The #LWAW12 conference impression video is now online

Want to know what you have missed and what participants thought of the day? Watch this video:

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The #LWAW12 event impression in photos

The L-Women at Work conference last Friday was a great success!
Video’s of all the speakers are currently being produced so you’ll have to do with still images for now.

View the impression of the #LWAW12 event in pictures on our facebook album
(no facebook account required). Feel free to like and share them!

Click on the photo above to view or click here

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download the L-Women at Work official program now

Our official program is now available online and will be emailed to all participants today.

Or download here (2.4 MB)


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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Sofia Hilgevoord – “From followers to leaders”

Sofia E. Hilgevoord
President of egma

Talk: “From followers to leaders”

Sofia E. Hilgevoord is a dutch entrepeneur, living in Switzerland since 23 years. She was founding partner and ceo oft he iPromotion Mittelland GmbH, until summer 2012, when she sold her shares. She is now working on new business activities in the area of marketing and advertising.
Before starting her activities as an entrepeneur, she gained international business experience as Director Sales & Marketing Europe / Asia for the Ruckstuhl Natural Flooring AG Switzerland and before that, as Excutive Director Marketing & Professional Tennis at the European Tennis Association.She studied in Amsterdam / The Netherlands, and holds a MBA.
Sofia is the President of egma, the european gay and lesbian managers association and the President of WyberNet, the Swiss network for professionally engaged lesbian women. As such, raising the visibility of LGBT-people, and L-Women in particular, in the workplace and in society, is the core activity of her engagement.

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You have only a few days left to join us at the L-Women at Work Confence on 9 Nov. Don’t miss it!

Of course you are not going to admit you didn’t see our invite in your mailbox or on social media…. but for those who did: here it is.

You have only a few day left to sign up but you are more than welcome to join the 100-ish participants who have already confirmed.

Eventbrite - L-Women at Work Conference

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Mirella van Markus – “Being visibly yourself in the media”

Mirella van Markus
TV Presenter and Program maker

Talk: “Being visibe in the media”
When was the last time you saw a lesbian couple in a commercial for breakfast cereal, in a datingshow on tv, or as the lead character in a blockbuster movie?
I will talk about the lack of lesbian women in the media and the importance of being visible.

About Mirella
Mirella van Markus (1977) works as a freelance presenter and program maker for both public (KRO, NTR) and commercial (RTL4) television in the Netherlands. Next to her work for TV Mirella also writes interviews and columns for various magazines, and regularly works as host of the day for events and voice-over.

She is know for among others “Goedemorgen Nederland” a daily morning program she presented on KRO tv from 2006-2009. Other programs included “De Italiaanse Droom”, NTR “Het Academisch Ziekenhuis” and “Over Leven Met Kanker”.

Mirella wrote among others for “KRO Magazine”, “Mikrogids” and “Maria”, and is currently columnist for “Filosofie Magazine” and “Zij aan Zij” Magazine.

Mirella’s choice for TV programs is always based on a strong personal and societal engagement.

Starting from 11 November Mirella will present a new RTL4 series called “Mooie Mensen in de Zorg” (beautiful people in healthcare). The series will celibrate healthcare employees who have realized beatifull initiatives that have improved care.
Other current and upcoming projects include
– An NTR (Ned 1) series “Over leven met..”, (“surviving…”) about people coping with various illnesses

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Keklik Yucel – Member of the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer – PvdA)

Keklik Yucel
Member of the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer – PvdA)

About Keklik Yucel
Keklik Yücel (1968) is a member of the Dutch House of Representatives on behalf of the Labour Party (Tweede Kamer – PvdA) since 20 September 2012. Her focus areas are emancipation, employment and health and international social affairs.

On an earlier occasion, from 9 February until 1 June 2010, she was already a temporary Member of the Dutch House of Representatives, filling in for Chantal Gill’ard who was on leave of absence.
Prior to becoming a member of the Dutch House of Representatives she worked at the City of Deventer. Further she is the Chair of the PvdA-women’s organisation.

Keklik Yücel is of Turkish origine. She studied at the LEAO and MEAO (business administration) after which she worked at a publisher. In 2000 she graduated at the HBO (Personnel and Labour) after which she joined by the City of Deventer where she worked in various capacities until a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. In the mean time she studied Management (“Bestuurskunde”) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and graduated in 2004. Her last position at the City of Deventer was team manager Strategic Development and Knowledge and Exploration.

– Social Affairs and Employment
– Immigration, Integration and Asylum affairs
– Education, Culture and Science
– Youth Care

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Janet Visbeen (partner PWC) – “Supporting by example”

Janet Visbeen
Partner PwC
Board member PwC Netherlands GLN network (GLEE)

Title of Talk: “Supporting by example”
Not everybody is a leader by nature. However, leadership may be overrated. To make a true change happen, visibility and support is needed from us all. Do not underestimate your personal impact and responsibility to achieve diversity and inclusiveness at your workplace.

About Janet
Janet is a partner in the Human Resource Services practice of PwC in the Netherlands and heads the Executive Reward team. She advises companies on the design and implementation of their remuneration policy for senior management. These services vary from management support in transactions and new incentive design to setting up governance structures and assistance with accounting and disclosures in annual reports. In 2010 Janet became a board member of the newly founded Gay & Lesbian network in PwC Netherlands.

Social media contact details:

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Barbara Vecchietti – L-Women in Italy

Barbara Vecchietti
* Vice president Edge – Excellence and Diversity by LGBT Executives
* Director of Government and Institutional Affairs – Parks Diversity – an association of companies working for glbt people at work.
* Enterpreneur – Founder of FOOD ON THE ROAD (

About Barbara
I have been working for 18 years as an executive in multinational companies (Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson), in a country were women do not have access to leadership roles and l-women are totally invisible.I will talk about my experience and about leadership (without) example…

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Sarah Odell – “Telling it Straight: LGBT Allies in the Workplace”

Sarah Odell & Elspeth Kirkman

Talk: “Telling it Straight: LGBT Allies in the Workplace”
The phrase “straight allies” has become commonplace over the last year but what does it mean to be a straight ally and how can a straight allies programme be implemented to identify and mentor those who want to become straight allies? Accenture launched its LGBT Allies programme in March 2012 and this talk will discuss how we set it up and the impact it has had.

Sarah Odell
Senior Management Consultant and UK LGBT Allies lead at Accenture

Sarah Odell has been Accenture UK/I’s LGBT Network Lead, and also sits on the Gay Women’s Network in London. Sarah has long been an LGBT activist within Accenture. Her position as Straight Allies Programme Lead this year has given her an opportunity to engage in a topic she is exceptionally passionate about. Sarah has driven the strategy and delivery of the programme from the creative content of videos, to communications, and the academic debate behind the message. Sarah has spent extensive time exploring the concept of alliance with Stonewall and the UK/I LGBT Network within Accenture. Sarah is currently a Senior Manager within Accenture, working within the learning community owning the organizations strategy to implement learning and collaboration solutions within consumer goods clients.

Social media:

Elspeth Kirkman
Management Consultant and UK LGBT Network Co-Chair at Accenture

Elspeth joined Accenture as a graduate in 2007 and, since then, has worked primarily with public sector clients on a range of strategic and technology-related business issues.  Alongside this day job, she also jointly leads the UK Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender network, which has around 200 members covering a range of different workforces and geographic locations.

Social media:

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Cordula E. Niklaus – “WyberNet – we love to link!”

Cordula E. Niklaus
Fürsprecherin / attorney at law

Talk: “WyberNet – we love to link!”

About Cordula
After her studies at the Law Faculty of the University of Berne and her admission to the Bar, Cordula started her professional career in 1989 as in house legal counsel and later as deputy secretary general of a life insurance company in Basel, Switzerland.

In 1995 she moved to Zurich, where she was first senior associate and later partner of the legal practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers PWC in Switzerland.

Since 2002 she has her own law firm “niclaw” in Zurich, and she is specialised in commercial and contract law, insurance law as well as IT- and Data-Protection law. She is focused on small and middle sized companies as well as individuals.

Apart from being a member of the board of some companies, she is also Vice-President of WyberNet, the network for professionally engaged lesbian women in Switzerland.

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speakers Gili Gershonok & Veronika Blum – “L Girls from the Bloc”

Gili Gershonok & Veronica Blum
IBM Central & Eastern Europe

Talk: “L Girls from the Bloc”
We would like to offer you a quick view into the world of L women and the LGBT communities in the countries where we live and work. We’ve collected testimonials from people in our environments about their lives and their views as or about L women – those will be part of an interactive exercise that will include the audience. The presentation will be structured through several key words and concepts that play major roles in L women’s realities, these key words are characteristics we have identified to be specifics to the L(GBT) work life in CEE.

We hope by this every participant will get a small taste of where we come from.

About Gili
Business Analyst , IBM
Gili is a young professional from Israel who works in Slovakia. For the past 2 years, she has been driving initiatives to promote LGBT visibility and empowerment at her workplace. This includes co-leading an internal LGBT network chapter, co-organizing the first LGBT Business Forum in Slovakia, and initiating an external ‘LGBT Professionals in Slovakia’ networking group.
Over the past 10 years, Gili had lived and worked in various environments and cultures including Israel, U.S., Greece and Slovakia. Her professional experience includes management and leadership roles, as well as working closely with clients and in technological environments. She is currently pursuing her Project Manager certification.

Gili lives with her partner in Lower Austria, where they practice sustainable living as best they can.

About Veronika
Global Bid Manager for Europe, IBM
Veronika works for IBM as a Global Bid Manager, a role for which an open attitude towards cultural differences is a default requirement.
Born and raised in Germany, she studied Eastern European Studies and Sociology at the Freie Universität in Berlin, in the course of which she acquired Hungarian language skills. In 2007 she moved to Budapest. She has been a leading force to the companie’s LGBT network group since 2010. Achievements during this period were: Participation as a panel speaker on two LGBT business forums and giving guidance to employees of another company, who since then have formed their own LGBT network (modelled on the EAGLE group at IBM)

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Dorothee van Vredenburch – “Living Assets in Financial Services”

Dorothee van Vredenburch
Member of the Management Board ING Insurance EurAsia.

Talk: “Living Assets in Financial Services”
“Where would you like to be in 5 years from now?” is quite a common start for a career or personal development discussion. But sometimes it is looking backwards and connecting the dots that gives the answer. And that is precisely how it happened to me: after various professional experiences in different organizations and industries I came to realize that it was only by connecting people and purpose that organizations could drive their performance. From my current position I strive to bring that perspective to the financial services industry, ensuring that we have a better balance between living and non-living assets.

About Dorothee
Dorothee van Vredenburch (47, Dutch) has been Managing Director of ING Group Corporate Communications and Affairs (CC&A) since November 2009. As of January 2010, Dorothee became Managing Director of CC&A EurAsia Insurance and Investment Management, and as of February 2012 she is also Head of Human Resources. As per November 1st 2012 Dorothee van Vredenburch is member of the Management Board Insurance EurAsia, responsible for Human Resources, Corporate Development, Corporate Communications and Affairs and Sustainability.

Dorothee began her career in 1987 as an investment analyst in international securities in the London office of AMRO Bank. After holding similar roles with Swiss Bank and Carnegie, she founded her own financial communications firm, First Financial Communications B.V. in 1993. Most recently, Dorothee initiated a Netherlands-based consulting firm in 2007 called the RedZebra Group, which focuses on supporting organizations align their people with their purpose to drive improved performance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance from CCAT in Cambridge, UK.

Dorothee and her husband Gerard de Graaff have two sons, aged 15 and 10. Her hobbies include golf, tennis and photography, though most weekends can find her on the sidelines of her children’s sporting events.

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Ulla Dalsgaard – “Diversity Networks 101″

Ulla Dalsgaard
Resource & Capacity Manager, IBM

Talk: “Diversity Networks 101″
Ulla is one of the founders of the Danish LGBT Business Network, a network for LGBT professionals in Denmark which has grown to +210 members in just two years. She is also very active in the Danish branch of EAGLE@IBM, which is IBM’s world wide network for LGBT employees. In this talk, she’ll explore the do’s and don’t’s of creating a successful LGBT network across companies, institutions, language and gender expression.

About Ulla
Ulla Dalsgaard has more than 20 years of consulting experience working with organizational transformation and development in finance, telecom and manufacturing companies as well as the public sector. Ullas background is in engineering and software development, but she got tired of all the technology stuff and moved into HR and people development. Since then, she has worked extensively with organizational change and development, added psychology studies and is a certified leadership coach. Her greatest passions, which are topics she can discuss at length, are personal development in general, and diversity management in practice – how companies and societies can create an inclusive workplace.

Ulla lives in Copenhagen, Denmark

Social Media:

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Elaine Weaver – Panelist “Differences in countries across Europe”

Elaine Weaver
Business Manager, Customer Education – Philips Healthcare

Panelist “Differences in countries across Europe”

About Elaine
Elaine was born and raised in Wisconsin, United States, about an hour north of Chicago. She entered the healthcare imaging field after attending Radiography school more than twenty years ago. After many years of clinical experience in x-ray and computed tomography, she began to teach fellow imaging specialists. In 2005, she began consulting with Philips Healthcare, and soon accepted a permanent position at one of their US corporate headquarters in Cleveland OH, USA. In 2011, Elaine and her wife Lisa moved to Eindhoven, Netherlands to follow Elaine’s continuing international career with Philips. Her current expertise is in clinical imaging, clinical education, business development and consulting. The love of all things people is what fulfills her most about daily work.

Social media:

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Martha McDevitt-Pugh – “Be the change you want to see”

Martha McDevitt-Pugh
ING Bank/ Founder Love Exiles Foundation (NL/USA)

Talk: “Be the change you want to see”
Effective leadership is about being yourself in whatever circumstances you face. How to sharpen your antennae to find unique opportunities to express your vision for the world and make a difference. Unleash your vision and participate like you never have before.

About Martha
Martha McDevitt-Pugh was born in San Francisco and has lived in the Netherlands since 2000. She has worked as a director and manager in Silicon Valley tech companies and is currently a Senior Change Manager at ING Bank, where she serves on the board of the LGBT employee resource group Gala.
Martha moved to the Netherlands to be with the love of her life, Lin McDevitt-Pugh. She founded the Love Exiles Foundation 2002 to advocate for LGBT-inclusive immigration reform in the USA that would give families like her own the opportunity to live legally together in the USA, where same-sex marriages are still not federally recognized. Her commitment is to a world where all families have the same rights. She is Chair of Democrats Abroad Netherlands and was a 2012 Delegate to the Democratic National convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for Barack Obama. Martha speaks and writes frequently on LGBT equality and immigration issues.

Social media
Twitter @mcdevittpugh

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Beate Tyralla – Talk: “Want to come out – and play?”

Dr. Beate Tyralla
Medical doctor and work as a clinical pathologist in a medical Lab near Frankfurt, Germany.
Member of the board of Wirtschaftsweiber, the german network for lesbian entrepreneus, business women and specialists.

Talk: “Want to come out – and play?”

Wirtschaftsweiber was founded in 1998. At the moment we have about 170 members. Meetings are organized in six regional teams throughout Germany.
Our main goals are to create visibility and acceptance within the society and workplace and secondly we want to give mutual support within our network. This includes also an active cooperation with other LGBT networks national and in Europe.

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Curious about our line-up of speakers and our program for L-Women at Work?

Over the past weeks we have been gradually adding speakers and background information on our program to the site but you might have missed it.

The 2012 program includes keynotes by IBM, ING, Accenture and PWC, a series of 15-20 “L-Talks” each for 8 minutes based on the famous TED concept, a panel discussion featuring women from various countries discussing the differences across europe, and an interactive “speaker corner” session in the afternoon. And of course there is plenty of time during the breaks, lunch and the networking reception to meet and interact with the speakers and other participants.

  • For the full program click here
  • Curious about our line-up of speakers? View the full list and their bio’s here
  • To register click on the register button
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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Elisabeth Wintzler – “Diversity in small and middle sized companies”

Elisabeth Wintzler, dipl. Ex. ÖK
Sales Manager interior design for special surfaces and materials

Talk: “Diversity in small and middle sized companies”
What is the working reality of a lesbian manager, if she cannot benefit from company owned LGBT networks? Why do small and middle sized businesses pay not much attention to use the power of diversity and why is that so non-smart at all? Why does it still make sense to come out of the closet, even though life-style is mostly considered to be not relevant in our working life?

About Elisabeth
Elisabeth Wintzler has studied philology and cultural sciences at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. She holds a degree in foreign economics from the European Business School, Reutlingen, and the University of Applied Sciences, Brig, Switzerland.

She has worked as sales- and project manager in the field of technical textiles for the automotive industry as well as she has acquired much experience in the field of office furniture manufacturers from all over Europe. She is currently working in the world of interior design for special surfaces and materials.

In her network life she has been one of the leaders of the Wirtschaftsweiber, the German lesbian business women’s association and is now very actively involved in all international affairs of the Wybernet, the Swiss network for lesbian managers.

She lives with her partner and part-time dog close to Zurich, Switzerland.

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Ronete Cohen – “B-Women at Work”

Ronete Cohen
Psychologist and psychotherapist
Ronete Cohen Therapy
Rainbow Couch

Talk: “B-Women at Work”
Bisexual women are different from lesbians in so many ways. When it comes to workplace based initiatives, they are often grouped together with lesbians as an afterthought, leading to a hit and miss approach that leaves them feeling excluded. How can we work towards changing that?

About Ronete
Ronete Cohen MA is a qualified psychologist with a private practice in central London ( and online ( She works with adults, adolescents, children and families. She trained in Intensive Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (IE-DP) with Dr Ferruccio Osimo MD (former president of IEDTA and adjunct professor at Universita Statale di Milano), and in Affect Phobia Therapy (APT) with Kristin A.R. Osborn (Co-Director of Harvard Medical School Psychotherapy Research Program). She is the only APT-trained therapist in the UK and is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association and of EDT-UK.

Ronete is an expert lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender affirmative therapist. She also specialises in adapting EDT for use with adolescents and children, and for use in online therapy. She has extensive experience of working with diverse cultures, nationalities, beliefs and sexualities.

Ronete is an advice columnist whose expert opinion on LGBT issues is quoted in articles, both in print and online. She has written a chapter, ‘Using Intensive Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy to Treat an Underachieving Gifted Adolescent’, for the book ‘Theory and Practice of Experiential Dynamic Therapy’ (edited by Ferruccio Osimo and Mark Stein, published by Karnac in 2012).

Social Media
Facebook page: Rainbow Couch
Twitter: @rainbowcouch

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Irene Hemelaar – “How being inclusive creates true leadership”

Irene Hemelaar
Entrepeneur (ZZP’er) at Heavenly Creature Producties

Talk: “How being inclusive creates true leadership”
Working for an LGBT-organization which up until 2008 used to be male dominated [Stichting ProGay, Amsterdam Gay Pride], during my leadership as a chair and since May 1st as executive director the foundation has reached a change in attitude within the organization both in the way we work and in the way we professionalize as an organization and provide direction. A situation in which I feel very comfortable and which enables all of us to be better. Which makes me wonder. Is the way I like to work feminine? Is it just an attitude? I’d like to share my experiences and l’m looking forward to some kind of discussion!

About Irene
Irene Hemelaar (24-6-1969) was born and raised in Amsterdam. She was founder and chair and later director of Stichting OndersteBoven, a foundation which in a collaboration a.o. with COC Netherlands gave the emancipation and social acceptation of LBT-women in the Netherlands an impulse.
In 2010 she became chair of stichting ProGay, the organizor of the Amsterdam Gay Pride, the biggest event in the city of Amsterdam. In a succesfull attempt to make the foundation a more professional organization, Irene joined the professionals in the office as executive director on the 1st of May of this year.
She sings professionally her favourite Dutch repertoire from the ‘30s to the ‘80s in her cabaretesque Duo Wilde Orchidee, she is a columnist for the Gay Krant. She loves and LATs with Mariska and she shares her appartment with Bennie the bunny.

Social media
Twitter @irenehemelaar

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Caroline Pickard – Engaging men in Gender Diversity

Caroline Pickard
Ambassador, Catalyst Europe AG

Mirroring the way in which Workplace Pride places emphasis on the importance of straight allies, Caroline will talk about how important men can be in promoting women at work. Catalyst’s research covers a number of ways to engage men in gender diversity, and from her own experiences and referencing Catalyst resources, Caroline will discuss different viewpoints and strategies to build an inclusive workplace.


About Caroline
Caroline Pickard has more than 15 years of professional experience in multilingual corporate environments, with positions in logistics, recruitment, high-tech and, most recently, teaching and training sectors. As an independent professional since 2004, she has worked extensively with organizations, institutes and individuals to design programs in language and communication. Caroline joined Catalyst Europe in September 2011 as Ambassador for the Nordic region and is based out of Amsterdam.

Twitter: @CatalystInc

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speaker Sonja Geessler – “Want to come out – and play?”

Sonja Geessler
Wirtschaftsweiber Stuttgart, Germany

Talk: “Want to come out – and play?”

Sonja has more than twenty years of experience in the IT industry. The last two years she has been busy with conceptual design, creation and implementation of the IT-Service-Catalogue for the regional government authorities and is a certified ITIL V3 Expert. She also has a strong interest in transactional analysis and its use in organizational development.

She has worked as a senior business analyst for a consultancy and has filled the roles of Business Developer, Staffing Manager and Software Tester. Her further professional background includes being the Australian Regional Distribution Center (ARDC) Coordinator and a systems analyst for IBM Australia Ltd..

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Introducing #LWAW12 Speakers – Marion Mulder (welcome on behalf of Workplace Pride)

Marion Mulder
Co-Chair Workplace Pride Foundation
Owner MuldiMedia

Marion is founder of MuldiMedia, and advises and guides organisations with the implementation of intranets, digital workplaces, content management and new media. She has been working in these fields since 1998. First as an employee at ING and since may of 2011 as an independent professional. Marion is hired o.a. as Communications Advisor, Content Manager, Intranet Manager, Project Manager and New Media &Digital Workplace Advisor.

Marion began her career with ING in Amsterdam in 1995, and has a broad track record in Audit, Finance, ICT, Marketing & Communications and HR Diversity.

Marion completed her Bachelors in Business Administration at the Hogeschool Alkmaar in 1995. During her career she studied Multi-Media Engineering at the College of Multimedia in Amsterdam (1999/2000) and studied Professional Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam (2004-2008). Recently she complete course in iOS App Development (Dec. 2011).

Marion and LGBT
Marion was co-founders of ING’s Global LGBT Network “Gala” in 2004. She is co-founder and since 2012 Co-Chair of Workplace Pride – an international platform for LGBT inclusion at work. Marion joined the Board of EGMA also in 2012. Since 2009 she is also the driving force behind LesBizz, a platform using social media that promotes Lesbian Empowerment in Business.

Social Media:


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Did not receive our invite for #LWAW12? view it here!

We have done our utmost to make sure that anyone we know that is interested in our event receives an invite. If we for some reason have missed you, we are sorry but please check it here.

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