Corporate Queer: challenging heteronorms

(Pitched: 15/07/2018)
Corporate Queer is a platform for (young) LGBT+ professionals and all those with an open mind, working in international business. Our aim is to challenge the heteronormativity in the corporate world by connecting with each other across the globe to share our knowledge and experiences. We don't justify the status quo. We believe in ‘Excellence through Authenticity’.

One Page Summary

Why?
We are courageously striving for a (corporate) world in which everyone can be their authentic self by seeking out, with love and respect, to the people around us who sometimes have been raised to think very differently.

Before we leave this earth, we would like to have made a significant contribution towards the openness and vulnerability in international business. We believe you cannot and should not leave the person who you truly are behind; just be professional at the same time.
By neglecting diversity, employees are less productive, less creative and in the end less valuable.

How?
We achieve our goal not only by exchanging experiences and sharing knowledge among LGBT-like-minded people, but also by engaging in conversations with our allies and counterparts.

What?
*We have our own website www.corporatequeer.com which functions as a database to give exposure towards our role models;
*We connect leaders with top talent as part of our mentor program.
*We speak during conferences and give TEDtalks about heteronormativity and the need for gender fluidity in business;
*We advise organizations on Diversity & Inclusion matters;
*We promote queer fashion in the corporate world and fight for gender-equal dress codes;
*We organize intervision sessions to stimulate knowledge- and experience sharing;
*We provide training and workshops (for example to LGBT students) how to be self-confident – going back into the closet when starting your first professional job is a common phenomenon;
*We coach individuals on coming out at work and finding their authenticity;
*We organize offline events, such as bimonthly informal network drinks;
*We are present online via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to share news updates (law changes, inspirational speeches, research articles).

Recently our founder, Remco Boxelaar, was featured in the Dutch magazine called L’HOMO. with the following quote:
‘With fascination I look at the heteronormative culture in the corporate world in which I work. I am surprised by the traditional gender roles, stereotype jokes and the similar dress code. During my student days I worked as a high-fashion model and I wore the most special creations on the catwalk. Now I feel limited to express my passion for fashion at the workplace. The reactions in the Netherlands to Suitsupply’s recent campaign clearly outline the current status regarding LGBT+ acceptance in our society nowadays. I identify myself as ‘Corporate Queer’ to question and challenge this conventional standard in order to create a safe working environment for everyone.
It amazes me that my homosexuality legitimizes to ask all kinds of questions. However, I always start the conversation hoping to broaden the horizon of the other person. Recently a colleague asked me if I am the male or female in a relationship. I rebounded the question by asking her: what is your role in your relationship? To what extent can this be linked to gender?
Every individual finds itself on the spectrum of masculinity and femininity. With my activism I stimulate the search for authenticity and I invite everyone to leave all labels behind.’

Competition
Workplace Pride is a foundation that raises awareness on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace, but they mainly focus on their members (big corporate organizations that are willing to pay a yearly fee). However, the CQ network is focusing on the individual. Everyone can join the movement, also from small and medium sized organizations.
Partnering with Workplace Pride to strengthen each other is of course one of the options.