Become a member

The “Taste of Equality” conference brought current topics on workplace equality to the Czech Republic and recognized proactive companies and individuals

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, we held the 13th annual Pride Business Forum conference, this time subtitled "Taste of Equality." Thanks to experts from the business and academic fields from the Czech Republic and abroad, attendees learned about the ingredients needed to create a work environment that is equally friendly to everyone, regardless of their orientation and identity. Additionally, the Pride Business Forum awards were presented, recognizing employers and individuals who have contributed to greater equality for LGBT+ employees in the Czech Republic.

This year, the Pride Business Forum conference took place at the Prague Marriott Hotel. The event offered a rich program, including keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops. Renowned pastry chef and TV presenter Josef Maršálek hosted the event.

The panel discussions and workshops welcomed several speakers from the Czech Republic and abroad. One of them was Michal Pitoňák, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and the founder of Queer Geography, who presented the research results on “Being LGBT+ in the Czech Republic 2022.” Johanna Nejedlová, the recipient of the Women of Europe award and co-founder of the Konsent organization, delivered a presentation on the topic “Is justice attainable in Czech society?” Krishna Omkar, a top ESG expert, also appeared as a keynote speaker, exploring the question of whether ESG principles can help (Czech) companies on their journey towards equality.

The program included three panel discussions featuring speakers such as Roman Samotný (Ide nám o život), Peter Bebjak (DNA production), Milena Jabůrková (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy), Vratislav Maňák (FSV UK), and Tereza De Bardi (Deloitte). Conference attendees also had the opportunity to participate in three unique workshops tailored specifically for the event. These workshops focused on creating an inclusive work environment and supporting transgender-friendly workplaces. Additionally, two new members, Bird&Bird and Asahi, joined the existing 64 forum members during the conference.

During the conference, the LGBT+ Friendly Employer Awards 2023 were presented. In the GOLD category, Vodafone Czech Republic and MSD were the recipients, while Accenture and SAP received the SILVER awards. In the BRONZE category, the awarded companies were ČSOB, Novartis Czech Republic, and SentinelOne. The company ČEZ was named the Jumper of the Year. Novartis received the Employer Driven Initiatives award for its employee group Pride Novartis.

Six individuals were recognized with the Pride Business Forum Heroes awards. This annual award is given to individuals in senior leadership positions within Pride Business Forum member organizations who actively work towards creating equal conditions for their LGBT+ employees, enabling them to live openly in the workplace. Among the awardees were Kateřina Nosek, the Country Communication and Patient Engagement Head at Novartis Czech Republic, David Lhota, the Country Manager at WPP, Ladislav Kučera, the Human Resources Director at SAP Czech Republic and Slovakia, Martin Zelenka, a Data Governance Expert at ČSOB and Leader of ERG Proud, Jan Kotík, who holds the position of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Škoda Auto a.s., and Jana Vychroňová, the Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Vodafone Czech Republic.

Roman Samotný, spokesperson for the Ide nám o život organization and owner of the Tepláreň club in Bratislava, received the Pride Business Forum Fund Chariman Award from the Pride Business Forum Charitable Fund for his dedication in promoting a safer Slovakia following a tragic homophobic attack that occurred at his club, resulting in the loss of two lives.

Read more in the press release here.