HBLF Diversity Awards Celebrate Inclusive Business Practices

Initiatives

Diversity, like any great idea, is merely a concept until it is put into action. It is through dedicated and ongoing efforts that we can truly make significant progress and drive transformative change. The Hungarian Business Leaders Forum, as the exclusive representative of the European Diversity Charter, established the HBLF Awards for Diversity to recognize the outstanding and influential work of local corporations and individuals.

The European Diversity Charter shapes attitudes, supports and inspires managers to reimagine human resource management practices, while the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum (HBLF) actively fosters diversity and inclusion locally through initiatives like the International X Mentor and the X Mentor Executive Programs, the HBLF Women on Board’s CEOs for Balance campaign, or the Romaster foundation. To celebrate inclusive business practices, the organization established the HBLF Awards for Diversity open to small and medium-sized enterprises, large corporations, and individuals dedicated to promoting diversity. In 2023, the award gala will take place at HBLF’s Year-End Ceremony on November 29—apply to share your remarkable contributions to diversity and inclusion.

What is the true significance of diversity in a corporate environment? How can individuals contribute to promoting diversity? Three of the previous year’s award winners shared their valuable insights.

Among large enterprises, Citi Hungary was recognized for establishing Citi's Affinity Networks to continuously ensure that Citi Hungary is a truly diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace.

“At Citi, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are part of our identity: we have over 3200 employees in Hungary, from more than 50 countries and nationalities. We have a vibrant employee community, maintained by nine volunteer-led Inclusion Networks who connect and engage colleagues based on their interests, from gender equality through multicultural and generational topics to empowering our colleagues living with disabilities to create a workplace where everyone can thrive," said Beáta Smid, Citi’s head of communications and public affairs for Hungary and Central Europe sub-cluster.

Inclusion at the workplace greatly contributes to the well-being of employees: it helps cultivate respect on all levels and allows managers to have greater access to the talents they need to achieve sustainable success.

“The trainings on DE&I as well as activities like Fusion Kitchen, our multicultural cooking contents and charity event, and Bring Your Parents/Grandparents to Work Day initiative reached hundreds of colleagues. They were instrumental in promoting our shared values and creating a sense of unity and belonging across our organization," she added.

Hungary ranks 32nd among European countries in the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index. Since only 8% of MVÜK (Magyar Vállalatvezetők Üzleti Közössége/Business Association of Hungarian Company Leaders) members were female in 2018, MVÜK’s CEO János Horváth and the managing director of YourStory.hu Andrea Dintsér decided to launch an initiative to improve the status quo. Their mission is to strengthen the ratio, position, and recognition of female leaders, and to support their development in the Hungarian economy. 

“We applied for the HBLF Diversity Award with a long-term, sustainable initiative: we have been and still are building a community of female leaders that has been running for five years. We achieved that 39% of our event participants who are C-level business leaders are women during the year and we increased women’s participation by 34% within the last two years that proves our efforts and actions,” said Andrea Dintsér, leader of MVÜK’s Female Leaders Club who, by the way, has been mentoring young talents in HBLF’s X Mentor program since its kick-off. MVÜK—that has been one of the signatories of HBLF’s Diversity Charta for years—was awarded in the small and medium-sized enterprises category for building a diverse business community that offers inspiration, a platform to share knowledge and experiences, while forming business relationships through events organized for 1,100+ senior managers of nearly 600 companies.

The HBLF Awards for Diversity recognizes individual achievements, too. Last year, Andrea Juhos— “a true flagship of diversity” as she is often referred to—won the Diversity Champion of the Year award.

“It is very important that everyone can feel useful and valuable, and that no one feels like a victim in their own life. For this, many people need help, confirmation, and support. I taught young Roma people. I was the chairman of the Salva Vita foundation’s Board of Trustees supporting people living with disabilities, and today I am an ambassador of the organization. I support kindergartens educating disadvantaged children. At HBLF, I am a member of the X Mentor Program’s Advisory Board that provides opportunities for ambitious women who want to learn and develop.”

When asked about how she felt when she had received the HBLF Awards for Diversity, Juhos said: It’s a good opportunity to reflect on whether you have done enough to encourage acceptance in others. It is also great feedback that the outside world sees and appreciates all the efforts I have made so far. And finally, it is a source of energy and inspiration for the future.”

Click here to learn more about HBLF, its mission, and its wide range of programs!

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