9 July 2021
If you walked past the EPO headquarters (Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1) today, you may have noticed the iconic rainbow flag. For the second year in a row, the Office marks the Munich Christopher Street Day celebrations by flying the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride in and around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) communities.
Vice-President Corporate Services Nellie Simon and a group of staff met at the Isar building to raise the flag on behalf of the Office.
Beyond the gesture's symbolic value, raising the rainbow flag reflects the values of pride, tolerance and harmony the Office strives to promote. Christopher Street Day celebrations are increasingly important as the rights of LGBTQ+ communities continue to have to be defended worldwide. Once again this year, the EPO and its staff celebrate Pride with the same enthusiasm, despite the pandemic restrictions.
As an employer of choice that vigorously supports diversity and inclusion (D&I), the EPO puts a great deal of importance on LGBTQ+ related aspects. Its focus is set on making sure that also our LGBTQ+ colleagues feel respected and accepted in their daily work.
The Office considers thereby a wide range of aspects including recruitment. So the Office was present last month at Sticks and Stones, Europe's largest LGBTQ+ career fair. The online event provided also new sources of inspiration for the EPO's approach to D&I and a further opportunity for gathering best practices on LGBTQ+ topics related to the work environment.
On 6 August, the rainbow flag will fly at the New Main building to coincide with the Pride week festivities in Amsterdam.
Though now a global celebration of diversity, Christopher Street Day has its origins in civil rights protests. The movement began as a response to police assaults on members of the LGBT+ community in New York in 1969. A decade later, in 1979, Berlin and Bremen became the first German cities to start commemorating the protests, with Munich following suit in 1980. Celebrations in Bavaria's capital usually attract crowds of more than 150 000 people.