Who would have thought it, even a few years ago? This year, TÜV Rheinland employees took part in the Christopher Street Day (CSD) parade in Cologne. We are many, we are colorful – and we marched on undeterred despite the persistent drizzle!
Supportive and diverse: the TÜV Rheinland family
Almost 70 of our colleagues took part in the event to show solidarity with the LGBT community under the banner of “FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. Many. Together. Strong”. Our representatives came from various business units and included board members and managers, people of different colors and nationalities, young and old, and of all genders. Together we sent out the message that discrimination has no place in our organization. Everyone is part of our TÜV Rheinland family, and that’s exactly what it felt like for me on that wonderful day. The solidarity, dependability, diversity and tremendous sense of community were clear to see.
But why am I even mentioning this? Because these qualities are not a matter of course at a time when even our company is feeling the pressure of profound change.
Change definitely has its downsides. It can cause uncertainty, make people feel unfairly treated or be met with incomprehension.
Change processes are no walk in the park, nor is it always easy to show loyalty and solidarity. That’s why it gives me so much pleasure to see us doing exactly that.
I can also see the positive sides of the change that is possible within our company and supports a cultural transformation.
Sending the right signals: for diversity, against discrimination
Today the rainbow flag flutters in front of our headquarters in Cologne. This is not something to be taken for granted and offers another clear and visible sign of our approach to diversity.
Our participation in CSD marked the logical next step in this commitment and was heartily welcomed by those attending the event. Many of the faces I saw lining the parade route seemed to say: “Look at that, TÜV Rheinland. I didn’t expect to see them here.”
It is important to me that our stance is not just a flash in the pan, or as it is often known today, “pinkwashing”. The commitment to our LGBT network shown by the solidarity of our colleagues and the presence and attitude of our Management Board tells me that we have already created a culture that embraces diversity.
The images from CSD demonstrate it perfectly: we are all diverse and different – and, for precisely that reason, we are all just right, just as we are.
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