Celebrating diversity throughout Europe

31  July 2020

The rainbow flag flying at the EPO's The Hague building

To mark pride celebrations in Amsterdam and reinforce solidarity with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) community, the European Patent Office has once again raised the rainbow flag, this time at its Dutch site in the Hague.  Earlier in July, the Office supported Christopher Street Day in Munich by flying the flag at its Isar building headquarters.

Steve Rowan, EPO Vice President Patent Granting Process, led a ceremony on behalf of the Office. He reiterated the importance of diversity and inclusion in organisations: "The Netherlands is currently celebrating Pride week and the EPO is flying the rainbow flag to show our support for the LGBTQ community. The flag represents diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness. As an employer with staff from 35 different countries, the EPO shares these values. Embracing and celebrating diversity makes our organisation stronger and better."

EPO Vice President Patent Granting Process Steve Rowan raises the rainbow flag

As part of its strategic focus on building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the EPO has been attending targeted recruitment events for female engineers, the LGBT+ community and people living with a disability. The Office also intends to increase its share of employees from under-represented member states and has sent its talent acquisition team to job fairs in these states.

Throughout Europe, pride celebrations have been cancelled due to coronavirus-related restrictions on mass gatherings. Despite this setback, the event organisers in Amsterdam have planned a series of virtual interactive tours, exhibitions and digital gatherings.

About Amsterdam pride

The nine-day summer festival aims to draw attention to human rights and promote the acceptance of the LGBT+ community worldwide. Each year, the Amsterdam celebration draws over 500 000 supporters who participate in parades, exhibitions, walking tours and other events.

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