We are colorful and we are proud of it

My name is Maren Detel, a consultant in IT Management at Horváth and queer. I'll take you on my journey as a consultant and founder of our Proud@Horváth community and share with you what makes Horváth an attractive employer in consulting for the LGBTQIA+ community.

We want and we need to make sure that there is no differentiation based on sexual identity and orientation. I have always felt valued and comfortable during my years with my current employer Horváth. I have never personally experienced discrimination based on sexual identity or orientation in my professional or private life. Now, I am helping to ensure that all my colleagues feel the same way.

My name is Maren Detel (35), I live with my wife in Cologne, and I have been working as a consultant in the field of IT management at Horváth for over 7 years. Originally, I wanted to pursue my passion and study sports - I still love to do sports, but now in my free time. Professionally, as a Stuttgart native, I first spent some time in the automotive industry after my business studies before switching to consulting. What makes my consulting job so exciting and diverse is the constant change with every new customer and their challenges.

Looking back, in the early years of my professional life, I was still hesitant and didn't directly

mention that I was queer. I never denied it, but I also didn't tell people as openly as I do today. However, in the course of my professional, but also personal development, I have decided that it is important to me to sensitize people in my professional as well as private environment, to open eyes and to make them think. In probably every job, at some point people talk with colleagues about how their weekend or their last vacation was. And usually at some point the question comes up, "Do you actually have a boyfriend?" I think it's perfectly fine to ask such questions; for me, private exchanges also belong in the workplace. Of course, everyone has to decide for themselves how much they want to reveal. However, such questions should be formulated openly, so that the answer is not predetermined for the interlocutor, such as "Are you in a relationship?" Unfortunately, I was never asked this question. At Horváth, meanwhile, the internal "Bias & Diversity Awareness" workshop raises awareness of precisely this.

In general, I am an outgoing and direct person, so I've been very open about my sexual orientation right from the start. All my colleagues on my team know that I am married to a woman. I am not someone who hides her private life in a professional environment. And with this example, I would like to be a role model for other colleagues. With this motivation, I founded the Proud@Horváth network a few years ago with a few committed colleagues.

Through our network, we offer personal exchange and mutual support, and together we shape our inclusive corporate culture. We give impulses in our teams and also get inspired by external queer organizations. Currently, we are in the process of planning our upcoming network meeting. At STICKS & STONES, we would love to network with interested people, answer your questions and discuss exciting topics with you.

Because at Horváth, we are proud that an open and respectful interaction with each other is a matter of course for us, that diversity reflects an elementary part of our Horváth DNA and is part of our corporate strategy. We are Proud@Horváth and we look forward to meeting you!