28 July 2020 ... min read Listen

A modern family

I don’t wait for the ‘right moment’ anymore to say I have a girlfriend.

I joined ING in 2009 as a finance trainee. But I must say, the finance function was not for me. So after my first assignment, I switched to Corporate Strategy and worked on a lot of international projects. After a switch to Marketing, today I work in an IT team. I really like the complex solutions that we develop in my team.

As a lesbian, I never experienced any problems at ING. Maybe I’m lucky. I’m also very open about it. In the past, I often waited until I was asked whether I had a boyfriend or was in a relationship, or I waited for the right time to tell that I had a girlfriend. Whereas now, I just start talking about my girlfriend when I meet someone new, without waiting for a ‘right moment’ anymore or waiting for how someone reacts. At a certain moment I thought: heterosexuals talk about their boyfriend or girlfriend at any random moment without any explanation or introduction; why shouldn’t I?

A baby boy

I met Pien through mutual friends. We started messaging, then dating. We’ve been living together for three years. This summer, our first baby was born! It’s a boy named Stan.

The reaction at work about my pregnancy was really nice. People were very happy for me. Some people were curious: How did you do that? I have no issues with sharing the story.  After exploring various options, in the end we chose for an anonymous donor from a Danish donor bank.

We don’t know the donor in person, but we know a lot about him. You can select a donor based on several characteristics like race, nationality, eye and hair color. We also received a description of his personality, hobbies, favorite sport, childhood memories. We even have an adult photo.

Photo: Karin, right, with Pien and Stan.

Photo: Karin, right, with Pien and Stan.

We will be a modern family: our baby will not have a father, but two very loving mothers, and we are grateful for that.

I really appreciate how open everyone is at ING. It’s the culture: the type of person who works here is open-minded.

My expectations for LGBT+ in the workplace in the future? I think being gay will become even more normal and accepted in the next decade. The next stage is more acceptance for transgender people too. I also hope the vision of what a family means changes – that a family doesn’t just need a biological mother and father, but that there’s more acceptance for diverse [types of] families.  

Free to be yourself

This article is part of a series in which ING colleagues tell their personal stories. At ING we celebrate inclusion and value a diverse workforce, as we know people are most motivated when they are free to be their whole selves.

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