On June 10, 11 Estonian companies and organizations signed the Estonian Diversity Charter. The companies that confirmed their commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion are Wunder, Enics Estonia, SOL Baltics, MoveMyTalent, Creditstar Group, E-government Academy, Vanalinna Ehitus, Grant Thornton Baltic, Via 3L, Playtech and IPF Digital.
The Estonian Diversity Charter is a voluntary agreement, by signing which, the company, NGO, or public sector organisation confirms that they respect human diversity and value the principle of equal treatment among their employees, partners, as well as clients. In Estonia, the Charter now has 124 signees.
According to Katre Schmidt, the Estonian HR manager of the cleaning company SOL Baltics, they decided to sign the Diversity Charter, because one of SOL’s core values is the idea that every individual is different. “We value our people and create equal opportunities for everyone, based on a person’s personality and skills. We have more than 300 employees with special needs and people from dozens of different nationalities. Recognizing and acknowledging diversity is organic for us, but we want to approach this issue even more systematically in the future,” added Schmidt.
“We believe that diversity is a value, and our multicultural team, which today has more than 8 different nationalities, will only strengthen our company,” said Aet Urvast, member of the board and HR manager of Vanalinna Ehitus. “Although construction is a fairly traditional field and tends to be more male-dominated, we want to confirm that the principles of equal treatment and diversity are relevant, respected and followed in our sector,” she said. At the same time, Vanalinna Ehitus wishes to be an example for other construction companies and encourage them to see diversity as a value.
Playtech Estonia‘s HR director Triin Sikkal emphasized that for them, promoting diversity is important not only within the company, but also in society at large. “As a large international company, which is already diverse and multicultural in nature, it is our privilege to be an example and a spokesperson for respecting differences,” explained Sikkal. “As an employer, we contribute to a work environment, where differences, equal treatment and different perspectives are valued. Together with other Estonian employers in the Charter, we can do many things to develop our society into a cultural space that respects differences,” added Sikkal.
By creating a work environment that is mindful of people’s differences, Diversity Charter organizations also contribute to a society where everyone feels good. Working life forms a large part of everyday life, and just as personal values are taken into the work environment, what is experienced and learned at work is transferred to the outside world. Thus, employers who sign the Charter, combine their benefits and values with social responsibility.
The Estonian Diversity Charter was founded in 2012 and functions as a platform for sharing best practices between organisations. Similar diversity networks function in 24 European states, in Estonia, the charter is coordinated by the Estonian Human Rights Centre.
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