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Nov 2019: OPEN Conference

For the first time, prizes have been awarded to companies whose programmes achieved the greatest impact in support of a tolerant and open corporate culture

Budapest, 12 November 2019 – Business decision-makers and professionals from more than 10 European countries gathered in Hungary to participate in this year’s OPEN Conference, an international diversity event. This was the fourth time WeAreOpen has organised the OPEN Conference, an international conference dealing with diversity in the workplace, in Budapest. The two-day event attracted over 200 participants from more than 10 countries. Business leaders, as well as HR, marketing and communications decision-makers, came together to share with one another and the audience their experiences, best practices and future-oriented ideas about various business aspects of diversity, including its impact on increasing financial results, more successful product development, the search for new markets and the establishment of open workplaces.

OPEN Conference is more than just a conference

Organisers of the OPEN Conference stage the international conference in the hope of bringing together corporate decision-makers and professionals who view openness as an organisational value. Organisers believe openness is not only the right attitude, but also makes sense from a business perspective: open workplaces have been proven to be more successful, with happier employees, and attracting and retaining talent is also easier for companies espousing such values. The OPEN Conference was attended not only by decision-makers of large and small businesses, but also scientists, researchers and representatives of non-profit organisations, who shared their professional experiences. Like last year, WeAreOpen once again provided conference participants childcare service, as the organisation believes it is important for mothers and fathers to have the opportunity to join the dialogue about diversity and acceptance.

One of the highlights of this year’s OPEN Conference was the presentation of the international OPEN Spotlight Award, awarded for the first time to companies which have demonstrated an inspiring journey towards the establishment of a more diverse and tolerant corporate culture. Organisers called on companies to present submissions showcasing programmes and ideas which achieved original and significant impacts. The award recognised companies in several categories; shortlisted submissions were presented at the OPEN Conference, and will also be shared in coming weeks on the WeAreOpen website as well as on the website of the conference.

The keynote address at the event was delivered by Anke den Ouden, Microsoft’s regional director, who – among other topics – discussed how diversity and tolerance contribute to innovation within the company, and how teams bringing together individuals from different backgrounds may make a business more successful.

Kevin A. Murray, Citi’s CEO in Hungary and director for the Central European region, spoke about how storytelling may contribute to the establishment of an accepting workplace culture. As part of this, Citi presented its “Living Library” programme, based on a methodology which makes diversity more human-centred and thereby contributes successfully to the mitigation of subconscious biases.

Olga Kordys-Kozierowska, managing director of the organisation Success Written in Lipstick, and a well-known women’s rights activist in Poland, delivered a lecture about how men may also support equal opportunity within a workplace and beyond.

Judit Szűcs, communications director of Coca-Cola Hungary, presented the company’s #loveislove campaign, which was launched over the summer and takes a stance in support of LGBTQ+ persons. Judit Szűcs and other invited professionals also discussed why it is important for minority groups to be visible in advertisements, in the media and in popular culture.

The first day of the conference wrapped up with the OPEN Spotlight Award celebratory gala. This year’s OPEN Spotlight Award winners were announced at the evening event. The awards themselves are the work of sculptor Rebeka Rácz, a Hungarian artist.

The conference is not-for-profit: its proceeds support the operation and campaigns of the WeAreOpen nonprofit organisation.

Categories and Awardees

  1. Engine of Change: Individuals, who help make a company more open and diverse

     

    Gold: Citi
    Silver: BlackRock, Shell
    Bronz: BT RoC
    Special Mention: ExxonMobil
All the recipients of recognition for the category Engine of Change at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
All the recipients of recognition for the category Engine of Change at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
  • Innovation through Diversity: How can diversity support innovation?


Special Mention: MOL Group – MOL Romania

MOL Romania received a Special Mention for the category Innovation through Diversity at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
MOL Romania received a Special Mention for the category Innovation through Diversity at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
  • Mission Possible: How can diversity support a company’s business performance?


Gold: Magyar Telekom
Special Mention: SignCoders

The recipients of recognition under the category Mission Possible at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
The recipients of recognition under the category Mission Possible at the OPEN Spotlight Awards
  • Excellence in Belonging: How can an open and inclusive organisational culture increase the sense of cohesion within a company?

Gold: Eaton Enterprises
Silver: MOL Group – INA
Bronz: BP
Special Mention: Nielsen, Telenor

Eaton received the OPEN Spotlight Gold Award for the category Excellence in Belonging
Eaton received the OPEN Spotlight Gold Award for the category Excellence in Belonging
  • We see you here: What kind of change can be achieved if people, and those belonging to a minority group, are portrayed more realistically in the media and in marketing campaigns?


Gold: The Coca-Cola Company

we see you here
Coca-Cola received the OPEN Spotlight Gold Award for the category We See You Here

OPEN Conference resumed on 7 November with workshops at the Budapest offices of Google and Morgan Stanley.

The OPEN Conference is sponsored by the following companies:
The conference was organised by WeAreOpen, founded by Prezi, espell and Google.

Principal sponsor: Citi
Gold level sponsors: CMS, Eaton, Morgan Stanley
Silver level sponsors: Genpact, Loffice, RTL Magyarország
Bronze level sponsors: Bitrise, Coca-Cola Hungary, Diageo, ExxonMobil, Microsoft
Additional sponsors: AMC, BP, Kristinus Wine Estate, Telekom, Grund Theatre 

About WeAreOpen
The WeAreOpen community initiative was launched by Prezi, espell and Google in the summer of 2013. WeAreOpen’s principal sponsor is Citi. In the past five years, more than 1,000 companies, organisations and communities have joined WeAreOpen, including Hungarian businesses, brands with a prominent Hungarian and international profile, and civil organisations and communities. WeAreOpen will be participating in Budapest Pride for the fifth time. It has also launched more than 20 other campaigns, including in support of gender equality at the workplace and equal treatment of people with disabilities.

Those joining the WeAreOpen initiative hold the fundamental belief that everyone is to be judged solely on the basis of their actions and achievements, without regard to their age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic identity and origin, political, religious or other views and physical or other factors.

Photos of the Open Conference and the Open Spotlight Award: Photos

Contact 
Dalma Kormos
sajto@nyitottakvagyunk.hu /
+36703699269

July 2019: Forbes campaign

1 declaration, 100 signatures, more than 100 company leaders and a rainbow of 1000 people on social media platforms

This is how WeAreOpen is getting ready for this year’s Pride.

Budapest, 5 July 2019 – More than 100 company executives are issuing a joint declaration in support of LGBTQ persons and openness. Their statement, along with their signatures, was published in one of the most prominent Hungarian business magazines. Organised by WeAreOpen, the initiative was launched to inspire openness and to ensure that people are judged in their workplaces solely based on their actions and performance. In addition to WeAreOpen founding members Prezi, espell and Google, the executives of a number of well-known international brands have also joined the call, including those of Citi, BlackRock, CMS, Converse, Diageo, Eaton, Morgan Stanley, Nielsen and Sigma Technology. Joining the large corporations were a number of Hungarian businesses including IT companies and creative agencies; the list also includes a countryside hotel, an architect and a community office. They are expected to participate in the march this Saturday with a total of over two thousand staff members.

Company leaders may join the initiative until Saturday morning at nyitottakvagyunk.hu.

“As a business leader, I’ll be there at Budapest Pride. People would like to work for companies or organisations where they can be sure that the only thing that matters is their performance, and not their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. I believe I have an important responsibility as a business leader to stand up for that principle at Budapest Pride in solidarity with current and future colleagues.

This is why I, too, have joined the WeAreOpen initiative, and I encourage all company leaders to do the same. Diverse workplaces benefit employees. Inclusiveness gives companies a competitive edge and is key to performing better and to recruiting and retaining staff” – states the joint declaration by the company executives published in Forbes. It is unique in Hungary – and elsewhere – for 100 business leaders to sign a joint declaration in support of the acceptance of LGBTQ persons, diversity and openness. The complete list of signatory executives is available on the WeAreOpen website and in Forbes magazine.

Forbes_PRIDE_Nyitottak_vagyunk
More than 100 signatures on two pages (Forbes Magazine)

Discussing the initiative, Budapest Pride spokesperson Kama Peksa said, “A great many LGBTQ persons work at companies of various sizes and at multinational corporations. It is very important for them to be in a safe space while at work. The presence of accepting, supportive colleagues is critical in the lives of LGBTQ persons, and this requires the active support of companies, which must serve as role models.

It was in 2013 that a large number of businesses first joined Budapest Pride, at the initiative of WeAreOpen. Since then, Hungary has also witnessed the trend of an increasing number of workplaces organising various programmes for current and future LGBTQ colleagues and to shape an open company culture, both during Pride month and beyond.

“We deployed our first shared float at the Budapest Pride in 2013 with the WeAreOpen community, because we were certain that many would like to stand in support of LGBTQ persons and openness, but may have needed just a bit of inspiration to do so. We are very happy to have contributed to the number participating in Budapest Pride – and thus standing up for LGBTQ persons and diversity – increasing several fold. The number of those marching with us continues to increase each year, with many businesses represented by over one hundred people, including colleagues and executives, and in some cases even company vehicles. The next important step is for the message of acceptance towards LGBTQ persons to reach beyond Budapest Pride. One milestone in this effort is the joint declaration published in Forbes magazine, featuring the signatures of more than 100 business leaders, along with our rainbow campaign launched on social media platforms. A dozen prominent individuals, along with companies and internet users, have already joined the latter. We have more surprises planned for Saturday,” WeAreOpen managing director Melinda Miklós summarised WeAreOpen’s projects connected to Budapest Pride.

 

A rainbow of 1000 people? It’s possible!

For the 2019 Budapest Pride, WeAreOpen announced the #DressCodeChallenge. In addition to businesses and business representatives, a number of celebrities have joined the initiative: Laura Döbrösi, Zoltán Fenyvesi, Zsófi Kemény, Györgyi Lang, Zalán Makranczi, Krisztina Maróy, Olivér Pusztai and Dóra Szinetár have all taken a stance in support of the cause, and the photos keep pouring in. The challenge called on participants to take a picture of themselves wearing clothing in one colour of the rainbow.

In order, however, to create a virtual rainbow with 1000 people, the organisation issued a public call, asking participants to take a picture or selfie of themselves wearing clothing in one colour of the rainbow (or clothing which is rainbow-coloured in itself), or holding a Pride flag. They were asked to share the photograph on their social media platforms before the Pride march on Saturday, with the tags #DressCodeChallenge and #WeAreOpen. Many posted comments describing why they thought it important to be there at this year’s Pride.

The photos submitted may be viewed on the WeAreOpen website as well as on the organisation’s Instagram and Facebook page. There are more than one thousand companies and organisations today in Hungary that believe it is not only right, but also makes sense from a business perspective to judge colleagues solely based on their actions and performance.

International studies also support this idea: according to one recent survey by BCG, for instance, there is a clear link between corporate diversity and innovation, with diverse companies generally achieving better business results. What is more: those working for such companies tend to be more satisfied. In Hungary, for example, 83% of students over the age of 18 would choose an open company.

DDC

About WeAreOpen

The WeAreOpen community initiative was launched by Prezi, espell and Google in the summer of 2013. WeAreOpen’s principal sponsor is Citi. In the past six years, more than 1,000 companies, organisations and communities have joined WeAreOpen, including Hungarian businesses, brands with a prominent Hungarian and international profile, and civil organisations and communities. WeAreOpen will be participating in Budapest Pride for the seventh time. It has also launched several other campaigns, including in support of gender equality at the workplace (Two Steps) and equal treatment of people with disabilities. The initiative stages the international Open Conference each year.

Those joining the WeAreOpen initiative hold the fundamental belief that everyone is to be judged solely on the basis of their actions and achievements, without regard to their age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic identity and origin, political, religious or other views and physical or other factors.

Contact
Dalma Kormos
dalma.kormos@nyitottakvagyunk.hu
+36703699269
Photos and videos are available HERE; more will be added during Pride.