Celebrating diversity with the Commerzbank truck at CSD

Successful Pride Season 2023 at Commerzbank

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Sabine Ostrowicki

Commerzbank

The participants on the Commerzbank truck at the CSD Berlin.
Commerzbank employees demonstrated under the motto „No time to hesitate. It`s time for action.“ for more acceptance at the CSD in Berlin. Copyright: Michelle Nopp
During Pride Season 2023, Commerzbank organised numerous campaigns to highlight its stance on diversity and respect and to raise awareness of the need for greater understanding. Its participation in the Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin was the final highlight.

Together with several hundred thousand people, Commerzbank employees celebrated Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin and demonstrated for more empathy and solidarity. “It was a great atmosphere and we received a lot of positive feedback”, says Felix Attinger from the project team. Together with Corinna Charifi, Sabine Hoppe, Christian Mohr, Janina Mühlbauer and Stefan Zech, he had been planning and organising the event on a voluntary basis since February.

100 employees from all segments in Berlin were involved

With support from Group Communications and in cooperation with the PROUT AT WORK Foundation, the Commerzbank truck took to the road. Around 100 colleagues from all segments all over Germany and even from Prague took part and showed just how multifaceted the Bank is.

In his speech delivered from the truck, Andrew Leibenath, spokesman for ARCO, Commerzbank's Pride network, emphasised that despite the progress made in recent years, there is still discrimination, prejudice and violence against the LGBT*IQ community: “Let’s therefore celebrate diversity and at the same time fight for a world in which this diversity is a matter of course.”

Commerzbank runners also at CSD in Frankfurt

Commerzbank colleagues in Frankfurt also took part in CSD with a group of runners, including Albert Reicherzer, Head of CIO PSBC in Group Services and Executive Ally: “I think that the participants’ openness to welcome others just as they are sends a strong message. It was a great celebration and a demonstration of humanity in action.” Supporters and role models like these are important for encouraging others. Ten such role models working at Commerzbank were recognised and honoured on the PROUT performer lists in June.

Workshop on trans*, inter* and non-binary people

But Commerzbank was not only involved in the Christopher Street Parades during Pride Season. With the virtual event “Trans*, inter*, non-binary – what exactly does that mean?”, Diversity Management and ARCO organised a workshop to help people better understand the topic.

Rainbow Day at Goethe University

Commerzbank also presented itself at the first Rainbow Day at Goethe University in Frankfurt. “Many students approached us with very specific questions about the Bank's commitment to diversity”, says Fiona Briscoe, spokesperson for ARCO. “The topic plays an important role for many young professionals when choosing an employer.”

CDS to sponsor acceptance award in Duisburg

This was also evident at this year's presentation of the “Bridge of Solidarity” acceptance award by the DUGay e.V. association in Duisburg to the artist Thomas Schönhagen. Commerz Direktservice (CDS) supported the event at the city's Museum of Culture and City History as a sponsor. “We are colourful too”, said CDS Managing Director Marc Ernesti and pledged to support the award ceremony again in 2024.

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Christopher Street Day

Christopher Street Day (CSD) dates back to 28 June 1969, when guests at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York took a stand against police violence and discrimination. Since then, CSD demonstrations for the rights of LGBT*IQ people have been held in many places every year. CSD Berlin is one of the largest demonstrations. The 2023 motto was “Be their voice – and ours! … for more empathy and solidarity!”

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