A talk with… Patricia Schaller
“An employee performs better when he feels safe and accepted and he can put all his energy into work and not into hiding.”
You speak up for the visibility of lesbians, in the jury of the OUT EXETUIVES, as well as in other places, like the Wirtschaftsweiber. Why is the glass ceiling in professional life particularly thick for lesbians?
Patricia Schaller: Lesbian women hit the glass ceiling in their working life in a double sense: as a woman and as a lesbian. Firstly, women are still underrepresented in management levels, and there is a tough battle for binding legal quotas at all levels. Secondly, the new edition of the study “Out im Office?!” shows that 30.5 percent of LGBT* persons still conceal their own sexual identity at work. This is an energy-intensive game of hide-and-seek, to the detriment of both sides, employees and companies.
How can companies create an environment in which people with a LGBT*IQ background feel safe?
Patricia Schaller: With a professional Diversity Management, that is anchored deeply in the organisation, role models and supporters from the highest management levels and a clear positioning for diversity in internal and external communication.
And how dies this pay off in terms of the performance of both individuals and the company?
Patricia Schaller: Diversity pays off. An employee performs better when he feels safe and accepted and he can put all his energy into work and not into hiding.