Thomas Rabe (he/him), CEO, Bertelsmann AND RTL Group
Thomas Rabe studied economics in Aachen and Cologne. He worked for the European Commission in Brussels and the Treuhandanstalt in Berlin, among others. In 2000, he became Chief Financial Officer of RTL Group, and in 2006 Chief Financial Officer at Bertelsmann. In 2012, he took over as Chairman of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann. In the years that followed, Thomas Rabe drove the internationalization, digitization and diversification of the businesses. He has also been CEO of RTL Group since 2019.
Immanuel Hermreck (he/him), CHRO, Bertelsmann
Immanuel Hermreck studied economics and communications in Munich, Münster and at Stanford University. He started his career at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. From 2000 to 2005, he headed Bertelsmann University before becoming Head of Central Management Development at Bertelsmann and, in 2006, Group Human Resources Director. Immanuel Hermreck has been Bertelsmann’s Chief Human Resources Officer since 2015. In this position, he drives forward the topics of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).
Tessa ganserer (she/her), Member of the German Parliament
Tessa Ganserer was born in 1977 in the heart of the Bavarian Forest. Tessa studied forestry and forestry management and has been a member of Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen since 1998. From October 2013 to October 2021, she was a member of the Bavarian State Parliament. She has been a member of the German Bundestag since October 2021.
Pierrot Raschdorff (he/him), Sr. Director Global DE&I, BMG – The New Music Company
Pierrot Raschdorff grew up in East Frisia. After graduating, he worked as a political scientist, advertising and marketing manager for various agencies, such as Jung von Matt and Butter, and later for media companies, such as Edel AG or the Penguin Random House publishing group in Munich. Pierrot Raschdorff is currently Senior Director Global DE&I at BMG. He is a speaker on the topic of DE&I. He also illustrates how we can live together as a diverse society in publications such as his book: Schwarz. Rot. Wir.
Susanne Sikora (she/her), HR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Expert, Deutsche Bank
Susanne has been working in the human resources environment at Deutsche Bank for 20 years after completing an internationally oriented degree in finance. Her experience from various regional and central line and project tasks as an HR officer, compensation specialist and coach in the company provide the comprehensive expertise to accompany and advise managers and employees on future-relevant issues as a sparring partner, impulse and feedback provider, especially in an increasingly fast-changing environment. She strengthens the global HR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team and supports the bank and its employees in understanding and implementing diversity, equal opportunities and participation as holistically as possible.
Philipp Preisser (he/him), Assistant Vice President – Global Employer Branding, Deutsche Bank
Philipp is a brand and communications expert for employer branding, social media & diversity with experience at Munich Re, Telefónica and McKinsey. In his role in Global Employer Branding at Deutsche Bank, he and his team advise on employer brand attractiveness and authentic communication – internally and externally. He is a member of the bank-wide LGBTQ network dbPride and privately hosts a diversity career podcast.
Yolanda ROTHER (SHE/HER), Co-founder The impact company
Yolanda Rother is co-founder of “The Impact Company”, a diversity, audience and culture consultancy. She also is a board member at Stiftung Zukunft Berlin (currently inactive). She moderates and speaks on topics related to digital society, politics and open government, diversity and sustainability. The Berlin native is a graduate (Master of Public Policy) of the Hertie School and has lived in Brazil, France and the United States.
Shawn Williams (he/him), Co-founder The impact company
Shawn Williams is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Impact Company, a BIPOC owned and operated Diversity, Audience & Culture Consultancy. The Impact Company offers professional services to organizations that want to increase their competitiveness by incorporating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion into their core strategy.
Before co-founding The Impact Company Shawn worked in media (VICE Media, Axel Springer) and marketing & advertising (AKQA) in Product, Account Management and Operations roles.
Shawn grew up in Berlin, has a German/American background and studied in the UK and US (MA Business & Management and Politics).
Anna Thwaites (she/they), Partner, Clifford Chance Partnerschaft mit beschränkter Berufshaftung
Anna Thwaites is a lawyer qualified in Australian and English law and a partner at Clifford Chance. Anna is an expert in complex project and infrastructure finance, with years of experience in the healthcare, transport and energy sectors. Anna advises banks, (financial) investors and sponsors on the financing, refinancing and restructuring of large international projects. Anna is also Chair of the LGBT+ Network at Clifford Chance Germany and co-initiator of the Reverse Mentoring Program at Clifford Chance in Germany.
Bernhard Schmitz (he/him), Senior Manager Professional Qualification, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG
Bernhard has been working in corporate training and development since 2011 after completing his apprenticeship and a degree. Through his speaker activities, he brings a lot of expertise in the field of career orientation, recruitment and training of the “next generation”. As Senior Manager Professional Qualification, he uses this experience for the professional development of employees and brings generations together in learning.
Dr. Beyhan Şentürk (she/her), executive Coach & Diversity Trainer
Dr. Beyhan Şentürk is an executive coach and diversity trainer. The political scientist prefers to talk about Muslim lifestyles in Germany and about (anti-Muslim) racism. The Berliner-by-choice particularly enjoys coaching career-oriented people who feel attracted by “diversity”. In addition to her specialist knowledge, Dr. Beyhan Şentürk also shares her experience as a lesbian woman of color from a working-class family with a fascination for religions.
Alexander Scheld (he/him), CEO of the Lesbian and Gay Association Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (LSVD)
Alexander Scheld has been working for the Lesbian and Gay Association Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD) since 2018. Since 2006, he has worked as a personnel coach and operations manager for a large tourism company abroad and was Marketing Director for an international hotel group for many years. Since the end of the 1990s, Alexander Scheld has been volunteering at home and abroad for the recognition and appreciation of all people, regardless of their origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or world view, age, physical or mental abilities or other characteristics. Since 2014, he has also been working with a large political activist network in Thailand for legal equality for queer partners.
Bettina Lutz (she/her), Head of Inflammation & Immunology at Pfizer in Germany and sponsor of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team of Germany
Bettina Lutz has led the Inflammation & Immunology business for Pfizer in Germany since September 2022. She has been with Pfizer for 15 years in various roles and functions and has held leadership positions in several European countries (Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Finland). Ms. Lutz is passionate about diversity within the company and equal healthcare.
Safir Boukhalfa (they/them), Founder & DEI Consultant
Safir is a DEI Consultant living in Berlin. Their life journey led them to live in countries such as Spain, France, the Netherlands, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Germany, and work with organizations such as Zalando, Calvin Klein, and Doctors without Borders.
Their purpose is to guide companies and NGOs on how to help people from marginalized communities not only to feel seen, heard, and included but also most importantly really embraced for who they are in the workplace.
Jasmin Sromalla (she/her), Auszubildende Kauffrau für Büromanagement mit der Zusatzqualifikation zur Europakauffrau, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG
Jasmin Sromalla was born in 2002 and thus belongs to Gen Z. She has been completing a commercial apprenticeship at Boehringer Ingelheim since 2021. Through the apprenticeship, she experiences the opportunities and the impact of the diversity lived in the company. The appreciative culture in the company enables her to have a positive impact on the future viability of the company as part of the big picture.
Brix Schaumburg (he/him), Freischaffender Künstler
Brix Schaumburg ist Deutschlands erster offiziell geouteter trans Schauspieler. Wer Gewöhnliches sucht, ist bei ihm an der falschen Stelle. Er setzt sich ein für eine Welt ohne Schubladen und Labels. Als Diversity Coach berät er Unternehmen und Marken. Mit seiner ganz persönlichen Geschichte und seinem Engagement als Medienmensch möchte er sensibilisieren, aufklären, Diskurs fördern und für mehr Bewusstsein im Umgang mit Mitmenschen verschiedenster Backgrounds schaffen. Zudem ist er als Botschafter u.a. für die DGTI (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transidentität und Intersexualität) aktiv.
Sabine “Bine” Krutschinna (she/her), Moderatorin, Reporterin & Creatorin
Sabine “Bine” Krutschinna became known for her participation in “Princess Charming,” the first lesbian dating show. She talks openly about why queer visibility and representation is so important – especially for lesbian women. The Berlin native has a big heart for (women’s) soccer and has been a reporter for both the VfL Wolfsburg team and the German women’s national team. Through her commitment, she wants to create more awareness for women in sports. Today, Bine mainly reports live from the soccer stadiums of the women’s soccer Bundesliga teams and creates another sustainable platform for the sport.
Michaela Dudley (she/her), J.D.
Michaela Dudley (born 1961), a Berlin queer feminist with African-American roots, embodies diversity firsthand. “A die-hard vegan dominatrix pulls from leather,” is the name of her cabaret program, which is accompanied by her own compositions. She is also a successful author (“Race Relations: Essays on Racism”, 2022) and a film actress (“Gender Fight”, 2023). As a columnist, she is known from the taz, the Tagesspiegel / Queerspiegel and the iconic Berlin LGBTQ magazine Siegessaule. The activist is also a trained lawyer (Juris Dr., US).
Thomas Steins (he/him), Diversity Activist, ESG-Strategy, Founder & CEO of CAIDAO, Institute for works council Consulting
Thomas Steins is a diversity activist, founder and managing director of the CAIDAO Institute for Works Council Consulting. As a strategy consultant and coach, Thomas empowers works councils in business projects, accompanies them on a partnership basis with digital transformation and diverse personnel and organizational development. Thomas designed the LGBTIQ+ training for the Culcha app. As a GermanDream value ambassador and ProutPerformer, he is committed to democracy, respect and diversity.
Dr. Antonia WadÉ (She/her), Diversity Manager, Audi AG
Antonia Wadé studied business administration in Regensburg and in the USA. After completing her doctorate, she joined AUDI AG in 2000 in the Investor Relations department. She later held positions at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt and in Corporate Strategy with a focus on sustainability. Since 2017, she has been a manager in the Diversity & Inclusion department. She is involved inside and outside the company as an ally in the LGBT*IQ area and has been a member of the PROUT AT WORK Foundation Advisory Board since 2021.
Azadê Peşmen (No pronoun), Journalist, Presenter
Azadê Peşmen works as a freelance journalist for various media (including Deutschlandfunk, Zeit Online) and reported from Brazil, Turkey and Iraq. In 2021, Azadê founded Qzeng Productions and hosts storytelling podcasts such as ” Deso – der Rapper, der zum IS ging” and the daily news podcast ” Was jetzt?”. In addition, Azadê gives workshops and hosts events for companies and cultural institutions.
Ingo Bertram (he/him), Head of News, Content & Research, OTTO
Ingo Bertram is Head of News, Content & Research in Corporate Communications at OTTO and Co-Founder of the employee network MORE*, which was founded at OTTO in 2019 and promotes queer interests at Germany’s largest online store. Born in Bremen, he previously worked as a department head in corporate communications at logistics service provider Hermes and has provided communications advice to international brands and corporations as a consultant on the agency side. Ingo volunteered for four years as a board member for press and public relations for Hamburg Pride e.V. and has since been a strong advocate for equal opportunities for LGBTIQ* people on the job as well. Ingo loves Lisbon and urban art, lives with his husband and beagle in St. Pauli, and is obnoxious without Franzbrötchen.
MIrjam Ferrari (She/her), SVP HR Operations Post&Paket, DHL Group
Mirjam Ferrari has been with DHL Group for 22 years, including over 10 years in various management roles. She began her career at DHL Express in Marketing, continuing in Public Policy at the Corporate Center. From there, she moved to various management roles in sales and marketing at P&P Germany. Since 2019, she has been working in HR. Here, she initially established recruiting as a sales function. Since 2022, she has been responsible for the HR Operations division, which includes recruiting, HR development, diversity management and BPO.
Jo Labecka (no pronoun), Corporate Relationship Manager, PROUT AT WORK-Foundation
Jo is an expert in the inclusion of all dimensions of diversity, with a particular focus on LGBT*IQ, and works with companies and organizations at PROUT AT WORK to create a culture of belonging in the workplace and influence change in society at large. Jo identifies as non-binary and believes that deconstructing gender is part of our evolution.
Albert Kehrer (he/him), director, Prout at work-foundation
Albert Kehrer is co-founder and executive director of the PROUT AT WORK-Foundation. Albert founded the LGBT network for Germany at his employer almost 20 years ago, held a position in sales on LGBT business development and was Diversity Manager for Germany in a large consulting firm for several years. For the past 10 years, he has been a full-time diversity expert, change consultant and coach for organizations, teams and people on diversity-related topics through his consulting firm Perls Anderson Change Advisors.
Jean-luc vey (he/him), director, PROUT AT WORK-FOundation
Dr. Jean-Luc Vey, born in 1967 in the south of France, is a telecommunications engineer and holds a doctorate in physics. He has lived in Germany since 1995 and has worked in the IT department of Deutsche Bank since 1999. Jean-Luc was one of the founders of DB Pride, a diversity programm for the LGBT*IQ staff of Deutsche Bahn in 2000 and was one of the leaders until 2013. Since 2013, he has been a co-founder and board member of PROUT AT WORK. Additionally, Jean-Luc was on the Financial Times’ “Future Global LGBT Leaders” list in 2016.