Private Sector Engagement Ambassador: Michael Bäk (Head of Public Policy, Facebook Thailand)
Michael Bäk – Private Sector Engagement Ambassador
For the past year, COVID-19 has impacted our diverse communities in many ways. This global pandemic disrupted our relationships, professional and life plans, and the way we interact with our friends, families and colleagues. Some say that nothing could have prepared us for this Big Disruption.
The truth is that companies that live the values of diverse and inclusive workforces have helped all their employees – regardless of who they love or how they identify – to cope with the pandemic’s impacts on life and work. When we can be authentically ourselves at work, we bring the best of ourselves to work. And when we can be our authentic selves by being open about our gender identities and sexual orientations, when times get tough, we can lean on our team-mates and draw on support structures from our human resources and employee resource groups, to help us cope better and to continue to deliver impact in our jobs, and in our lives.
So, when COVID-19 hit, those companies that already embraced these fundamental principles of inclusion in how they train, retain and grow their workforces, found themselves better positioned to help their LGBTQI and HIV positive employees cope with the new and very difficult circumstances the pandemic presented us with. For all the pain the pandemic has brought to many people, including in our community, it has illustrated that work cultures built on supporting the needs of their diverse employee communities are the most resilient.
Let us continue to work hard to bring these values to more business communities so that all people in our LGBTQI community are recognised for their whole selves, benefiting from support structures, policies and practices that will help us all successfully navigate the next Big Disruption.