Let your family and your colleagues know that they can always show up as their whole selves


Marianne Groth, Country Manager of Denmark at Hitachi Vantara, spoke to myGwork about motherhood and how the role of a parent involves giving your child the freedom to explore who they are and how they wish to express themselves.

For Marianne, the decision to adopt was an obvious one. Having been born with a hereditary disease she didn’t want to pass on and knowing there are so many children in need of a loving home, adoption was always her and her husband’s first choice. The process itself was not straightforward, taking six years, but in the end, they were able to adopt a beautiful boy, Albert Mahesh.

Born in Nepal, Albert was four years old when he joined Marianne’s family, bringing immeasurable joy and wonder to her life. Although parenting is never an effortless ride, adopting a four-year-old comes with its own challenges. Albert had spent all his life so far in an orphanage, so it took time to adjust to a new environment. Still, Marianne took this in her stride, explaining that the positives entirely outweigh the difficulties, and hopes other parents considering adoption will see this too: “All the time and effort are completely worth it.”

Over ten years later, Marianne couldn’t be prouder of the boy Albert has become: creative, joyful and kind-hearted. Coming out as gay at ten years old, he has a natural boldness that many aspire to, as well as a softness that draws others in. Being so open about who he is, he’s become something of a confidant with many of his friends confiding in him about their own identities when they feel they cannot tell anyone else.

Throughout Albert’s life, Marianne has been sure to have a diversity of people around him – seeing the importance of him seeing loving LGBTQ+ relationships from a very young age. This is one part of how she has created a relationship where he has felt safe to share who he is and be confident in it too.

“I think it’s very important for parents to show their children diversity, teach them that our differences are just a normal part of life. This also means a child in doubt can have something to look at as an example, and they can choose who they want to be themselves instead of being put into boxes.”

Parenting has also motivated Marianne to be further involved with inclusion efforts in the workplace. She hopes organisations will be welcoming to Albert when he is ready to join the professional world and recognises that there is still vital work to do to ensure everyone feels welcome. 

As Country Manager at Hitachi Vantara, Marianne leads the team in Denmark and sees this as a great platform to speak up for LGBTQ+ equality. As a leader, she also sees a responsibility to push forward these conversations. She joined their employee resource group, The Rainbow Connection, working to foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable showing up wholly as themselves.

As an international organisation, travel can be a perk of the business, and as part of the work with The Rainbow Connection, they are developing advice for LGBTQ+ employees to keep them safe when in different parts of the world. They are also currently working on a reverse mentoring programme where LGBTQ+ people will be mentoring senior leaders, as well as education around pronouns and language. This can be challenging with multiple languages – such as Danish and Swedish, where gender-neutral terminology differs, but Marianne is adamant they must put the effort in to learn this.

“People will say, ‘Oh, but I don’t understand it’. If you don’t understand it, that means you need to do more to learn, and you need to do more to train and take the initiative, so you are not hurting other people’s feelings.”

On top of this, Marianne adds, it’s important to have fun, so they have events such as Drag Bingo, where everyone can get involved, learning about one another in a way that is cheerful. Having the network also creates visibility of LGBTQ+ employees and allies, which can hopefully act as a beacon to others to show they are welcome no matter their identity.

As Marianne drives change within the workplace, her son, Albert continues to do the same within his orbit. Appearing in a TV series, The Class, Albert played a character that was a dancer, and although it was never said, it was known the character was gay. Then one day Albert sent a message to the production team asking, “Why can’t we say the character is gay? We need people to look at this and see that it is normal.” And just a few episodes later, the character came out as gay – normalising the identity for children watching across the country.

There are challenges that come with bringing up an LGBTQ+ child, Marianne shares, as she wants him to wear whatever he pleases and express himself however he may like, but simultaneously worries for his safety. This just makes her more acutely aware of the work that is still needed to be done to create a safe and inclusive society because no one should be worried about their safety because of how they express themselves.

As a parent, Marianne has been steadfast in creating a safe haven for her child to express and explore who he is – something all children deserve – and in doing so has been able to watch him grow and succeed as he now finds his place in the world. “I think it’s maybe not a tsunami but a constant wave,” Marianne notes of the movement for equality – that perhaps it is the consistent small actions that add up. Showing up daily as an ally, speaking up, and platforming others, these moments accumulate to create change and empower others to go on and do the same.

Hitachi Vantara is a proud partner of myGwork, the LGBTQ+ business community. Find out more about job opportunities at Hitachi Vantara.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 


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