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Networks of Support – annual Pride Business Forum conference

17/06/2024 | 09:00

Marriott Prague I V Celnici 8, 110 00 Nové Město

Join us at the 14th Pride Business Forum conference on workplace equality with this year’s theme “Networks of Support”, during which you’ll explore DEI trends and gain insights on how to create an inclusive workplace for all.



Networks of Support
Our conference will focus on modern workplaces and the importance of networks of support built on wellbeing and empowerment. How do workplaces with functional networks of support look like? Colleagues, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, collaborate seamlessly, appreciating each other’s unique perspectives. Empowerment resonates through personalized mentorship programs, skill development initiatives, and leadership opportunities, allowing LGBTQ+ employees to flourish professionally and personally. Wellbeing is prioritized with mental health resources and work flexibility ensuring a supportive environment. In every aspect, from policies to daily interactions, these pillars reflect the commitment to empowering individuals and nurturing their overall wellbeing, creating a workplace where everyone thrives. The event will be hosted by Zdravko Krstanov, Editor-in-Chief


Program Blocks:
New research presentation – our conference will present hard data on the situation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the Czech Republic in contrast with Europe, focusing on minority stress, mental health, and wellbeing. It will also explain why the support of LGBTQ+ individuals in and out of the workplace remains crucial and shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Inspiration – keynote speakers, DEI leaders, and influential writers will share the latest trends in DEI. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to draw inspiration from speeches by world-renowned keynote speakers, carefully curated panel discussions, and specially designed workshops. 

Sharing experiences – prominent voices from our member companies, CEOs, managers, and diversity leaders will share their successes and failures in promoting diversity in the workplace and offer advice on promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. 



8:30 – 8:55 I Registrations

9:00 I Program starts

9:00 – 9:05 I Host welcome

9:05 – 9:30 I PBF presentation

Tereza Kadlecová (PBF) What does PBF do to build networks of support

David Tišer (Ara Art) Supporting queer Roma people via the PBF foundation

9:30 – 10:15 I Presentations and panel

Empirical look at challenges to wellbeing & psychological safety in local contexts

Michal Pitoňák (National Institute of Mental Health), Andrea Stašek (Masaryk University), and Petra Průšová (Kantar).

10:15 – 10:25 I LGBTQ+ Friendly Employer 2024: Bronze

10:25 – 10:45 I Coffee Break 

10:45 – 11:25 I Keynote: Kim Dabbs – Belonging at Work

Actionable strategies for cultivating belonging in the workplace with real-world examples of co-designing norms and rituals to drive organizational change.

11:25 – 12:00 I Global DEI Managers panel:  

How to navigate challenges or resistance when implementing transformational leadership approaches that prioritize inclusivity and intersectionality.

Javier Leonor – Global DEI Manager, Accenture

Eva Zanin – Global DEI Manager, T-Mobile

12:00 – 12:10 I LGBTQ+ Friendly Employer 2024: Silver

12:10 – 12:55 I Leaders panel 

How to create impactful networks and implement transformational leadership approaches.

Violeta Luca – CEO, Vodafone Czech Republic

Bohumil Říha – Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson

12:55 – 13:05 I European Pride Business Network presentation 

Czeslaw Walek, EPBN: Advancing our mission on a European level 

13:05-13:15 I Memorandum signing – new PBF members welcome

13:15 – 13:25 I LGBTQ+ Friendly Employer 2024: Gold

13:30 – 14:30 I Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 I Break outs

14:30 – 15:10 I panel 1: Empowerment through mentoring 

Lucie Neumanova, Femme Palette

Vasilii Zhelnin, Honeywell

Václav Horecký, Sbarvouven/Škoda Auto

Moderation by: Jana Tikalová, Opim


15:15 – 16:00 I panel 2: Empowerment through wellbeing


workshop 1: Intentional Inclusion
Being an Inclusive Leader starts with understanding our bias and the effect they can have in those who we lead. In order to help you take one step further towards becoming an even more Inclusive Leader, we invite you to sign up for our Intentional Inclusion Workshop. In these 90-minutes sessions and following our head, heart & hand approach, this workshop will help you:
– Unveil Insights: Explore biases, unravel outcomes.
– Cultivate Empathy: Walk the path of discomfort, nurture compassion
– Drive Action: Convert knowledge into intentional inclusivity

The workshop is facilitated by Juan Pablo Rosetsky Hermosi – People & Culture, Lead for Global Finance & Administration, SAP Global Diversity & Inclusion Office


workshop 2: tbc


16:00 – 18:00 I Networking

We’ll be announcing other speakers in the following days on our web and also on our social media.

This conference is the largest networking event organized by the Pride Business Forum in 2024. It will include the presentation of LGBTQ+ Friendly Employer awards, highlighting companies active in promoting equality in the workplace. The program will also feature projects that have received grants from the Pride Business Forum Foundation. Take a look at which companies received the awards last year. This video will give you an idea of the atmosphere you can expect at the conference.



Early bird: 2 490 CZK (21.3. – 30.4.)

Later bird: 2 990 CZK (1.5. – 17.6.)

100 % of the ticket sales proceeds will go towards the charitable activities of the Pride Business Forum Foundation.





EVENT PATRONAGE: Confederation of industry of the Czech Republic



We’ll unveil the conference schedule and speakers on LinkedIn, Instagram and X in the following weeks.
By registering for this event, you are giving consent to be photographed. The photos will be used to promote Pride Business Forum activities. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let us know.

Event Details

Andrea Stašek

Andrea Stašek is a researcher at the Psychology Research Institute (INPSY) and a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, MU. Beyond their focus on LGBTQIA+ psychology and health, their research interests include video gaming, methodology, ethics, and data analysis. They are the chair of the Q-Hub, an NGO that publishes evidence-based information about queer health on and is dedicated to the education of the public and professionals.

Czeslaw Walek

Czeslaw graduated from the Law Faculties of Jagiellonian and Central European universities. He worked in both the government sector and the non-government sector. As the Czech Deputy Minister for Human Rights, he was responsible for creating, adopting, and implementing domestic policies on human rights protection. Between 2011 - 2022 Czeslaw chaired Prague Pride, the leading organization focusing on LGBT+ rights in the Czech Republic. Until 2015 Czeslaw was the managing director of the Prague Pride festival, making it the biggest Pride festival in post-communist countries. 

In 2016 as a part of the Fulbright Scholarship, Czeslaw was a Global Fellow of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, where he implemented a Global program of the organization. After returning to Prague, he started to manage Jsme fér, the marriage equality campaign, and Pride Business Forum, a platform focusing on LGBT+ equality in the workplace. In 2011 Czeslaw was awarded with Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award for his dedication to promoting human rights.

David Tišer

David Tišer is the director of ARA ART, which focuses on culture with a social overlap, education and advocacy for the Roma LGBTAIQ community. He is also teacher and theatre director. He is member of the Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs and a member of the Committee on Sexual Minority Rights. David is the founder of the European Roma LGBTAIQ movement. David is a laureate of the Museum of Romani Culture Award (2018). He is also the recipient of the František Kriegel Award for Bravery (2019), awarded by Charter 77. In 2019, he received the title of Prague Pride Marshal. He is also a new Ashoka Fellow.

Kim Dabbs

Kim Dabbs, a global leader in Belonging and Purpose, draws from her unique life journey to advocate for inclusion. Born in Korea, adopted by American parents, her experiences fuel her passion for creating spaces where everyone feels they belong. As Global VP of ESG and Social Innovation at Steelcase, she leverages her social innovation expertise to foster inclusive environments. A sought-after speaker, she has addressed audiences at Google, Microsoft, MIT, and more. Her book, "You Belong Here: The Power of Being Seen, Heard and Valued on Your Own Terms," chronicles her shift from cultural adaptation to championing self-belonging.

Lucie Neumannová

Lucie is the CEO and co-founder of Femme Palette, a mentoring platform. She lived in San Francisco for 6 years and worked in various marketing and design roles for tech startups across Silicon Valley. She experienced firsthand the impact mentoring can have on someone’s career when switching from marketing to a UX design role. In 2018 she co-founded Femme Palette to create a supportive community for women and help people grow in their careers through personalized mentoring.

Michal Pitoňák

Michal leads the Mental and Public Health Working Group for Sexually and Gender Diverse People at the National Institute of Mental Health and conducts interdisciplinary research at Charles University. His work focuses on the effects of stigma and minority stress on queer identities and mental health, as well as on the societal standing of LGBTQ+ people and the geographies of sexualities. As chair of Queer Geography, an NGO promoting evidence-based advocacy, and a member of governmental committees, he actively advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

Tereza Kadlecová
Tereza Kadlecová is the Executive Director of the Pride Business Forum Foundation and an expert in the domains of education and human rights. She has many years of experience in managing human rights, education and awareness raising projects at Pride Business Forum, Prague Pride and People in Need. In addition to her management work, Tereza's enduring commitment lies in fostering direct engagement with individuals through leading and facilitating educational workshops, courses and lectures. Tereza takes immense pride in her role as a devoted mother of two sons, whom she raises alongside her life partner.

Violeta Luca

Violeta has been in charge of Czech Vodafone since January 2024. Before that, she was the CEO of Microsoft Czech Republic and Slovakia. And before that, she was the CEO of Microsoft in Romania. Violeta Luca has managed transformation projects in retail, banking, e-commerce, healthcare and telecommunications. She has long focused on the development of digital skills, innovation and support for start-ups; she also provides active mentoring to empower women in their professional and management careers. She has received numerous awards and was recognised by Forbes as one of the 20 most influential women in Fintech in the CR and one of the TOP CEOs in 2023. In the Manager of the Year 2022 competition, she won in the Foreign Manager category. Before joining Microsoft, she worked at companies such as Metro Cash & Carry, Dante International, Flanco Retail, Whirlpool and AIG. She graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.

Václav Horecký

Václav works at Škoda Auto. He focuses on corporate culture and agile mindset. In the past, he worked as a language specialist organizing programs for employees. He is a part of the Škoda Proud ERG group for the support of LGBTQ+ topics in the company.

He is also a volunteer and mentor at the counselling centre, where he draws from his personal life experience to work with clients. In his free time, he studies personal development, emotional intelligence, and other topics.

Jana Tikalová

Jana is the founder of OPIM and has been involved in DEI and human rights for 20+ years. She studied Anthropology at Durham University in the UK and has 25+ international projects and countless workshops on her list under her name. She has worked for two corporations in travel retail and automotive as an HR Manager and International Trainer. She is a certified coach and Google certified trainer in design thinking. She has been working as an external consultant and trainer in D&I for the Living Institute (DNK), ELAI (CZ), Council of Europe, European Commission, mentor in various platforms and is a board member of D&I Shapers, which she co-founded under the OPIM umbrella.

Date: 17/06/2024

Start time: 09:00 CEST

Venue: Marriott Prague I V Celnici 8, 110 00 Nové Město