LGBTI+ Business Forum 2023

26. 6. 2023, 13:00
Slovenská národná galéria
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We are pleased to announce that we have prepared the LGBTI+ Business Forum this year as well. It will take place on the 26 June 2023 between 1 pm and 5 pm in the premises of the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava. You can find photos from the event here..


What’s the theme of the Forum?

The main topic will be “Education, the way to go”. We have prepared a diverse program for you, with simultaneous interpretation into English provided as well.


Who is the Forum for?

We welcome anyone interested in and/or with the means to influence policies on diversity and inclusion, business leaders, HR professionals, people managers and policy makers. The Forum is open and participation is based on registering.


Who organizes the Forum?

LGBTI+ Business Forum is organized by Diversity Pro. The event is co-organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia. The partners of the event are IBM, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Slovakia, the Slovak National Gallery, the European Investment Bank in Slovakia and the Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia.

The President of the Slovak Republic, Mrs. Zuzana Čaputová, took over the patronage of this event.

Dekret o zastite podujatia od prezidentky SR

The event is organized under the patronage of the European Parliament.

To register and in case of any questions, please don’t hesitate to send us a message.
We are looking forward to your participation.


The event will start at 1 pm.


Organizers welcome

  • Diversity Pro, Marek Novotný (organizer)
  • Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia, Vladimír Šucha (co-organizer)


  • Why people fall for misinformation, Denník N, Vladimír Šnídl
    • introduction by Robert Sermek, Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia (event patron)
  • How we (How to) support parents of LGBTI+ children, Association of parents and friends of LGBTI+ people, Zlatica Maarová
    • introduction by H.E. Gabriella Sancisi, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Slovakia (event partner)
  • How to support LGBTIQ+ people/employees as allies, Diversity Pro, Katarína Zerzan
    • introduction by Marijn Pijnenburg, IBM (event partner)
  • Trust and a safe workplace environment, Otvorená hra, Michal Šoltés
    • introduction by Gerd-Uwe Weller, European Investment Bank (event partner)



  • Panel discussion with representatives of foreign chambers of commerce

The event will be moderated by Roman Samotný.

Starting from 5 pm space and refreshments will be available for informal networking.

Photos and a video recording will be taken during the event. By participating you consent to their creation and use for the needs of the event organizer.



Vladimir Snidl

Vladimír Šnídl

journalist, Denník N

He lived in Prague for eleven years. He studied political science at Charles University and since 2007 he has worked in the Czech Hospodářské noviny and the weekly magazine Ekonom. He joined the SME newspaper in September 2014. That was at a time when the financial group Penta entered the newspaper’s publishing house, which the majority of editors refused to accept. In 2015, he was one of the founding editors of Denník N. He specializes in topics including military purchases, transport and the spread of disinformation. In autumn 2017 he wrote the book Pravda a lož na Facebooku (Truth and lies on Facebook), which discusses the phenomenon of hoaxes and conspiracy theories on the Slovak and Czech internet. He regularly lectures on this topic in Slovak schools.


Zlatica Maarova

Zlatica Maarová

co-chairperson, Združenie rodičov a priateľov LGBTI+ ľudí (Association of parents and friends of LGBTI+ people​​)
She studied theater and film studies at VŠMU. She worked as a theater theoretician, later she worked in media and marketing. Abroad, where she lived with her family for twenty years, she worked in organizations focusing on local communities. Her main interest were charitable, especially educational and cultural projects. After returning to Slovakia, she was vice president of the French association Bratislava Accueil for two years and currently helps non-profit organizations working on inclusion and education. She is a co-founder of the Association of Parents and Friends of LGBT+ People, which was established in the summer of 2020.


Katarina Zerzan

Katarína Zerzan

LGBTI+ ally, Diversity Pro
Katarína believes we should use the diverse world around us to our advantage, because therein lies a lot of hidden talent and potential. Fear does not make sense. She opens conversations with companies and individuals so that we understand the full spectrum of LGBTI+ people and people with disabilities. Conversations taught her two other lessons: patience, to constantly inspire through actions; and energy management, to understand stress and burnout.


Michal Soltes

Michal Šoltés

co-founder, Otvorená hra (Open Game)
Michal dreams of improving the world and relationships between people using authentic, honest and open communication. As a psychologist and communication skills trainer, he helps companies build corporate cultures based on trust and democracy.


Vladimir Sucha

Vladimír Šucha

Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia
Vladimír Šucha has been the head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia since 2022. In 2021, EC sent him to UNESCO in Paris and before that, since 2012, he managed the scientific and knowledge service of the European Commission – the Joint Research Center. Before that, he worked as a director at European Commission’s General Directorate for Education and Culture and in several positions related to European and international policies. In the years 2000-2004 he was a member of the Slovak team that negotiated Slovakia’s entry into the EU in Brussels. In parallel, he devoted himself to scientific and pedagogical work in Slovakia and several places in the world. He published more than 100 scientific studies.


Robert Sermek

Robert Sermek

Head of the Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia
Robert Sermek has been the head of the Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia since summer 2020. He has been working in the EP since 2007 in various positions at the General Directorate for Communication. He was, for example, the project leader for audiovisual products of the pan-European communication campaign before European elections in 2014 and 2019. Before joining the European Parliament, he worked as a journalist, among other things he was a correspondent for TASR and later Slovak Radio in Brussels.


Gabriella Sancisi

H.E. Gabriella Sancisi

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Slovakia
Gabriella Sancisi is a career diplomat and currently the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Slovakia. Before taking up this post, she worked as the personal secretary of Her Majesty Queen Maximi of the Netherlands for more than 7 years. She also worked as a secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosenthal and State Secretary Timmermans. As part of her long-term work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was posted in Zagreb as a deputy ambassador or in New York, where she held the position of counsel for culture and communication.


Gerd Weller

Gerd-Uwe Weller

representative of the EIB Group in Slovakia, European Investment Bank
Gerd-Uwe Weller was born in 1969 in Wetzlar, Germany. After studying economics at the University of Passau and University College Dublin, he joined KfW in 1998. In 2006 he moved to the European Investment Bank, where he held several positions. Since 2020, he represents the EIB group in Slovakia. Gerd and his husband Klaus were married under German law in 2018. They were already registered under Luxembourg law before. Both currently live in Bratislava.


Marijn Pijnenburg

Marijn Pijnenburg

Business Development Executive and Marketplace Diversity Leader
As part of the IBM Global Marketplace Diversity team, Marijn Pijnenburg leads the EMEA region. In this role, he provides strategic advice to business leaders on how to leverage human capital, talent development, diversity, inclusion, equity, engagement and (human) sustainability as critical business drivers to drive innovation and transform organizational cultures. Marijn also oversees IBM’s community partnerships and serves on the boards of various non-profit organizations. He has been recognized as a global leader by the Financial Times for his commitment to diversity. He was also recognized as an excellent role model by the Workplace Pride Foundation.


Katarina Psenakova

Katarína Pšenáková

Member of the Board of Directors of the British Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia and Head of Communication and Campaign, TESCO STORES SR, a.s.
As Head of Communication at Tesco Slovakia Katarína is responsible for managing communications and corporate affairs at Tesco, as well as for the Tesco Foundation in Slovakia. She previously managed the health program at Tesco in Central Europe. She is an experienced project and communication manager with many years of experience in the business and non-profit sector. She previously worked at Tesco as CSR and Government Affairs Manager.


Hana Chmelarova Markova

Hana Chmelárová Marková

Deputy Director General of AHK Slowakei (the German-Slovak Chamber of Commerce)


Gabriel Galgoci

Gabriel Galgóci

Chairman of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and Slovakia Country General Manager & Director Client Network Operations Management AT&T
Gabriel Galgoci is Slovakia Country General Manager at AT&T and expert in organization building, translating business strategies into action and most importantly, leading powerful global teams. He actively engages in the business and academic community. Since 2014 Gabriel serves on the Board of Directors for American Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia and on January 2019 has been elected its President. In addition, Gabriel leads Business Service Center Forum which unites companies operating Shared Service Center or Business Process Operation in Slovakia. He also serves as President of the Board of Directors for Center for Artificial Intelligence – AIslovakIA. In November 2020 has been nominated to Technical University in Kosice Board of Trustees to support the strengthening of ties between the university and society.


Marek Novotny

Marek Novotný

chairman of Diversity Pro
Marek lives with his boyfriend in Bratislava. A passion in learning about international and European affairs, languages, diplomacy and business brought him to study in various European capitals such as Bratislava, Budapest, Paris, Prague and Vienna. He gained valuable experience at the learning department at IBM as Learning Consultant, people manager and soft-skills trainer. Seeking to improve and promote the LGBTI+ acceptance and inclusion at the workplace he decided to volunteer and lead Diversity Pro. He also lead the IBM LGBTI+ employee resource group in Slovakia.

Event co-organized by
Logo of Representation of European Commission