DNB Pride board member
There is a general notion that everything is well arranged for the LGBTIQ+ community, but there is still much to be done.
From social club to professional network
"Working for leading companies has always appealed to me; and DNB is the only one of its kind. The work we do and the people who work here have made me feel at home here for 22 years. From the very beginning, I felt the need to unite with other LGBTIQ+ employees within DNB. It started in 2000 when I formed a get-together with a few like-minded colleagues. In 2007, others finally founded the GayNB network, clearly harbouring greater ambitions. The network is now called DNB Pride and focuses on the entire LGBTIQ+ community within DNB. We currently have 56 members. But also employees who do not belong to the target group, but who do care about our community, are welcome - as an ally.
At one point, I wanted to be more than just a DNB Pride member. I wanted to develop a stronger profile personally as a member of the LGBTIQ+ community, inside and outside DNB, by also actively doing something. I think this need arose particularly after the Canal Parade with DNB. I had joined the Canal Parade before, but in 2019 I did so for the first time with DNB. I felt that the Board could use some extra hands, so I joined the Board. Many of DNB Pride's activities were boat-related. However, partly because the Canal Parade had been cancelled due to the coronavirus measures and the fact that it was the first time that we had not been selected, we had to come up with an alternative. As a result, the network really took off recently, with the Board expanding from two to five members.
By issuing the Out & Proud Statement, the Executive Board ensures a diverse, safe and inclusive work environment.
In the background
I am the network's secretary and treasurer. That also suits me as a person: I want to be able to exert influence, but I am not a policymaker. The rest of the Board is relatively young, which makes for a good balance. Because of my many years of experience at DNB, I know how the wheels spin in this organisation, which increases effectiveness. We have since achieved quite a lot as a network. For example, DNB Pride now has a clear mission and an annual plan, which gives more focus to the activities we undertake. But those are mainly things that happen in the background; this is not immediately apparent to our members or DNB employees in general.
Out & Proud
There is a general notion that everything is well arranged for LGBTIQ+, but I believe that there is still much to be done. For example, many issues focus on a traditional heterosexual family composition as a matter of course. Consider the collective labour agreement and the Employee Manual; much was still based on stereotypical patterns – although that has since improved. While we are doing quite well informally, it is less so "on paper". The importance of this became clear when DNB became a member of Work Place Pride (WPP), an international organisation that promotes LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace, in early 2021. DNB recently participated for the first time in WPP's annual benchmark on workplace inclusion. The lack of proper recording therefore had an impact on the benchmark.
This is why, as a network, we are increasingly advocating these topics, also to the Diversity Board and the Executive Board. For example, we drafted an Out & Proud Statement which the Executive Board signed on behalf of DNB. By doing so, the Executive Board has committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive work environment for the LGBTIQ+ community. Much of what is included in this statement seems logical or even self-evident, but the fact that it is now explicitly laid down in a single document makes it more significant. In three years' time, we will be able to look back and make a more concrete assessment of where we stand. I can’t wait!”
News release of the statement: DNB publishes Out & Proud Statement
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