NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INSPIRATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION BY THE COUNCIL OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS IN BULGARIA WERE HANDED IN

On November 14, 2022, at the Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia, were honored the organizations and achievements in Bulgaria that provide a diverse and inclusive work environment, do not allow discrimination and build a better and sustainable society.

The forum “INSPIRATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS FOR DIVERSITY, EQUALITY AND INCLUSION” is organized for the first time by the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria (CWBB) in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“As a bank of the European Union, the EIB supports diversity, equality and inclusion not only because of the undeniable business benefits they bring, but also because we truly value their power to enrich our environment. Diversity and inclusion encompasses everything that makes us who we are. Promoting these principles is essential to our success and development and reflects the meaning of the EU. We highly appreciate our partnership with the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria for this first-of-its-kind national competition and congratulate all participants. I hope that the initiative will be established in the coming years and will inspire even more Bulgarian companies. A diverse and inclusive workplace is the key to having more effective colleagues, more innovative solutions and greater motivation and commitment”, says Lilyana Pavlova, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

“There are many reasons to support this cause, but the main one is clear. We are a business organization and there is no doubt that diversity is good for business”, says Tsvetanka Mincheva, Chairwoman of the Management Board of CWBB and CEO of UniCredit Bulbank. “We have set ourselves very ambitious goals: to gather, evaluate and give a platform to the most inspiring achievements in diversity, equality and inclusion, but not only that, we aim to create the environment and opportunities for their replication,” she added.

More than 100 business leaders, members, partners and friends of CWBB attended the official ceremony and supported the finalists and winners. 45 were the initiatives that fought for the prestigious honors. The host of the event was the popular Bulgarian actor Vladimir Mihailov.

The big winners in the individual categories are:

  • Accenture Bulgaria and VMware Bulgaria are the awarded companies in the category of inspiring initiative for diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace
  • UniCredit Bulbank is the winner in the category of inspiring initiative of an employer in support of working parents, family and children
  • Interlang and the Down Syndrome Foundation won the prize for an inspiring initiative to overcome stereotypes and include minority groups and people with disabilities in the business and non-profit sectors respectively
  • L’Oréal Bulgaria triumphed in the category of inspiring initiative to empower the next generation of female talents
  • Prestige was named as a champion company in the representation of women in management and leadership positions

The Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria also presented several special awards:

  • A1, MBAL St. Panatleimon and UMBAL Medica were especially honored for their contribution to support working parents with the projects of free kindergartens and entertainment centers for all their employees.
  • Momsanity is the start-up organization that received a Special Certificate from the CWBB for an inspiring initiative in development. Their mission is to help mothers who are going through a difficult postpartum period.

The big prize of the organizers – Distinctive sign of the CWBB was awarded to Asarel Medet for their program “Together with you”. The initiative covers children from families, working for Asarel Medet, who have faced a difficult life challenge – the early loss of a mother or father. In the event that one of the parents in the family dies, children from grades 1 to 12 can apply for a monthly scholarship. The support of the company can also be continued during the higher education, in case the young people choose a specialty that is applicable in the company. For the past 23 years, a total of 135 scholarship holders – pupils or students – have been supported, and 37 of them later started working in the company.

By conducting the competition procedure, CWBB once again confirms its commitment to continue working to promote equality and diversity, to promote good practices and programs to promote the professional development of women and their growth in managerial positions, to support young specialists and talents, to realize their potential in Bulgaria. In this direction, the organization set itself the goal of monitoring key indicators on the topic and, within the official ceremony, presented the results of the National Representative Survey on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, conducted by the sociological agency “Trend” at the initiative of CWBB. Some of the leading results are:

  • 49% of the participants believe that men and women in Bulgaria are not equal in professional terms
  • 46% feel a difference in pay gap between women and men in related positions
  • 39% answer that there are not enough female entrepreneurs in Bulgaria
  • 66% see the need for women in Bulgaria to be encouraged to create their own businesses
  • 69% believe that companies in Bulgaria should have programs supporting equality
  • 73% are convinced that there should be programs in Bulgaria aimed at young women to encourage them to develop a career or to be entrepreneurs
  • 69% are adamant that Bulgaria should have programs aimed at including people with differences

At the end of the event, the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria announced the launch of the country’s first “Diversity, Equality and Inclusion” certification Academy. The overall concept and the training program are the result of a fruitful partnership between the organization and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The Academy is also a natural extension of the Council’s first National Awards for ‘Inspiring Achievement in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’.

The Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria extends its warmest thanks to all its partners who helped make the forum “INSPIRING ACHIEVEMENTS FOR DIVERSITY, EQUALITY AND INCLUSION” possible.

Official partner: European Investment Bank

Gold Sponsor: Dundee Precious Metals

Silver sponsors: HPE, Coca Cola Bulgaria, Lidl, The Smarts, Siemens

In partnership with: American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Confindustria Bulgaria

Media partner: Manager, BNR, Dir.bg. Dnes.bg, Investor.bg, Bulgaria On Air

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