How can universities build an equal, diverse and inclusive organisation?

The League of European Research Universities just released a position paper I contributed to, entitled “Equality, diversity and inclusion at universities: the power of a systemic approach”.

“[The paper] is the culmination of two years’ intensive work. Many members of LERU universities were consulted, the latest research evidence on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) was examined and examples of good practice were collected from LERU universities.”

“The paper’s key message is that EDI can be more effectively promoted at universities by making use of a comprehensive approach. Such an approach needs to be holistic and systemic in 1/ addressing inclusion and enhanced representation of all under-represented groups; 2/ aiming at the entire academic community of staff and students together; and 3/ making the content of both the research and the research-led curriculum more inclusive.”

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Workplace Pride Conference 2019

Sustainable Inclusion was the theme of this year’s Workplace Pride Conference, a wonderful event which was hosted by KLM in an actual airplane hangar at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The day was filled with interesting keynotes and discussion sessions. A highlight for me was a session on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how these are linked to LGBT workplace inclusion. See what I thought about the conference in this interview.

Leiden University was well represented at the conference (From left to right: Jojanneke, Mpanzu, Pauline and Tim)

Leiden University was well represented at the conference (From left to right: Jojanneke, Mpanzu, Pauline and Tim)

Scientific Symposium: Blindspots in Diversity Management

On January 17th 2019, I organize a scientific symposium on Blindspots in Diversity Management at Leiden University.

The aim of this symposium is to showcase the state-of-the-art social psychological research elucidating important issues for organizations to address in their efforts to successfully manage diversity at work. Topics covered include the ironic and unintended effects of diversity structures and interventions, the importance of inclusion, invisible forms of diversity, shared impact, the subtle psychological mechanisms by which workplace inequality is maintained, and how scientists can contribute to improving organizational practice. 

The program features a keynote by Cheryl Kaiser (University of Washington), research talks by Seval Gündemir (University of Amsterdam), Colette van Laar (KU Leuven), Thekla Morgenroth (University of Exeter) and Jojanneke van der Toorn (Leiden University), and an interactive session on improving organizational practice (with Naomi Ellemers and Wiebren Jansen; Utrecht University).

This symposium has a scholarly focus but may also be of interest to practitioners. Admission is free.

Registration is closed

Missed the deadline? Have other registration-related questions? Please contact Conny Binnendijk at

Preliminary program

09.30 – 10.00   Welcome with coffee and tea

10.00 – 10.15     Introduction

10.15 – 11.15     Cheryl Kaiser (University of Washington)
Keynote: Promise and pitfalls of organizational diversity initiatives

11.15 – 12.00     Seval Gündemir (University of Amsterdam)
I, too, own this place: Understanding the influence of shared impact on
women and minorities at work

12.00 – 13.00     Lunch

13.00 – 13.45     Jojanneke van der Toorn (Leiden University)
Looking beyond our similarities: How perceived (in)visible dissimilarity
relates to workplace inclusion

13.45 – 14.30     Thekla Morgenroth (University of Exeter)
Born this way’: Effects and policy implications of essentializing sexual

14.30 – 15.00     Coffee and tea

15.00 – 15.45     Colette van Laar (KU Leuven)
Understanding in- and exclusion: A social psychological approach to inequality
at work

15.45 – 16.45     Improving organizational practice
Interactive session with contributions from Naomi Ellemers and Wiebren
(Utrecht University)

16.45 – 17.00 Closing remarks


Klein Auditorium
Rapenburg 73, Leiden

This symposium is organized by Prof.dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn with the assistance of Conny Binnendijk and in collaboration with the Utrecht Young Academy and the Nederlandse Inclusiviteitsmonitor. It is supported by Leiden University and an Aspasia grant from NWO. Jojanneke is professor by special appointment of LGBT workplace inclusion at Leiden University, in collaboration with the Workplace Pride Foundation and KPN.


Save the Date: Political Psychology Meeting on November 9th


Please join us for the seventh Political Psychology Meeting, which will take place on Friday November 9th at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (University of Amsterdam).

Political psychology is thriving in the Netherlands and beyond. We organize the political psychology meetings to further consolidate this field of research in the region of the Netherlands by providing an opportunity for political psychologists to connect, share ideas, and provide feedback on each other’s work. The day will run from 10.00 - 16.00 and includes coffee/tea- and lunch-breaks. For the upcoming meeting, we were again able to secure an excellent set of speakers. Please see below for the preliminary program.

It is important to register for the meeting so that we can get an accurate head count for coffee/tea and lunch. Participation is free of charge. Please let us know by October 19th if you plan to attend by filling out this form.

Best regards,

Bert Bakker (University of Amsterdam)

Mark Dechesne (Leiden University)

Jojanneke van der Toorn (Utrecht University & Leiden University)

Preliminary program

10.00-10.30 Coffee/Tea

10.30-11.15 Paul Marx (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Should we study political behaviour as rituals? Towards a general micro theory of politics in everyday life

11.15-12.00 Allard Feddes (University of Amsterdam)
The United Kingdom’s EU membership referendum: Key psychological variables behind voting ‘remain’ and ‘leave’

12.00-13.00 Lunch

13.00-13.30 Efraín García-Sánchez (PhD student; University of Granada)
The vicious cycle of economic inequality: The role of ideology in shaping the relationship between “what is” and “what ought to be” in 41 Countries

13.30-14.00 Martijn Blikmans (Groningen University)
The use of emotions in political speech: Main and moderating effects.

14.00-14.30 Coffee/Tea

14.30-15.15 Florian van Leeuwen (Tilburg University)
Disgust sensitivity relates to attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women (and other sexual groups) across 31 nations

15.150-16.00 To be announced

16.00 Drinks at Crea Cafe


Amsterdam School of Communication Research Roeterseiland Campus
Room: C10.20
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1001 NG Amsterdam

LUMC Pride Seminar

Today, I will be giving a keynote lecture at the Leiden University Medical Center. Join us!

“We are proud to present Professor dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn from Leiden University who will give a lecture regarding LGBT Workplace Inclusion.

More and more organisations acknowledge the importance of an inclusive workspace that accommodates sexual orientation and gender identity. This workspace is hard to realize since an apparently tolerant space is often in fact not so tolerant at all. Persons who support equal rights, can disapprove of a transgender colleague or make remarks that are (unintentionally) hurtful about homosexuality. To promote inclusion of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender employees (LGBTs) at work, knowledge of the social psychological mechanisms that are the foundation to their stigmatisation is needed. To determine what works, we need to know why something else does not work. This is the added value of a scientific approach. Jojanneke van der Toorn discusses the psychological processes that stand in the way of a truly inclusive workspace for LGBTs and what we can learn from them to find practical solutions. Because inclusivity offers opportunities for both employees and organisations.”

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