Cooperation of Edelman Germany, Wunderman Thompson and Peter Schmidt Group for media campaign

Making being "out" normal in the workplace

Berlin, 7 July 2022 - Pride Day. Germany raises the rainbow flags and celebrates diversity. But, is it all just "rainbow washing"? Because in the workplace, the reality for people in the LGBT*IQ community often looks different. 6 out of 10 professionals from the LGBT*IQ community have reservations about coming out fully on the job because they are afraid of being discriminated against – of jeopardising their career.

The Generation Rainbow project wants to change this. In the book, Generation Rainbow: Damit Anders Sein Endlich Normal Wird ("so that being different finally becomes normal”), the project interviews 30 exciting leaders from the German business world to encourage younger talents to be "out" in their working lives. The Generation Rainbow initiative builds on the book and makes 12 concrete demands for 100% equality. Co-author Ralph Zimmerer says:

"Positive, visible and audible role models encourage young people in the LGBT*IQ community to be themselves, also in the professional environment. Politics, business and society play a key role in achieving 100% LGBT*IQ equality."

To support them, the Generation Rainbow team has enlisted the agency trio of Peter Schmidt Group, Wunderman Thompson and Edelman Germany. They are accompanying the launch of the initiative and the presentation of the book with a broad-based campaign.

Joined Forces for 100% Equality: Agencies pool expertise
With the joint, pro-bono commitment, the agencies bring together their respective strengths and expertise to make a lasting and comprehensive change in society. The focus is on impact: Edelman, Wunderman Thompson and the Peter Schmidt Group want to set a good example by making role models visible, activating their network, and creating awareness.

Peter Schmidt Group celebrates Rainbow role models
The brand and design agency team developed the visual language and brand identity for the Generation Rainbow Initiative. The visually powerful, iconic logo not only mirrors the Pride flag, it also highlights the inequality that continues to exist for LGBT*IQ people in our society. It is an appeal for change to Rainbow role models and their allies. The design of the book is a tribute to the history of the community and symbolically references magazines from decades past.

Heidrun Angerer, Executive Creative Director of the Peter Schmidt Group:

"The Rainbow has always been at home in our company according to our company founder. That was a matter of course. Over time, I have noticed how much this absolute acceptance, openness, diversity, and difference has enriched my professional and personal life. And how much all employees have always benefited from this colourful mix – because different ways of life also open new horizons. You need that if you want to be a good creative. In this respect, it was an absolute affair of the heart. And a grateful payback to the entire LGBT*IQ+ community: how good that you exist."

Edelman's Trust Makers challenge companies, brands and corporate role models to take a stand for LGBT*IQ people
The Edelman Germany team provides strategic advice to the Generation Rainbow Initiative on all aspects of communication and multiplier work. Being able to be "out" in the work environment with a good feeling requires trust. That's why companies and corporate leaders have to show attitude.  The cross-channel activation strategy therefore aims to make people from the community visible in the working world and to create sustainable trust with an open discourse around challenges and ideas for solutions.

Edelman gets press and media representatives on board and brings content creators and corporate leaders together for the first time: With the roundtable format, the Edelman team and the Generation Rainbow Initiative bring LGBT*IQ influencers and companies into conversation – for visibility and an honest dialogue. 

Christiane Schulz, CEO Edelman Germany:

"I am firmly convinced that excellence comes from diversity! As a team we are 100% behind the demand for 100% equality – and role models are crucial. The Generation Rainbow project and its authors have inspired us, and we want to go beyond the campaign to ensure that the workplace is an open, tolerant environment for all employees.” 

Wunderman Thompson makes a unique statement with the #InequalityLogoParade campaign and ensures the initiative’s strong social media presence
Wunderman Thompson’s creation supports the Generation Rainbow Initiative in terms of brand and campaign story, relying on bright colours and strong messages. The agency took over the communication strategy for social media as well as the creative and textual elaboration, the entire digital creation, and the creation and management of the brand campaign #InequalityLogoParade. The social media activation around the book launch of Generation Rainbow is meant to provoke real action instead of rainbow washing.

Larissa Pohl, CEO of Wunderman Thompson and GWA President, says of the commitment:

"Workplaces must be places of acceptance and tolerance, not a daily game of hide and seek. Projects like the Generation Rainbow Initiative – that expose grievances and systemic flaws and set positive signals and solutions with role models for young talents – are exactly the right approach we need to move forward. We are happy and proud to be part of the initiative and to help with our know-how to make the working world more tolerant and open." 

The campaign aims to reach out to everyone and urge them to take action
The campaign kicks off with today's networking event and panel discussion, whose guests include LGBT*IQ role models and interlocutors from politics, business and the media. At the same time, social media and website activations, as well as the #InequalityLogoParade, will kick off. In addition, the campaign shows numerous positive role models both visible and audible who should encourage young people in the LGBT*IQ community to be themselves in their professional environment.

The non-profit book project has paved the way for next steps, too: today sees the launch of an online petition with concrete demands on politicians, businesses and education leaders to work together to achieve equality in people’s minds and equal opportunities for all.

Learn more and order the book here:

About the Generation Rainbow Initiative:
The Generation Rainbow Initiative is committed to 100% LGBT*IQ equality and equal opportunities for all. The social initiative sees itself as a starting point for this social transformation task. In cooperation with the PROUT AT WORK Foundation, the book "Generation Rainbow - so that being different finally becomes normal" was produced, which presents LGBT*IQ personalities from public life, business and politics in personal interviews. With these positive role models both visible and audible, the initiative wants to encourage young people from the LGBT*IQ community to be themselves in their professional environment, and at the same time drive social change to create an open, tolerant and supportive work environment.