As an employer, do you know what your LGBTQI+ employees need from you to feel safe, secure, and supported in the workplace? For VMware’s Spokesperson and Senior Solutions Engineer, Lode Vermeiren, it’s all about taking action and showing a genuine commitment to employee welfare — something both his company and colleagues have done from day one.
Lode Vermeiren, Spokesperson & Senior Solutions Engineer – VMware
1. As someone from the LGBTQI+ community, what would make you feel more comfortable to be open in the workplace and what could your employer do to make you feel safe to do so?
It really helps when leadership shows they want to embrace openness by taking action, rather than talking. It’s been refreshing to see VMware company execs adding their pronouns to their email signature, or featuring a rainbow background in their Zoom calls for Pride Month. This lowers the bar for others to do the same, whether they are part of the LGBTIQA+ community or not.
2. Tell us about a time when you felt truly supported and/or included in your workplace
From the first day I joined VMware, I was able to be open about my relationship, and no one batted an eye when I mentioned my partner. HR was always clear that our benefits extended to him just like they did to other spouses. You can learn more about VMware’s comprehensive program of benefits here.
3. When looking for a job, do you look at what companies are doing to support LGBTQI+ employees before you apply and if so, does this impact your decision to apply for a job?
4. What does your employer have in place to support LGBTQI+ employees in the workplace
VMware has a Diversity & Inclusion initiative under the name ‘VMinclusion.’ As part of that there is an active PRIDE@VMware POD (Power of Difference) community. PODs are VMware’s employee resource groups. PRIDE@VMware does not only organize internal events (such as Pride Month events), but it is also a preferred partner in talking with VMware leadership about issues that affect our community.
Want to learn more about VMware’s support for their LGBTQI+ community? Take a look at our blog Going beyond policies to protect LGBTQI+ employees in which Lode’s colleague Linus also shares his experience as a VMware employee.