At Proximus, everybody can be who they want to be!

Today, Proximus is once again showing off the colors of the rainbow in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).

Sandrine Stilment
HR Specialist at Proximus
My LinkedIn

But what does LGBTQIA+ actually mean?

While the LGBT initialism has become fairly common these days, you might need a little reminder of what the last 3 letters Q, I and A stand for. They refer to the terms Queer, Intersex and Asexual (or Aromantic). It's important to include all these terms because naming them is a way to represent that reality and give it a meaning as such. It helps the people concerned to define themselves, to relate to one another, to interact and come together, etc. This initialism, these words, represent sexual, preference and gender diversity.

What about the little "+" at the end of LGBTQIA+? It is there to recognize that this diversity also extends to all the (sub)groups, which, even though they are not named, nevertheless exist.

Diversity and inclusion

It is no secret that Proximus attaches great importance to diversity and inclusion at the workplace. Sexual and gender diversity are fully included in this.

Whether or not you choose to talk about your sexuality at work is a strictly personal choice.

But it is important to know that within Proximus, you are free to be yourself, because this allows everyone to preserve their authenticity, to be proud of their particularities and to feel good at work! Unfortunately, this spirit of openness is not yet a reality in society at large.

Some thoughts of one of our company leads

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For me it was very important to have famous people come out. First personally because these are people you admire and so it brings a positive story. And it also opens up the conversation with your family and friends.

For Proximus, it’s an opportunity to show the values we have as a company. Particularly towards our colleagues to show we support them and they can be who they are.

Jim Casteele: As a company for sure we stimulate the culture where everybody can be who they are. I am personally at ease to be "out" in our company. I haven’t really had problems over these last years. I don’t remember exactly when I came out, but I do know that it was a relief that I could actually be who I am with my colleagues.

The more also business people come out, the easier and more natural it will be for our colleagues to be open about it as well. And I’m also convinced that it will change the way people look at LGBTQIA+ in their family and friends circle. And for me this is where the real change happens.

Together with Proximus and Open@Work

To strengthen this mindset even more within Proximus, we joined "Open@Work" in 2021. This organization aims to connect LGBTQIA+ people by setting up support networks across different companies.

Because we strongly believe that as a company, we also have that role to play. That's why on Saturday, May 21st at 2 p.m., we'll be marching behind the Open@Work banner during the Belgian Pride alongside other companies such as Accenture, Actiris, Axa, BNP Paribas Fortis, Deloitte, GSK, ING, Pfizer, Toyota and many more.

Interested in this subject? Discover what diversity and inclusion mean to Proximus

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