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Diversity Charter Bulgaria Held Diversity Communication Lab, Part 2

January 18, 2024
Diversity Charter Bulgaria Held Diversity Communication Lab, Part 2

The event is part of the NICE programme, a regional initiative of the Diversity Charters of Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania and Romania to create new and innovative approaches to diversity management, equality and inclusion in the workplace by introducing neutral and inclusive communication techniques

Bulgarian Diversity Charter held the second event dubbed Diversity Communication Lab that comprises business and civil society Charter signatories and supporters.

We would like to express our gratitude to all experts in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) management, human resources and communications from the private sector and representatives of NGOs with extensive experience in working with different vulnerable groups.

Our thanks also go to IBM Bulgaria, a Charter signatory and the host of the event.

The Lab was held within the framework of the projec NICE (Neutral and Inclusive Communication in Corporate Environments) and aims to discuss and develop communication techniques applicable in the workplace that would contribute to better diversity and inclusion management.

Levon Hampartzoumian, Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) Chair, Georgi Ganev, IBM Bulgaria General Manager, and Plamen Staykov, Global MVS Executive at IBM Bulgaria opened the event by sharing their motivation to stand up for the diversity and inclusion values.

Kamelia Slaveykova, Chair of the Board of Directors of Shell Bulgaria, BBLF Board member and one of the architects of the Bulgarian Charter again facilitated the event.

In the first part of the Lab, Maria Stoyanova, analyst at the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and project manager of the Bulgarian Charter, introduced the audience to the NICE programme. It brings together Diversity Charters in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania and Romania to create new and innovative training and capacity building programmes in inclusive communication. The project is co-funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme of the European Union. In result of the three workshops held so far, two national ones (here and here) and an international one (here), the Bulgarian team has arrived at key findings for the training materials to be produced. Please review Maria Stoyanova's presentation here.

The first part of the workshop also featured guest speakers from companies and civil organisations who shared their experience in applying various inclusion policies.

Boyka Docheva, Country HR Leader with IBM Bulgaria and Violeta Karanacheva Tsvetanova, University Relations, Learning and Diversity Country Lead presented the global DEI strategy and focused on best practice of the local team including the numerous learning resources (presentation).

Joana Koleva, Co-Founder at Jamba – Career for All presented the organisation and its mission to bridge talents with different abilities and the corporate world as well as the impressive outcome achieved over the last 7 years (presentation). Jamba had also prepared the catering for the event.

Dorina Mitova, Human Resources Director at Hilton Sofia, highlighted the steps the company took to hire long-term people with Down syndrome and the positive impact their presence has had on the team.

Slavyana Lyubomirova, RTD Specialist at Inditex Bulgaria, shared her recent experience in recruiting deaf talent adding the company is now looking to increase diversity in the team.

The event then grew into a workshop where participants held group discussions to look into several case studies:gender balance, intergenerational balance, integration of people with different abilities and of people from different ethnic backgrounds, sharing their knowledge, experience, challenges and best practices. Their findings, guidance and recommendations will be used in the development of training materials on inclusive communication in the five project countries. These will be piloted at a later stage among willing Charter signatories, and then provided free of charge to all interested parties.

The event ended in a networking session and participants from IBM, Lidl, Shell, HPE, VIVACOM, Artied, Interlang,Ecopharm, Maria’s World Foundation, Trust for Social Achievement, Hilton received their certificates from the NICE programme.

We would like to thank everyone who joined us!

 Bulgarian Diversity Charter is a joint initiative of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) to promote diversity management in the workplace.The Charter encourages and promotes diverse teams and inclusive workplaces by initiatives such as Diversity at Work Annual Award, Diversity at Work best practice exchange, annual member meetings and more. The Bulgarian Diversity Charter is a member of the EU Platform of Diversity Charters in 26 EU member states, and its signatories avail of the exchange of expertise and resources in this dedicated network.