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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

Nov 2018: Attending international conference with small children in Budapest

Attending an International Conference with small children in Budapest

Budapest, 12 November 2018 – A number of studies have shown that it benefits both parents and their workplaces, when both parties are amenable, if they stay in touch while the parent is on maternity or paternity leave. The OPEN Conference, held in Budapest, was one of the first conferences to offer participants a children’s corner. Organisers hope that the event will offer, at the very least, a few hours’ worth of professional inspiration and networking opportunity to mothers and fathers who wish to remain up-to-date in the world of employment while raising their young child. This year, at the third OPEN Conference, business leaders and professionals from a number of countries will explore how a more open corporate culture can serve competitiveness.

According to the latest figures of the Central Statistical Office, there are 60,000 vacant positions in the private sector in Hungary today. This figure saw a steady increase in recent years, and the trend is typical in the case of other Central and Eastern European countries. The practical experiences of major corporations, as well as research data, both show that the establishment of an open workplace culture may be one key of competitiveness: this helps seek out and retain future colleagues, and also helps win customers. Additionally, a 2017 survey by McKinsey & Company also highlighted that ethnically diverse companies may achieve up to 33% better financial results than the industry median, while this figure is up to 21% higher in the case of companies where gender balance is more even. The Boston Consulting Group found that diverse companies are able to realise higher revenues when introducing a product or service. The over 1000 international and Hungarian companies which have joined the WeAreOpen organisation strive to establish an open corporate culture, because they believe that being open, and judging everyone based on their actions, makes sense for companies, and makes for a better workplace for employees.

Conference speakers include such internationally recognised experts as David Pearson, KPMG’s Director for Global Inclusion & Diversity; Zdravka Demeter Bubalo, the MOL Group’s Vice President for HR; Paralympic athlete Claire Harvey, managing director of the organisation Diversity Role Models; and Vera Budway, Chief Diversity Officer of the Erste Bank Group. Taking place for the third time, this year’s conference will welcome participants from the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Austria, among other countries, as well as Hungarian decision-makers. The event will also include the unveiling of a service which companies can use to assess how women and men feel at a given firm; businesses may use this information to base their relevant corporate decisions on specific data.

WeAreOpen also seeks to support parents on maternity or paternity leave: the 14 November event will offer a children’s corner, where childcare specialists and entertainers from AS Játékvilág will be available to watch children during the day. Additionally, discount day passes will be offered to any mother or father who is on maternity or paternity leave, and would like to participate in the event.

The OPEN Conference looks forward to welcoming business leaders, decision-makers dealing with HR, communications, marketing and diversity matters, as well as stakeholders and anyone interested. The conference will take place 14-15 November at the Budapest Music Center and at the offices of Citi and Eaton.

Citi is the principal sponsor of the event. Prezi, espell and Google are platinum sponsors; Microsoft is a special sponsor; CMS, Diageo, Eaton, HOLD Asset Management, Morgan Stanley and Shaw + Scott are gold sponsors; Loffice Budapest, RTL Hungary and Vodafone are silver sponsors; and Dramatrix is a bronze sponsor. The conference is not-for-profit: its proceeds support the operation and campaigns of the WeAreOpen nonprofit organisation.

 
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 10 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.

Contact
Dalma Kormos
sajto@nyitottakvagyunk.hu
+36703699269