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Happy at work? Jojanneke van der Toorn looks ahead to the symposium on inclusiveness and diversity

Jojanneke van der Toorn is kicking off the new Academia@WorkplacePride year with the LGBTIQ+ Workplace Inclusion Symposium. As a social psychologist, she wants to share knowledge and gather experiences relating to diversity and inclusion at work

>Jojanneke van der Toorn: 'Everyone who works deals with inclusion – or a lack of it – at work.’  

What do you want to achieve with the symposium?

'It’s geared towards scientists whose expertise is diversity and inclusion in organisations, and professionals in those organisations, but it will also be of interest to the general public, because everyone who works has to deal with inclusion – or a lack of it – at work. We all benefit from new insights about working together for a more inclusive workplace and what obstacles we need to overcome in the process, such as the prevailing heterosexual norm and lack of support.'

What type of club is Academia@Workplacepride?

'I’m organising the symposium together with Academia@WorkplacePride, one of the communities of the Workplace Pride Foundation. This is a platform for LGBTIQ+ inclusion at work that has over 110 members, and the number of universities of applied sciences and research universities affiliated with Workplace Pride is growing. We have now joined forces in Academia@WorkplacePride with seven research universities, two universities of applied sciences, an academic hospital and a research institute for specific and shared questions about inclusion within our field and to learn from each other. This symposium opens the new Academia@WorkplacePride year which, of course, follows the academic calendar from September to August.'

What will it take for the symposium to be a success?

'For me, the symposium will be a success if participants go home with new ideas and are inspired to make a difference in their own workplace. I’ll also be very happy if  we can formulate new questions together that in turn give rise to new research and policies.'

What have previous versions achieved?

‘Previous symposia on this issue have led to new partnerships and projects, including an interdisciplinary project about LHBTIQ+ staff networks, as well as a pilot study on how to collect data about what is happening in practice in these networks. That gives us a better picture of how our scientific insights match what is actually needed on the work floor.’

Jojanneke van der Toorn (back row in yellow t-shirt, purple boa)
Being yourself in the summer sun: Leiden University shines at Canal Pride Leiden with Jojanneke van der Toorn (back row in yellow t-shirt, purple boa): 'Fantastic with all those happy, proud people on the university boat! Visibility of the lhbtiq+ community is so important, also at work. Great that our university wanted to contribute. The enthusiasm of the audience was heartwarming. Even though we were the last boat in the long fleet, Leiden gave us a warm welcome.'
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