Background

2009 – EuroPride 09, OutGames 09

Together with its Swiss member NETWORK egma will organise the LGBT Economic Forum in Zurich during EuroPride 09.

With its members, egma will also be present at the business track of the international conference during the OutGames 09 in Copenhagen.

2008 – International Business Equality Index of the IGLCC

Together with its partners IGLCC and ILGA, and ING Group as main sponsor, egma took a leading role in the creation of the International Business Equality Index, which was presented in London during the 2nd Global Summit of the IGLCC in September 2008. This index rates the activities of international corporations regarding their policies and best practices towards LGBT employees, suppliers and consumers. For more information à www.iglcc.org/index.

2007 – Meeting in Brussels, 1st Pan European Gay and Lesbian Business Forum

In June 2007, a delegation of egma representatives went to Brussels to meet with representatives of the Intergroup for Gay and Lesbian Rights at the European Parliament, the European CommissionEFTAILGA Europe and ILGA World.

In October 2007 egma organised the 1st Pan European Gay and Lesbian Business Forum in Zurich, Switzerland. The event was co-hosted by IBM as the main sponsor. Among the keynote speakers were Bruno Di Leo, General Manager for Northeast Europe at IBM, and Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of the airline British Midland. The event focused on Diversity and Inclusion activities by major corporations, but was also intended as a platform for networking among LGBT business leaders and decision-makers.

2006 – OutGames in Montreal, foundation of the IGLCC

In July/August 2006 egma attended the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal. Representatives of egma were also on the steering committee of the sub-conference Out for Business, which was co-hosted together with the Chambre de Commerce Gaie du Quebec (CCGQ), Canada, and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), USA.

Thanks to the contacts made during the conference, egma has become an important link between the European and the North American LGBT business associations. This laid the groundwork for the founding of the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC), in Hamburg in October 2006. Six member associations of egma are founding members of the IGLCC, which is based in Montreal, Canada. The presence of the president of egma on the Board of Directors of the IGLCC ensures the representation of a European voice in this international body.

2005 – Foundation

After having existed as a loose informal network for a couple of years, egma was founded in Vienna in 2005 by the following associations: Austrian Gay Professionals (Austria), l’Autre Cercle (France), Völklinger Kreis (Germany), Wirtschaftsweiber (Germany), PrIMO (Italy), and NETWORK (Switzerland).

In April 2006 egma held its first annual general meeting in Berne, Switzerland where Wybernet from Switzerland joined the organisation as a member. In April 2007 Xarxagay of Spain joined the association during the 2nd general assembly in Vienna. Other European gay and lesbian business organisations are on the verge of becoming members. IBM has supported the growth process since the beginning.