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Diversity at Work Award Winners Showcased Their Successful D&I Campaigns

April 04, 2024
Diversity at Work Award Winners Showcased Their Successful D&I Campaigns

The webinar on good corporate practices was organised by Bulgarian Diversity Charter Bulgaria within European Diversity Month 2024

For the fourth year, the Bulgarian Diversity Charter*, a joint initiative of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) and the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), held a webinar on best practices of diversity, equity and inclusion in corporate environments. The event aimed to encourage D&I management policies, promote the winners in the Diversity at Work category of the prestigious 2023 Responsible Business Awards organised by BBLF by sharing their inspiring ideas, practical experience and results achieved.

The webinar was attended by more than 50 participants: representatives of organisations that have signed the Bulgarian Charter, member companies of BBLF’s responsible business community, and D&I experts and practitioners from the public, private and civil sectors.

Speakers included business executives with Yettel, IBM and Paysafe – the companies that ranked first, second and third respectively in the recently held 21st Annual Responsible Business Awards, as well as one of the nominees, DXC Technology. They presented their successful D&I projects and took enquiries from the audience.

The official guests of the online discussion on 2 April 2024 were Prof. Dr. Baki Hyuseinov, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, LevonHampartzoumian, President of the BBLF, and Dimitar Markov, Director of the Law  Programme of the CSD, who moderated the discussion.

At the opening, BBLF President Levon Hampartzoumian stated the launch of the Charter is part of BBLF’s effort to make Bulgarian a better place to work and live in.

Prof. Dr. Baki Husseinov, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination (CPD), presented the institution, which is called to observe the existence of equality and non-discrimination and has the power to conduct trainings for prevention and to solve cases. The CPC has been a partner of the Charter since its inception and its Chairperson, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ana Dzhumalieva, is a member of the jury that evaluates the entries in the Diversity category of BBLF’s Responsible Business Awards.

Dimitar Markov, Director of CSD’s Law Programme, said the national Charter is part of the European Platform of Diversity Charters in all 26 EU countries: “Our signatories avail of the resources and collaboration opportunities within the European network."

The webinar takes place on the threshold of the European Diversity Month to be celebrated in May in EU Member States. The large-scale initiative will take place for the fourth consecutive year strives to promote building diverse teams and inclusive workplaces where everyone feels valued and respected.

This year's edition of BBLF's prestigious corporate responsibility, sustainability and diversity awards saw a noteworthy increase of 25% in entries in the Diversity at Work category, which promotes the benefits and encourages a culture of equality and respect in the workplace. This time, 15 campaigns carried out by 14 companies competed for the prestigious award. Electrohold, IBM Bulgaria, ITX Bulgaria (with two DEI initiatives), Mondelez Bulgaria, Sensata Technologies Bulgaria, Zagorka, DXC Technology, Kin + Carta, Paysafe Bulgaria, PRESTIGE-96, SoftServe, SumUp, Yettel Bulgaria and Kamenitsa vied for the award.

The grand prize went to Yettel, followed by IBM and Paysafe. The three companies ranked by the jury were invited to showcase their successful DEI initiatives in the second, more practical part of the webinar.

Denitsa Sotirova, HR Business Partner and Head of the Side by Side Programme at Yettel Bulgaria, presented the overall corporate diversity and inclusion policy that earned the company the golden award. Diversity and inclusion is part of Yettel's sustainability strategy, which includes a number of programmes and initiatives, including Side by Side: a two-year programme that provides people with different abilities all the necessary tools for a successful career start (presentation).

The grand prize enables the winner to take part in the official opening ceremony of European Diversity Month on 25 April in Brussels. The event can also be followed online.

Alexandra Ayubi, Manager of the Rise Up Women Leadership Accelerator at IBM Bulgaria, presented the programme that aims to build leadership skills in women. Created by a team in Bulgaria, the Accelerator is currently implemented in a number of countries around the world. Rise UP lasts 6 months offering a series of practical training, workshops and work projects that enable participants to gain greater confidence in their current and future roles (presentation).

Bozhena Pandelieva, Communications Manager at Paysafe Bulgaria, presented the overall culture of diversity and inclusion within the company focusing on the calendar of events throughout the year and the role of the local DEI networks (presentation).

This year, the Charter team selected one of the nominees in the diversity category to participate in the webinar, namely the programme for inclusion of people on the autism spectrum, developed for several years now by DXC Technology Bulgaria. It was presented by Martin Blagoev, head of DXC Dandelion prgramme. The programme supports people on the autism spectrum and neurodivergent people to start a career in IT by showing their strengths and integrating them into the work environment (presentation).

All speakers stressed their willingness to share their inspiration, experience and best practice with like-minded peers.

The Bulgarian Diversity Charter team is happy to remind you there are many waysto do so:

  • If you are not yet a member of the Bulgarian Charter, sign it online and join the community of organisations that give employees and talents an equal chance.
  • Join European Diversity Month 2024 by visiting the website now, checking out the map of initiatives in EU member countries and get inspired for your own activities and campaigns. If you already have events or activities planned, mark them on the map to make them visible to companies and people in other EU countries.
  • Watch online the launch of European Diversity Month, featuring dignitaries and interesting speakers, on 25 April live from Brussels.
  • Save the date of 14 May for the annual meeting of companies that signed the Diversity Charter over the past year - the official award ceremony is an excellent opportunity to meet, network and discuss possible collaborations. 

* About Bulgarian Diversity Charter

A joint initiative of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum aimed to promote diversity management in Bulgaria by developing, launching and implementing a national Diversity Charter.

The official launch of the Bulgarian Diversity Charter took place in September 2020, and Bulgaria was the 25th EU member state to join the EU Platform of Diversity Charters and benefit from the exchange of ideas, good practice and resources between the national charters.

Today, the Bulgarian Charter brings together over 70 signatories, mostly private companies but also NGOs covering their 6,500 employees. By signing the Charter, companies make a public commitment to recognize and embrace diversity, equal opportunities and social inclusion as part of their strategic policy and daily operations.

The Bulgarian Diversity Charter has launched several initiatives, i.e. Diversity at Work Award within the Annual Responsible Business Awards, Diversity at Work webinars, annual Membership certificate signing ceremony to encourage, promote, debate, exchange and disseminate diversity management policies and best practice.

Since 2021 the Charter and its signatories celebrate together the EU Diversity Month to promote diversity and inclusion as values in workplaces and in society at large.

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