The Bulgarian Diversity Charter event was part of the EU Diversity Month
Today, the Bulgarian Diversity Charter held its first webinar on sharing successful equality and inclusion in the workplace campaigns. The event organised by the Bulgarian Forum of Business Leaders (BBLF) featured guest speakers from various sectors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ana Djumalieva, Chair of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, Anu Ritz from the European Platform of Diversity Charters with the European Commission, who joined us from Brussels, and Dimitar Markov, director of the legal programme of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), who was also a moderator.
Best practices of diversity in the Bulgarian context were presented by high-ranking managers of four companies across industries – TELUS International Bulgaria, Hilton Sofia, KCM 2000, Nestle Bulgaria. The event attracted representatives of more than 30 BBLF member, exsiting and potential signatories of the local Diversity Charter, and professionals from the private, public and non-governmental sectors with an interest in the topic.
As an event of the Bulgarian Diversity Bulgaria– the joint project of BBLF and CSD meant to promote policies of nondiscrimination, tolerance, and mutual respect in the workplace, the webinar was part of the European Diversity Month which is celebrated in EU countries throughout May. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of mutual respect and acceptance of differences both in the workplace and in society across Europe.
The webinar in Bulgaria also aimed to promote the efforts of companies to build diverse teams with a focus on the benefits of creating an inclusive work environment.
At the opening, BBLF Chairman Levon Hampartzoumian pointed out that giving all employees an equal chance, regardless of their differences, contributes to a fairer and more tolerant society, and the private sector is a natural driver of this cause.
Dimitar Markov stressed the role of the Centre for the Study of Democracy in drafting the Diversity Charter stressing that when it was launched in September 2020 Bulgaria joined the European Platform on Diversity Charters which unites 26 EU member states. Six months later, the initiative has faced increased interest from companies and organisations that embrace its principles.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ana Dzhumalieva, Chair of the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination, acquainted the participants with the opportunities for interaction with the institution. Anu Ritz, senior officer with the European Commissionurged companies in Bulgaria to sign the local Diversity Charter and thus become part of the movement for equal rights and inclusion, which unites more than 12,000 organisations with more than 16 million employees across the EU.
In the workshop that followed, Kristina Ivanova, Country Manager Bulgaria and Vice President Operations of TELUS International Bulgaria, presented the company's initiatives related to the successful inclusion of an exceptional variety of employees with a focus on a recent campaign mottoed Be Yourself.
Dorina Mitova, Human Resources Manager, focused on Hilton Sofia‘s project for hiring, developing and integrating people with Down Syndrome and the positive economic and social impact it has had.
Mariana Gurkopashova, General Director of Human Capital Management at KCM 2000, presented a long-term programme for employment of disabled people - an active resource, as well as the internship programme.
Evgenia Stefanova, Head of Human Resources at Nestle Bulgaria and Human Resources Business Partner Southeast Market pointed out the overall diversity and inclusion programme that includes youth programmes, but also achieving gender balance, support for parents, unconscious bias trainings etc.
The guests of the webinar agreed the promotion of diversity in their own activities is not only a source of new opportunities, productivity and creativity, but also a key factor in preventing unequal treatment and discrimination and creating an inclusive and tolerant society.
To find out more about the Bulgarian Diversity Charter and to sign it please visit its web page.
About Diversity Charter in Bulgaria
A joint initiative of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum to promote diversity management in Bulgaria. The Charter expresses the shared conviction of the signatories that diversity is not only a key factor for creativity, innovation, growth and productivity, but also an incentive for individuals to fully reveal their knowledge, competencies, talents and skills. By signing the Charter, members make a public commitment to create and maintain an inclusive work environment for their employees. Because diversity is our advantage! Find out more: www.diverse-bg.eu