24 April, 24 new organisations from all three sectors joined the Diversity Charter. This is the largest number of signatories in the nearly ten-year history of the agreement in a single accession event. According to the era, there was more talk than usual about values, cooperation, Estonian future and support for Ukraine. Organisations also welcomed the opportunity to meet face-to-face, because for the last two years, the accession to the agreement has been made exclusively through the screen.
Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, chairwoman of the Council of the Estonian Human Rights Centre, mentioned in her opening remarks the difficult time we are in because of the brutal war in Ukraine. Against this background, many of our actions may seem insignificant. At the same time, she recalled the French proverb, according to which all oceans consist of water droplets, and admitted that the signing of the Diversity Charter and the steps taken by those who join are precious water droplets: „Every small step and act matter and necessary to bring together something as big as Estonia which respects equal treatment. “ Nyman-Metcalf also recognized Viimsi parish, where, in addition to the municipality, almost all the sub-institutions of the municipality signed the agreement, from the youth centre to the library and schools.
At the accession event, HR manager and member of Management of Swedbank Eesti Ülle Pind delivered an inspirational speech. She presented the bank’s principles in the field of diversity and inclusion and stressed that taking diversity into account creates a human attitude and a culture that takes differences into account. However, such a culture is especially relevant in difficult times, when it is vital to keep together. „Common values and culture unite. Looking for mistakes and emphasizing differences separate,“ Pind said.
Several signatories noted that for them, joining the agreement is a natural continuation of internal processes since equal treatment has been respected for many years. From industrial enterprises to public sector organizations and leaders in the field of information technology, the desire of the signatories to inform the public about their value principles was repeatedly expressed. For their part, they want to contribute to the formation of an open and Human Rights-Respecting Estonia, as this will benefit both our people and the business environment in general. A strong and open Estonia, in turn, can be a better support for those who need help, be it the Ukrainian state or the war refugees who have arrived here.
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