Diversity Charters from Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania join forces on a regional collaborative effort to foster neutral and inclusive communication in corporate environments

The programme NICE (Neutral and Inclusive Communication in Corporate Environments), co-funded by The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Value programme (CERV) of the European Union, will be implemented in the next two years bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and expertise. Its official kick-off took place on 16th of March with a partnership meeting hosted in Nicosia by the Centre for Social Innovation.

The main achievement of the project consists of important resources, activities, and consolidated knowledge to upgrade existing and new diversity management strategies by incorporating inclusive and neutral communication policies and thus confront diversity intolerance and discrimination in the workplace.

The program builds on identified needs and gaps in the diversity management field and engages five Diversity Charters in a collaborative effort to build inclusive and tolerant working environments by offering new and innovative training and capacity building programs to their signatories.

Our signatories need learning experiences in appropriate formats to advance the D&I agenda within their organisations, as well as critical thinking and inspirations from other peer organisations facing similar challenges”, consider the initiators.

The project will achieve multiple learning outcomes, including the development of signatories’ knowledge, skills, and attitude, enhanced self-knowledge, enhanced organisational cultures, improved skills to work with different groups.

A series of diversity trainings will help signatory organisations not only to improve skills and knowledge on diversity topics, but also to improve the awareness of the benefits of concrete D&I practices. Tackling D&I issues in a practical and interactive manner will help them become more active in the field of diversity, while establishing a solid framework for interactions and best practice sharing among signatories.

Several dissemination activities are also planned in order to strengthen the regional and local debate on the importance of diversity management for signatory organisations.

About the initiators

Centre for Social Innovation/ Diversity Charter Cyprus is a Research and Development organisation, which focuses on fostering social innovation that can bring about a positive change to local, national, regional, and global contexts. CSI is closely working with the Government, local administrative agencies, NGOs, commercial entities, and educational institutions to address social, economic, and cultural challenges. Its team is composed of more than 40 open-minded, fully equipped researchers, educators, VET Trainers, social entrepreneurs, project managers, and Information Technology specialists. CSI also coordinates the Diversity Charter Cyprus, which was officially launched in May 2020. Since then, it has gathered big visibility on the island and meanwhile has more than 90 signatories, from both the public and the private sectors.

Greek Diversity Charter (KEAN)

The Diversity Charter, an initiative of the European Commission to promote diversity in greek business sector, was established in Greece in 2019 by KEAN. Its goal is to act as a means of engaging in the implementation of equal opportunities and diversity in every work environment in Greece. The Diversity Charter aims to act as a commitment for the implementation of equal opportunities and diversity in the working environment in Greece, irrespective of gender, race, color, descent or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs, disability or chronic disease, age, family or social status, sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. The Charter is supported by the Greek General Secretariat for Gender Equality of Ministry of Interior, by the Economic and Social Council of Greece, by the Federation of Municipalities in Greece and by Hellenic Federation of Enterprises. So far, about 250 private and public organisations with over of 50,000 employees, have signed the Charter. For further information: https://diversity-charter.gr/

The Bulgarian Diversity Charter is a joint initiative of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) and the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) launched in Sofia, Bulgaria in September 2020 to promote diversity management and boost equality and wellbeing. The Charter represents the shared understanding of its signatories that diversity is a driver to creativity, innovation, growth and productivity, and an incentive for individuals to fully reveal their knowledge, competences, talents and skills. The Charter currently has over 50 signatories, mostly private companies but also civil organisations that commit to combat discrimination and embrace diversity, equal opportunities and social inclusion as part of their strategy and daily operations. 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. For further information: www.diverse-bg.eu

Lithuanian Diversity Charter (LDCA) has extensive experience in the field of diversity and inclusion. LDCA was started as an initiative run by Diversity Development Group and SOPA in 2018. Lithuanian Diversity Charter then also joined the European Union (EU) Platform of Diversity. Established in 2020 as a legal entity, LDCA unites organisations that commit to promoting openness, strengthening diversity management, and creating friendly and inclusive working environments regardless of persons’ gender, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity or religion. In March 2021, LDC launched an in- depth study about the labor market inclusion in Lithuania, especially for foreign language speakers, immigrants, and refugees. Its findings and targeted recommendations received national media attention and inspired longer coverage of the topic. Currently, Diversity Charter has been signed by 23 public, private and non-governmental organisations that together employ more than 14000 people. LDCA invites its members to proactively participate in strategic long-term decision-making and set diversity-related goals for each member. For further information: https://diversity.lt/

Romanian Diversity Charter brings together 195 signatories, covering cca. 260,000 employees from companies, public institutions and NGOs, who have publicly assumed the principles of the Charter, so that diversity, equal opportunities and social inclusion become values ​​acknowledged and respected in Romania. Signing the Charter represents a valuable starting point for organisations wishing to embark on their diversity journey and also provides a framework for companies to develop existing policies. Under the auspices of the Charter, several initiatives have taken place (training and mentorship programs, experience exchanges, workshops, debates, publications) where different practices and organisational policies of diversity management were presented, analysed, debated and disseminated. More details on https://www.cartadiversitatii.ro