On June 11, 2022, STICKS & STONES, Europe’s largest career fair for the LGBTIQ+ community, takes place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin. After two years of the pandemic, the queer community has a great need for direct exchange and networking. The queer role models Ricarda Lang, Tessa Ganserer, Jurassica Parka, and Max Appenroth are going to join the event.
STICKS & STONES is the premier event combining job search, career, sexual orientation, and gender diversity issues. Due to ongoing restrictions from the Corona pandemic, the event could not physically take place for two years. Now the event returns to its new location Verti Music Hall, which matches its image as the “rock star of career fairs.” Over the past two years, STICKS & STONES has also been able to strengthen its diverse profile, for example, due to an increase in lesbian, trans*, and non-binary speakers. The fair offers young professionals the opportunity to find career advice and recognize themselves as a part of the LGBTIQ+ community. Experienced professionals appreciate the event as a platform for education and networking.
Diversity issues have gained importance in the wake of the pandemic.
Since its beginning, STICKS & STONES has engaged in current social topics and setting trends. “The post-Corona workplace is different in many ways,” says Stuart Bruce Cameron, CEO of UHLALA Group and organizer of the event. “The pandemic has caused the loss of many queer spaces, intensifying the community’s vulnerability that persists after centuries of discrimination.” However, the pandemic has also highlighted the social responsibility of corporations, the only sector of public life that could go on under lockdown conditions. Therefore, employers should take the needs of their employees seriously and offer them a secure perspective to remain competitive in the long run. Having strong LGBTIQ+ diversity management is a fundamental part of this.
Against the mainstream of other job fairs
As a part of its concept, STICKS & STONES breaks with the ordinary career fair experience. In addition to the exhibitors and speakers program, STICKS & STONES offers a chill-out space, live music, a relaxed dress code, and an equality sign tattoo for free.
More than 120 exhibitors set an example for inclusion.
More than 120 companies and organizations from various sectors participate in the event. Among them are well-known industry giants such as Deutsche Bahn, Loyalty Partner, and Sony Music Entertainment, which have been committed to diversity for several years. There are also new open-minded companies interested in the LGBTIQ+ community. “SXS means the competence that arises when the LGBTIQ+ community and employers are in the same place at the same time,” concluded a previous exhibitor.