May full of diversity organized by HBLF and its partners

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Women leaders, employment of people with disabilities, the mental health of employees, and further topics are covered by this year’s EU Diversity Month’s 56 programs in Hungary. The Diversity Month, organized in several countries joining the European Diversity Charter was a great success in Hungary, coordinated by the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum.

Some 35 companies and firms of the signatories of the HBLF Diversity Charter Hungary, who set the goal of building inclusive workplaces, together with the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum (HBLF) have decided to organize various diversity and inclusion activities in May 2022.

Some of them, such as ALD Automotive, Avis, Bridgestone, Corvinus University of Budapest, Concorde, Evosoft, Hammel & Hochreiter Kft., the Dutch Embassy, IFUA, KPMG, Legrand and Telekom, T-System offered internal employee attitude and competence development programs.

Others like Autistic Art, Bp, Coaching Team, Eaton, Fashion Awards Hungary, Fruit of Care, Grundfos, Heineken, Human Digital, Humen Online, IBM, Jobsgarden, Krauthammer, My Best Self, MVÜK Women's Leadership Club, Employers' Equal Opportunities Forum, the University of Óbuda, Praktiker, Queritius, Romaster Foundation, Salva Vita, SAP, Simpact, Szabó Szabolcs Foundation, and Tesco even enabled new organizations to join through hybrid or open events for common learning and discussions.

In the spirit of cooperation, several other organizations joined the series as co-organizers, speakers, moderators, and media partners, including ACG, Alternate, Ashoka, ELTE Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Education, EgonZhender, E.ON, Morgan Stanley, OD Partner, ÖRT, Scale Impact, Trauma Outpatient Clinic, Conscious Consumers Association, Young art Gallery, WLWYB.

The events facilitated not only dialogue and information sharing, but also tried to contribute to changing attitudes and behavior by a variety of forms: panel discussions, webinars, workshops, training, presentations, exhibitions, podcasts, award ceremonies, and more. In total, more than 10,000 people attended the events, but the Diversity Month targets reached more than 500,000 people directly, and with the help of the organizers' media partners, they reached about one million.

“A number of researches show that diverse and inclusive organizations are more successful. We can gain a competitive edge by better understanding societal needs, customer expectations, and taking multiple aspects into account in our decisions in a rapidly changing, increasingly complex world,” - emphasized Andrea Solti, president of HBLF, chairman of the board of Shell Hungary. “Change requires leadership, supportive programs, and awareness of prejudice. Together we are stronger, so HBLF provides a platform for learning, and collaboration and builds bridges for the change that is needed.”

Diverse issues inside the diversity agenda

The topic of diversity also includes several sub-areas. Of these, the Diversity Month's focus was mostly on women leaders (in business and diplomacy) and women’s participation (in family and education), presumably also due to the HBLF’s consistent commitment to the topic. Participants of the events agreed on one thing: cooperation and joint effort is needed definitely to be able to achieve the goals. Tools and methods are needed such as eliminating the mental glass ceiling, sharing various good practices, mentoring to develop competency and self-confidence, and developing more inclusive corporate recruitment and career management processes. It is no coincidence that key project of HBLF the International X Mentor Program is among these effective recommended tools, also supported by Shell.

Fortunately, one can already find many good examples in the inclusive employment of people with disabilities, and people have also been able to learn about the integration of young Romani people into the labor market through the Romaster program.

Due to the COVID situation and other recent crises in the last years, there has been a greater focus this year on the mental health of workers, how employers behave during a crisis and the question of how to talk to our children about all these topics.

Some sub-themes, such as diversity and inclusiveness in marketing, consumer and purchasing decisions enhancing diversity, and creating a safe space at the workplace for sexual orientation or age diversity, have also been elaborated in the form of a webinar or podcast.

"We are proud to have been able to cover all important topics during this year's Diversity Month, and many companies and organizations working on the topic have had the opportunity to present their good practices and learn from each other," added Zsuzsa Gárdus, member of HBLF board responsible for the HBLF Diversity Charter at HBLF’s management, CEO of Jobsgarden. “It is a special personal pleasure for me that education has become more prominent in our third Diversity Month this year: Education in disadvantaged areas, the special diversity challenges of some careers, and diversity in university education, so young people have a better chance of tackling the topic early, understand the importance of diversity and acceptance, already before they enter the labor market.”

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