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Work it OUT | Pride Business Forum Annual Conference

16/06/2022 | 09:00

Prague Marriott Hotel

Join the only conference on LGBT+ workplace equality in the Czech Republic. We bring together organizations looking to demonstrate real commitment to their LGBT+ staff, consumers, service users and partners. Join the 12th year of Pride Business Forum conference and get valuable insights and breakthrough data for how to Work it OUT: to gain success through diversity and LGBT+ equality while making your staff individuals and teams happy.


Work it OUT | Pride Business Forum Annual Conference

Finding practical solutions for LGBT+ friendly workplaces

16. June 2022

9 AM– 4 PM

Prague Marriott Hotel, V Celnici 8, Praha 1


Ticket price:  

Early bird: 499 CZK (16. March. – 10. June.)
Later bird: 999 CZK (11. June. – 15. June.)
The day of the conference, 16. June: 1500 CZK


Join us at the 12th year of Pride Business Forum conference “Work it OUT” – Finding practical solutions for LGBT+ friendly workplaces. Work it OUT is the only conference on LGBT+ workplace equality in the Czech Republic. We bring together organizations looking to demonstrate real commitment to their LGBT+ staff, consumers, service users and partners. Join the Work it OUT conference and get valuable insights and breakthrough data for how to work it OUT: to gain success through diversity and LGBT+ equality while making your staff individuals and teams happy.

As part of the conference, companies and individuals active in the field of LGBT+ workplace equality will be awarded the titles LGBT+ Friendly Employer and Pride Business Forum Hero of 2022. Get more information and nominate companies and individuals for the award. The nomination is open to both Pride Business Forum members and non-member organizations / companies till April 19.

Proceeds from the conference will go to support Ukrainian LGBT+ refugees. The organizational committee will decide on the specific organization that will receive the funding in June 2022.


  1. Get the complex picture. For the first time, a presentation of comprehensive data on the situation of LGBT+ workplace equality among hundreds Czech employers will be presented by the Confederation of the Czech Industry.

  2. Get to know new tools for employers on how to prevent bullying and harassment based on SOGI at the workplace.

  3. Get to know the new tools for HR managers and how to work it out, so LGBT+ people are not in the closet at your workplace and contribute to your company’s success.

  4. Get to know new tools for LGBT+ ERGs in how to measure success of your activities.

  5. Listen to powerful and inspirational stories of international experts, and top business leaders sharing their insights, best practice and know-how.




    New data on LGBT+ workplace equality among the Czech employers. Practical examples of how to make workplace LGBT+ friendly
    LGBT+ refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic – how can we help them?
  • LGBT+ Friendly Employer 2022 and Pride Business Forum Heroes 2022 Awards
    Award design by Kristián Fituš


Coming Out Experimental Workshop
Sponsored by SAP

Getting Started with ERGs
Sponsored by McKinsey

How to Manage Hate Speech on Social Media
Sponsored by Vodafone





The conference is for everyone who works on improving workplaces for LGBT+ people. Especially leaders and members of LGBT+ employee resource groups, HR managers and diversity and inclusion managers, managers that have LGBT+ colleagues, executive sponsors of LGBT+ employee resource groups and everyone who wants to create an open, diverse and equal workplace.

More information about the LGBT+ Friendly Employer 2022 and Pride Business Forum Heroes 2022 Awards and how to apply.

Stay tuned. More details, speaker’s introduction, additional events introduction, coming soon.





08:00 | Registration

09:00 | Opening with Kovy, the host of the conference, and Czeslaw Walek, Pride Business Forum Programme Director

09:05 | My Coming OUT
Keynote by Claudia Brind-Woody, Vice President & Managing Director for Global Intellectual Property Licensing at IBM

09:30 | Coming OUT in the Czech workplace
Jana Vychroňová, Inclusion & Diversity Manager at Vodafone brings data from surveys conducted by the company in 2018 and 2022 among LGBT+ young people on their coming out in the first workplace

09:40 | No Place for Closets
Panel discussion on how to make a workplace a place, where everyone can be themself. Panelists: Michaela Lhotková (ČSOB), Yves Veulliet (Kyndryl), Julien Dagher (Novartis), Štěpán Špringl (Škoda Auto)

10:25 | Stories of Ukrainian LGBT+ people
In conversation with Olena Shevchenko, Executive Director at Ukrainian NGO Insight about current challenges LGBT+ people face in Ukraine

10:38 | LGBT+ Friendly Employer Award Ceremony
Category: Employee driven initiatives

10:45 | Coffee Break

11:05 | In conversation with Martina Navrátilová

11:25 | Is the Czech Industry Inclusive?
Miroslav Hažer, Communication Director at the Czech Confederation of Industry presents results of the exclusive survey conducted among companies in the Czech Republic on the inclusion of LGBT+ into Diversity and Inclusion strategies

11:35 | How to Work It OUT: LGBT+ as a Part of Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
Panel discussion on how to include LGBT+ into company’s D&I strategies Panelists: Klára Escobar (Moneta), Mairead de Blaca (RWS), Kateřina Bohuslavová (ČEZ), Maital Guttman (McKinsey)

12:20 | LGBT+ Friendly Employer Award Ceremony
Category: Big Step Forward

12:25 | Pride Business Forum Memorandum Ceremony

12:30 | Open to Everything New
In conversation with Daniela Špinar, Artistic Director of Drama at the Czech National Theatre

12:45 | LGBT+ Friendly Employer Awards
Category: LGBT+ Friendly Employer

13:10 | Closing Remarks

Lunch Break

14:15 | Break Out Sessions & Coffee Break 

1/ Coming Out Experimental Workshop (SAP)
A two-hour in-person workshop during the PBF conference. It is perfect for those who might know very little and want to broaden their understanding on the coming out process. This is not a workshop where we ask people to come out. The workshop will be in English only. Delivered as an “Experimental Workshop”, where attendees have the opportunity to interact with each other and be able to get hands-on with the workshop.

2/ Getting Started with ERGs (McKinsey)
Learn how to build your ERG from the ground up and set yourselves up for success! This motivating and interactive workshop with McKinsey Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager Maital Guttman will take you through step by step. The workshop will be in English with a Czech translation. 

3/ How to Manage Hate Speech on Social Media (Vodafone)
Companies expressing their support for LGBT+ issues are facing positive responses on social media and, unfortunately, a lot of hateful comments. How to defend and respond? Mgr. Petra Vytejčková, a lawyer from In IUSTITIA, Lukáš Houdek from the Hate Free initiative, and Ondřej Ullmann from the Social Media team at Vodafone will share their experiences. We will also share practical examples of reactions and discuss the legal perspective. The workshop will be in Czech only.

16:00 | Networking



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Pride Business Forum je partnerem Prague Pride, z.s. v projektu OUT (č. 881931), financovaném z programu Evropské unie Práva, rovnost a občanství (2014 – 2020)

Event Details

Keynote Speaker

Claudia Brind-Woody

laudia Brind-Woody is currently the IBM Managing Director for the Kyndryl Partnership in the United Kingdom and Ireland.   Most recently, she was the Managing Director for the Walgreens Boots Alliance Account where she led the IBM team in both Europe in North America.  Prior to that role, she was the Vice President and Managing Director for IBM’s Global Intellectual Property Licensing where she delivered more than $3 Billion of profit to IBM through IP Partnerships.   She also led the two large divestitures of IBM Software in 2019 – one of $1.77 Billion and the other of $545 Million.  Claudia has been with IBM since 1996 and has held multiple global roles during her tenure including work in Finland and the United Kingdom.

Claudia is an accomplished speaker who has done keynote speeches on LGBT Diversity throughout the world.   She has also contributed to the books: Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office (2013) and The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good for Business (2014).  She is featured in the book Pride and Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes (2017).

Claudia currently serves on the Advisory Board of WorkPlace Pride in Amsterdam and on the Toyota Motors Europe Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board.  In the past, she has also served on the Board of Directors of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the Board of Directors for Lambda Legal and the Advisory Board of The GayStar News.  She served as the Co-Chair of the IBM LGBT+ Executive Taskforce for over 20 years, and now serves as Co-Chair Emeritus.

In 2011, Claudia received the Out & Equal Trailblazer Award.  She was named to the Financial Times Global LGBT Role Models Hall of Fame in 2016 after having been in the top 10 on their list for the three previous years.  She has been included in The Guardian’s WorldPride Power List Top 100 and the Diva Power List.  In 2015, she was listed as #2 on the Telegraph Media Group’s “Out at Work LGBT Top 50 Executives.”  She has been honored with the National LGBT Bar Association Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award and with the Workplace Pride Global Ambassador Award.  In 2019 she was listed as #4 on the Enterprise Management 360 “Top 10 LGBTQ+ People in Tech”, and in 2020 was shortlisted for the Women in IT Global Leader of the Year Award.  In 2021, she was named to the Interesting Engineering list of “27 LGBTQ+ Scientists and Tech Leaders Shaping Our Future,” and to Channel Futures global “DE&I 101” list. 

Before joining IBM in 1996, Claudia worked for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, as an executive for CenturyLink, and as the Assistant Dean of the College & Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  She also served as the Assistant Athletics Director at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Tennessee.  She was also an Assistant Basketball Coach under Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee.

Claudia holds a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Georgia State University, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. from the University of Tennessee.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mary Baldwin College where she earned her B. A. summa cum laude.  She was admitted to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia.    



Keynote Speaker

Martina Navrátilová

Billie Jean King said of her in 2006: "She is the best singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis player who ever lived." Tennis journalist Steve Flink eats her in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century. named the second best player of the 20th century after Steffi Graf of Germany, Tennis Magazine named her the best tennis player to play between 1965 and 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins called her "probably the greatest tennis player of all time."

Martina Navrátilová is also known for making her public coming out at a time when it was far from common. She currently participates and initiates many charitable projects in all parts of the world.

Keynote Speaker

Daniela Špinar

After graduating in acting and directing at the Department of Drama, DAMU, Daniela Špinar has been a guest with great success in many regional and Prague theaters. She was briefly engaged in the Theater in Vinohrady, where her most famous production, Vojcek, was created. She also collaborated with the independent Letí Theater. Until her entry into the National Theater, she collected all domestic theater awards, some of them repeatedly.

She is the fourth post-revolutionary artistic director of the National Theater Drama. Here she also profiled herself as an author and staged a number of her own dramatizations and text collages in addition to classics. In 2021 she made a coming out, she is a woman and going through a transition.




Jana Vychroňová

Jana Vychroňová has been active in the area of Diversity & Inclusion since 2014. Vodafone Czech has become an inspiration in the area of LGBT+  for other companies for its broad range of internal and external activities. Vodafone is at the same time a proud holder of many awards. 




Miroslav Hažer

Miroslav leads the communications team of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, which ensures the transmission of the opinions of the largest employers' association in the Czech Republic to the general and professional public. Mirek has many years of international experience in the field of communication, corporate affairs and also volunteer activities in the field of LGBT +. He worked for IBM for over ten years, where he led external communications in Asia-Pacific from its regional headquarters in Singapore. IBM is one of the founding members of the Pride Business Forum and Mirek was one of the active volunteers working in the first years of this conference. He holds an MBA from Warwick Business School, a Master of Public Policy from the United Nations University in the Netherlands and a postgraduate program at the University of Oxford focusing on global strategy and corporate diplomacy.





Olena Shevchenko

Olena Shevchenko (she/her) is a human rights defender and educator from Ukraine whose focuses are LGBT rights and women's rights. She is a head of Insight, a public organisation she and two of her friends founded and officially registered in 2008. 

Insight is unique among other LGBTQI organizations because of its trans and intersex inclusiveness and feminist approach. Before founding Insight, Olena volunteered for 3 years in a feminist-lesbian organisation and was a senior teacher for 4 years at the National Pedagological University in Kiev. Today Insight, under her leadership, has become a visible and significant player for advocacy both nationally and internationally.

In 2012 Olena was elected as a Co-chair of LGBT Council of Ukraine - a new all-Ukrainian umbrella association, where she is also the head of the advocacy and PR committees. In 2010 Olena was elected as a Board member of IGLYO (International LGBT youth organization). This experience brings an international integration and globalisation perspectives in to her local work. She has edited two research papers on the situation of LGBT families in Ukraine and the situation with Transgender rights. In 2014 became an author of the book ABC on LGBT rights.




Michaela Lhotková

She graduated from Prague University of Economics and Business and obtained the CEMS Master of International Management.

Michaela began her career at the International Corporate Desk at KBC Group in 2002. Two years later she moved to the Loans Department at ČSOB, where she was gradually in charge of various agendas and already led a team of three hundred people responsible for loans for small and medium-sized companies before her maternity leave in 2011. In 2013, she moved to the business side in the position of Director of the Corporate Banking Segment, followed by the role of a member of the Board of Directors responsible for risk and finance at HB. In mid-2017, she returned to ČSOB and took charge of the transformation of the payment solutions and consumer financing area. Since July 2021, Michaela Lhotková has been a member of the Board of Directors of the ČSOB Group and her agenda includes Innovation, Data and Digital. Michaela is responsible for accelerating the group's digital transformation in the Czech Republic, specifically for the development and implementation of virtual assistant Kate, digital applications, data usage and the implementation of a new strategy.




Yves Veulliet

Yves started his career in IBM in 1992 as administrative assistant for a team of sales rep in the Public Sector at European level and was permanently appointed in 1997 as Information Officer for IBM Governmental Programs Europe, a corporate function providing a public policy and government relations framework.  In 2003, he took up the role of EU projects coordinator, his role was to create a coordination structure of EU projects for IBM Business Consulting Services at European level. In 2005, Yves joined the IBM Europe Middle East Africa Diversity team as Program Manager for Persons with Disabilities. In 2007, in addition to his role with the persons with disabilities community he took up the role of Cross Generational Program Manager. He worked on building a framework that facilitates the creation of values for IBM and its clients through employee engagement, collaboration effectiveness, career paths and knowledge management for all of the generations in the workforce. 

From 2011 until early 2013 Yves was also Diversity leader of IBM Canada, he defined the diversity business case, formulated the strategy and oversaw actions that delivered results in line with the Global Diversity strategy. In 2014, Yves was appointed Global Diverse Ability & Inclusion Leader - to facilitate the inclusion of employees with different abilities, to improve IBM's existing programs as well as identifying existing inhibitors to a successful work experience.

In September 2021, Yves joined Kyndryl: Kyndryl is IBM’s managed infrastructure services spin-off firm that became fully operational and independent in November 2021. Serving 75 out of the Forbes 100, Kyndryl carries the important task of acting as the heart of business enterprises everywhere. Yves is Kyndryl’s EMEA Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Leader.



Julien Dagher

Julien is the General Manager for Novartis Oncology in the Czech Republic. His life journey took him through several international experiences around the world. He grew up in Lebanon in the Middle East and lived in several European countries, France, Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. Julien is driven by digital, innovation and the strong diversity of teams. Julien holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut and a Masters in Medical Management from the Paris Business School (ESCP). In his words “I see purpose and fulfillment in bringing innovation and the best care for patients. I find that leading diverse and inclusive teams is key to achieve the best results for cancer patients that we try to serve. It is also so enriching on the personal level.”




Štěpán Špringl

Štěpán Špringl is the Head of Transformation Office at ŠKODA AUTO a.s. His team manages a portfolio of strategic projects that fulfill the vision of people, culture, mindset, and process transformation. Development of Diversity and Inclusion is an essential part of his team’s responsibilities. His main goal in this important topic is to create a sustainable inclusive work environment in which each of us can develop and fully realize our potential.

He has been working for ŠKODA AUTO for over 10 years. In the past, he focused mainly on process optimization and digitization, and in 2020-2021 he represented ŠKODA AUTO brand in the Volkswagen Group. Štěpán graduated from the University of Economics in Prague, majoring in International Business. During his studies, he worked as an analyst at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and focused primarily on the energy sector. Štěpán is a passionate runner and gamer.




Klára Escobar

Mrs. Klára Escobar is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University in Olomouc, majoring in sociology and andragogy with a focus on human resources. She has been working in the field of human resources management for over 17 years. She began her career in recruitment and gradually moved to the role of generalist.

She has been working in the banking sector since 2010, when she joined the original GE Money Bank as an HR Business Partner. In October 2016, she became the HR Director of Cetelem and participated in its transformation into the new digital bank Hello bank !. She returned to MONETA Money Bank in January 2020 as a Human Resources Director. Since the end of June 2020, she has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Stavební spořitelna and, until the merger with the Bank, she was also a member of the Board of Directors of Wüstenrot hypoteční banka a.s. Since May 2021, she has been a member of the MONETA Money Bank Supervisory Board elected by the employees.




Mairead de Blaca

Experienced global inclusion, culture, and engagement expert. Skilled in creating long-term, embedded change, areas of expertise include Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability as well as Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. I’m proud to say I love what I do! I believe that a strong, successful, and sustainable business is one that puts its people and purpose at its heart. Collaborating, learning, listening, and embracing uniqueness drive my passion and energy for all things inclusion. Mairead is based in Dublin Ireland.




Kateřina Bohuslavová

Kateřina Bohuslavová graduated from the prestigious Oxford University and Charles University in Prague. She has worked as a linguist in public administration and the private sector. She has worked in the academic sphere for a long time, lecturing at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and universities, where she focused on systematic work with data and publishing professional texts. In 2021, she joined ČEZ, a. S., Where she builds and manages the ESG department of the ČEZ Group in the General Manager's division, as Chief Sustainability Officer. ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance: Environmental, Social Relations and Corporate Governance Transparency) is responsible for non-financial reporting and communication with rating agencies, monitors the development of ESG market trends, cooperates in the preparation of sustainable projects and analyzes the impact of CEZ Group business on ESG factors. . The mission of the department is to strengthen the position of the leader of sustainable development in the Czech Republic and to become one in the European context.




Maital Guttman

Maital is a Senior Regional Manager for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for McKinsey Europe. In her role, she works to create an environment that attracts, develops, and retains exceptional women and diverse talent and a culture for all to be included and thrive. In her role, she co-founded The Alliance, a global summit for senior LGBTQ+ executives and is authoring research on the global experience of LGBTQ+ leaders.  She has led workshops and spoken internally at McKinsey and externally at conferences and with clients on diversity and inclusion. Previously, Maital served for three years as a consultant McKinsey & Company, where she focused on topics around economic development, innovation, strategy, culture, change management and talent management. Prior to her consulting career, she founded a documentary film production company, Dewdrop Films, which produced and screened films around the world, including South Africa, Moldova, Israel and the US. She holds an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BA from Duke University, where she was a Robertson Scholar. Maital was born in Israel, grew up primarily in North Carolina since she was 12, and recently moved back to Israel with her wife and two sons.




Karel Kovy Kovář

Karel Kovář (also known as Kovy) is one of the most important representatives of the Czech YouTube scene. With more than 840,000 subscribers, he is no longer watched only by children. His videos feature societal themes, politics, financial literacy, privacy, and social networks. Forbes magazine ranked him among the 30 most influential Czechs on social networks. He has moderated the discussion show “V centru” and the benefit concert “Světlo pro světlušku”,  interviewed former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Euronews television, and danced on the program Stardance. Together with Ivo Bystřičan, he has created a documentary investigation into the Czech teaching of modern history "Kovy řeší dějiny" for Czech television. He co-hosts the podcast Linka with Tereza Salte and is the author of the autobiographical bestseller OVŠEM and the young adult fiction iPohádka.


Date: 16/06/2022

Start time: 09:00 CEST

End time: 16:00 CEST

Venue: Prague Marriott Hotel