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Debate | Symposium

LGBTIQ+ Workplace Inclusion Symposium

Friday 15 September 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Telders Auditorium

Unlock the power of inclusivity at this year’s LGBTIQ+ Workplace Inclusion Symposium, featuring keynote presentations by dr. Teri Kirby (Purdue University, USA) and Prof.dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn (Leiden University, NL) delving into the latest cutting-edge research on LGBTIQ+ inclusion. A panel including researchers and D&I professionals from the public and private sector will furthermore reflect on the importance and difficulties of facilitating LGBTIQ+ allyship, and share concrete examples of how organizations can build environments where allyship can thrive. Connect with fellow attendees over coffee and tea, fostering meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals committed to driving positive change in their respective organizations. Join us in this critical dialogue to make a difference and foster a workplace where everyone can belong and bring their authentic selves.


10:00-10:30       Doors open and registration
10:30-12:00       Symposium 

  • Welcome
    Michiel Kolman, Senior Vice President at Elsevier and Co-chair of Workplace Pride. Jojanneke van der Toorn, Professor of LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion at Leiden University
  • “Inclusive” definitions of diversity: Ironic effects on the LGBTQ+ community
    Dr. Teri Kirby, Assistant professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University, USA
  • Heteroprofessionalism: Its implications and the importance of an LGBTIQ+ inclusive climate
    Prof.dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn, Professor of LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion at Leiden University
  • Allyship: How to effectively engage the majority on behalf of the minority
    Panel discussion, moderated by Kshitij Mor, PhD candidate at Utrecht University
  • Closing and presentation of the Academia@Workplace Pride program for the academic year 2023/2024
    Michiel Kolman, Senior Vice President at Elsevier and Co-chair of Workplace Pride

12.00-13.00        Coffee and Tea


The event is in-person but will be streamed and recorded for those not able to attend. Please register using the registration form


This event is organised by Jojanneke van der Toorn in collaboration with Academia@WorkplacePride. We can be contacted at lgbtqi.inclusion@gmail.com


We would like the symposium to be accessible to everyone. We hope the absence of a participation fee and the possibility to view a live stream contribute to this. Please note that the symposium location is wheelchair accessible. We will make sure to ask the speakers to articulate clearly. We very much welcome your suggestions for how we can be more inclusive.


Click here to view a recording of the symposium.


Dr. Teri Kirby

Diversity is one of the buzzwords of the twenty-first century. But who counts as diverse? Diversity has historically focused on demographic characteristics, such as sexual orientation and ethnicity, but people may broaden its definition to include individual characteristics such as diversity in perspectives and skills (i.e., include a broader range of people). We coded diversity statements to understand the types of diversity included in organizations’ definitions and examine whether sexual minorities perceive some definitions as diluting diversity, or detracting from the original intention of diversity initiatives. Organizations most commonly opted for a broad definition of diversity (48%) that focused on diversity in perspectives and skills, with no mention of demographic group identities (e.g., sexual orientation). Sexual minorities perceived these broad statements as diluting diversity more than other diversity statements, which also led them to be less willing to disclose their sexual identity at those organizations. Although a broad definition of diversity may seem more inclusive, sexual minorities do not perceive it as such. Additionally, we examined the potential motivations for broadening diversity. Among dominant group members (straight white people in the US), anti-egalitarian sentiment was associated with identity-blind motivations, which was then associated with a tendency to broaden diversity. Thus, a desire to broaden diversity may not be rooted in inclusion concerns, but in a desire to maintain unequal societal hierarchies. 

Prof. dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn

How do lesbian, gay, and bi+ (LGB+) employees navigate their sexual identities in a workplace where heterosexuality is (implicitly) ascribed a normative and privileged status, and what can organizations do to counteract such heteronormativity? Documenting the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional manifestations of heteroprofessionalism, this talk discusses how LGB+ employees experience more identity conflict, less disclosure motivation, increased disclosure avoidance, and more negative emotions at work compared to non-LGB+ employees. These experiences, in turn, are found to be associated with a lower sense of inclusion, authenticity, and job satisfaction but, importantly, are buffered by perceptions of an inclusive team climate. Investigations of organizational diversity approaches suggest identity consciousness as a promising strategy to enhance such a climate. The research indicates that an identity conscious approach that recognizes and celebrates group differences is associated with greater organizational attraction and lower turnover intentions among LGBTQ+ employees compared to an identity blind approach that focuses on similarity or individual uniqueness, due to increases in employees’ sense of authenticity, belonging and justice. Hence, identity consciousness may help create an inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ individuals, improving their workplace experiences and enhancing organizations’ ability to attract and retain LGBTQ+ talent.

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