LGBT+ Friendly Employer 2021 awards

LGBT+ Friendly Employer awards, motivates and raises the profile of employers who are implementing measures aimed at the better inclusion of LGBT+ employees in the Czech Republic. Strategic approaches, specific projects, and ways of implementation are evaluated, as well as how the issue is supported by top management and communicated both internally and externally.

Gold: Vodafone Česká republika

In the LGBT+ Friendly Employer category, Vodafone ČR has led the rankings since the award ceremony began in 2018. The company respects the values of diversity, inclusion and equality for all its 2,500 employees, including LGBT+. With a rating of 91%, Vodafone was the only employer in the Czech Republic in the GOLD category.

Vodafone excels in how well it has handled all the basic requirements: it has banned discrimination based on orientation or gender identity as well as homophobic and transphobic harassment in its workplace, and it also prevents unpleasant demonstrations of hetero/cisnormativity. It has a sophisticated system for how LGBT+ employees can defend themselves and report possible incidents.

Vodafone is a model for other employers of how to approach their trans employees. The company has well-designed LGBT+ topic optional education, and an active LGBT+ employee group. The company and management are involved, actively supporting local LGBT+ activities and also climate change for LGBT+ people in the Czech Republic.

Vodafone is a true champion in this area, and can serve as an example of best practice on the Czech market. Vodafone is awarded for its perfect mix of all components that result in an inclusive workplace open to all. 

Bronze: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil received a rating of 75% and is therefore quite far advanced in LGBT+ equality. The company has handled all the basic requirements well, i.e. forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and forbidding homo/transphobic harassment, including implementing a procedure for reporting such incidents.

Positively, LGBT+ employees have comparable benefits to other employees. Employees in transition need not worry about any negative impact on their working conditions. During recruitment, ExxonMobil also openly and actively seeks out LGBT+ talents, and has developed training focused on LGBT+ topics.

ExxonMobil has a very well-functioning LGBT+ internal employee group. Its proactive approach to promoting LGBT+ equality in the workplace is unique, and is a shining example of how voluntary employee activities can influence workplace culture and company-wide behaviour. The management and whole company is committed to promoting LGBT+ activities.

Bronze: SAP Group

With 74%, the SAP Group is relatively far advanced in terms of LGBT+ equality.

The SAP Group has a codified ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, a ban on homo/transphobic harassment and unpleasant acts of hetero/cisnormativity, including a procedure for reporting such incidents. 

The SAP Group’s LGBT+ employees have comparable benefits with other employees, except for time off in the event of a wedding. Employees in transition need not worry about any negative impact on their working conditions. We appreciate how the SAP Group has treated this topic, including all processed materials.

When recruiting, the SAP Group also openly and actively seeks LGBT+ talents, enables employees to identify themselves as LGBT+ people within their internal systems, and has developed compulsory training focused on LGBT+ topics. We appreciate that through various courses, SAP focuses on the often-neglected issue of gender identity. The SAP Group also has a relatively active LGBT+ internal employee group. 

Bronze: Accenture

Accenture scored 73%, so it’s well on the way to LGBT+ inclusion. Accenture has a codified ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a ban on homo/transphobic harassment and demonstrations of hetero/cisnormativity, and a procedure for reporting such incidents.

LGBT+ employees have comparable benefits to other employees. In this area, we especially appreciate the extension of the definition of ‘eligible persons’ from registered partners to any co-living partners. Accenture employees in transition need not worry about any negative impact on their working conditions. Accenture also seeks LGBT+ talent when recruiting, and also allows employees to identify themselves as LGBT+ within internal systems. The company has developed training focused on diversity topics, and an internal LGBT+ internal employee group.

Bronze: Microsoft

Microsoft achieved 72%, so is relatively far advanced in LGBT+ equality. Microsoft has addressed the banning of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the banning of homo/transphobic harassment and unpleasant demonstrations of hetero/cisnormativity, including a procedure for reporting such incidents.

LGBT+ employees have comparable benefits to other employees. Employees in transition need not worry about any negative impact on their working conditions, and we appreciate the use of current terminology. Microsoft also allows employees to identify themselves as an LGBT+ person within internal systems. The company has developed education focused on diversity topics. We appreciate, among other aspects, the inclusion of blocks focused on discriminatory behaviour and prejudices – which transgressors may not be fully aware of – and microaggression. It is positive that the management and company is actively involved in supporting LGBT+ activities, and actively supports climate change for LGBT+ people in Czech society.

Employee Driven Initiatives: ČSOB

ČSOB wins the award in this category for the first time. While their internal employee group was only established in 2019, it’s already a leader among Czech companies. The jury especially appreciated its positive influence on changing corporate culture in its active approach to LGBT+ equality in the workplace, and also that despite the pandemic the group successfully continued and achieved its ambitious goals.

Big Step Forward: Moneta Money Bank

Moneta Money Bank only began to address the issue of LGBT+ equality in the workplace in 2020. Yet even in such a short time, it has taken a huge step forward, joined the Pride Business Forum, and began to align employee benefits. This has all been enabled by the unique cooperation between the LGBT+ lead, the HR director of the group, and the personal commitment of the company’s CEO. This synergy has enabled Moneta Money Bank to win the 2021 Big Step Forward Award.

Pride Business Forum Heroes 2021 Awards

Pride Business Forum Heroes recognizes individuals and highlights the role of top management of organizations/companies that actively promote a level playing field for LGBT+ employees in their organizations/companies, or proactively advocate for improving the position of LGBT+ people in society.

Zdeněk Hřib

Zdeněk Hřib had supported LGBT+ equality before being elected Prague mayor and actively continues this support in his position – despite the sometimes-loud opposition of some political colleagues. Under his leadership, the town hall flew a rainbow flag for the first time during the Prague Pride festival. The city has also joined the Fast Track Cities initiative, which aims to reduce the spread of HIV. The city provided premises for the first LGBT+ community centre in Prague. Zdeněk Hřib was the first mayor to join support for We Are Fair (Jsme fér), and he publicly committed to actively promoting the equality of LGBT+ employees at Prague City Hall.

Roman Knap

The head of Česká pošta met for the first time with the Pride Business Forum and the principles of LGBT+ equality at SAP, where the company signed the Pride Business Forum Memorandum in 2017. He also transferred these values to the management of state-owned Česká pošta. Roman Knap signed a memorandum on behalf of Česká pošta at the beginning of 2021. It thus became the first state-owned company to strive for a level playing field for all its 28,000 employees, including LGBT+. Thanks to his commitment and leadership, Česká pošta is becoming an LGBT+ person-friendly company, setting an example for other state-owned companies.

Dagmar Kuchtová

The Director General of the Confederation of Industry and Transport has long been an active advocate for the promotion of LGBT+ equality in the workplace among the Confederation’s member companies. Thanks to its activity, the association openly supports activities related to gender equality and diversity in its programme statement. Dagmar Kuchtová attended a meeting of business leaders with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to support marriage for all, and is a signatory to letters for political leaders in this regard. Dagmar Kuchtová is the initiator of changes in the field of LGBT+ equality at the Confederation of Industry and Transport. 

Alena Sochorová

Alena Sochorová has been in the top management of Microsoft since 2019. In the role of Divesity & Inclusion Champ, she actively promotes LGBT+ equality both internally and externally. Thanks to her, Microsoft signed letters in support of marriage for all – addressed to the Prime Minister and other politicians.

Last year, Alena Sochorová initiated a letter from representatives of the Pride Business Forum to Vladimír Dlouhý, President of the Chamber of Commerce, offering cooperation in LGBT+ equality. Thanks to her many years of experience and leadership, Alena Sochorová advises other companies on how to start LGBT+ equality in the workplace. 

Richard Stonavský

Richard works at Vodafone Czech Republic as an Exco Commitee sponsor for LGBT+ equality.  As part of employee activities, he raises questions about how to increasingly approach the topic of equality towards LGBT+ both in the workplace and externally – explaining why it is important to create a work environment that is open and inclusive. He personally advocates LGBT+ equality in the workplace and society as a whole. Richard is a role model as an openly gay man in such a prominent executive position.

Pride Business Forum Chairperson Award 

Since 2021, Christian Schwenke – chairperson of the Pride Business Forum – has awarded a business world figure who has personally contributed to changing corporate culture for the benefit of LGBT+ employees. 

Tomáš Spurný

Moneta Money Bank CEO Tomáš Spurný has changed the bank’s approach and culture with his leadership and personal commitment – in a short time and during the pandemic. He led the company to make changes that created a better working environment for LGBT+ people. The Czech banking sector lags significantly behind in promoting LGBT+ equality in the workplace, not only globally but also in comparison with other Czech market sectors. Tomáš Spurný goes against the flow, because he believes that LGBT+ people deserve equal treatment at work and also generally. He is a trendsetter in his industry, which is why Christian Schwenke – chairman of the Pride Business Forum – awarded his personal prize to him.