feel a sense of belonging within the company, where you don’t have to hide. Use the method of authentic “storytelling” to attract new employees”.
Wittich Mahlknecht (chairman of „all colours”, WIENER STÄDTISCHE Versicherung Vienna Insurance Group): From Generation Y and even more so from Generation Z, we learn that they have a very relaxed and casual approach on other people’s sexual orientation and identity. Regardless of their own sexual orientation and identity they expect an employer to support the LGBTIQ+ Community and other minorities.
Nina Schubert (Higher Education Research, IHS): At a place where I spend almost half of my life, I want to be who I am. Everyone should be able to do that.

After personal insights from our panelists, the participants on site and in the virtual world had a chance to transfer their new learnings in three different work streams. The streams addressed either corporate strategies, the HR / communications department or (straight) allies:
• What requirements need to be met to avoid pink-washing?
• How can businesses communicate their efforts to¬wards (future) employees?
• What benefits or risks of exposing the organisation as engaged in LGBTI+ diversity management do you assume to be possible?
• As a (straight) ally: What is your main motivation for showing solidarity and being involved? How can you win other colleagues to join in on your commitment?

Download Results Work Streams
Results Corporate Strategy
Results HR / Communications
Results (Straight) Allies

Our key take-away of the 9th LGBTI Business Forum is clear: It’s time for authenticity, solidarity and transparency! Don’t use commonplaces to speak about diversity but listen to your employees and give them a voice.

Video coming soon!

Fotos: © Glitter & Confetti 

Unterstützer_innen des LGBTIQ+ Business Forums 2023

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