AmCham HR and Education Committee Virtual Meeting on Inclusion & Diversity

On November 18th, 2020, AmCham Human Resources and Education Committee held a virtual meeting on Diversity and Inclusion that was moderated by Zlatina Kushkieva, HR and Education Committee Co-chair and Managing Partner at HR Consulting Partners.

Iva Todorova,
HR&EDU Committee Co-chair & BoD member

Iva Todorova, HR and Education Committee Co-chair and member of the AmCham Board of Directors opened the event.

“Today’s topic is extremely interesting for all of us and it is the basis for unlocking human potential. It may sound unfamiliar to some of the businesses in our country, but it will be crucial and widely communicated in the future, given the need for inclusion of a diverse workforce that must enter our market.”, said Iva Todorova at the beginning of the e-meeting.

Zlatina Kushkieva,
HR and Education Committee Co-chair

Zlatina Kushkieva introduced the speakers and the main topics in the webinar and at the end of the panels made a short summary.

“Thank you for initiating these topics and for sharing successful practices, because they are at the heart of such events, so all involved will make conclusions of what else we could do to be most effective.”

“It is interesting that it is multinational companies that are paving the way for Diversity and Inclusion. I am pleasantly surprised that the topic is a daily practice of a number of Bulgarian companies. I am glad that we can talk openly and it is true that there are many reservations in people around us or in our companies, but it is important to start talking in order to achieve development. Thank you for sharing your ideas, problems and successful practices today.”

IBM Bulgaria Diversity and Inclusion Journey: Our Stories and Priorities in 2020

Boyka Docheva, HR Partner, GTS CEE and Violeta Karanacheva-Tsvetanova, University Relations, Learning and Diversity Country Focal were part of the first panel in the event. IBM representatives emphasized that the year of 2020 was quite a challenge and a huge journey for them, as a company and community, needed to walk through together. Keeping themselves motivated, making sure they could adapt to the existing challenges by building a resilient community of allies and partners and staying inspired were the essential pillars to continue developing their inclusive policies. Their Diversity and Inclusion strategy resembles all those efforts.

“Focusing on cultural integrity, equality and employees’ engagement, we managed to lead our programs and expand our allies’ network. IBM Bulgaria has developed and collaborated in various internal and external projects related to LGBT+, PWDA, Women in IBM BRG streams and many more. Even though IBM has a rich heritage of diversity and inclusion, we are still learning and growing and this will be our 2021 priority – while mastering the new normal, to support our community and keep being committed to our inclusive strategy. “

“We would like to thank AmCham for giving us a platform to share our 2020 Diversity and Inclusion vision, ideas and best practices, we were humbled and thrilled for this opportunity!”

You can see the full presentation of IBM Bulgaria here.

Global Inclusion and Diversity at HPE – Overview. Adopted Global (Global to Local) I&D Tools and Programs at HPE Bulgaria – the Practical Perspective

The HPE Bulgaria was represented by Sashka Cholakova, Global ERG Program Manager, Inclusion and Diversity and Maya Peycheva-Takeva, HR Country Manager, HPE Bulgaria.

Sashka Cholakova,
HPE Bulgaria, Global ERG Program Manager, I&D

“Inclusion and performance go hand in hand. When people feel they belong to our community, the quality of their work increases. When we engage a wider range of skills and perspectives, we are increasing the chance to achieve a breakthrough such as developing new products and services, to offer the best to our customers. Seeing things through different perspectives is the life force of our development.”, said Sashka Cholakova.

The HPE global I&D strategy could be revealed sensibly through the focused agenda and activities across countries. In line with HPE global strategy and being a highly energetic organization, HPE Bulgaria has opened various forums to allow for the Employee Resources Groups and Employee Engagement Groups to ensure Inclusion and Diversity priorities and perspectives are integrated solidly and pragmatically into the business and employees’ life: focused talent events, targeted partnerships with external professional and non-governmental organizations, meetings with external role models, focused collaboration programs with networks and partners are only a few of the approaches and activities applied so far, which would continue to expand in the next year.

Maya Peycheva-Takeva,
HR Country Manager, HPE Bulgaria.

The big rocks anticipated to be driven globally at HPE in the I&D space will be embedding inclusion in the company’s DNA, engaging team members as advocates, learn how one can show up more effectively for others when they are comfortable bringing their whole self to work. HPE will continue to be transparent about goalsetting and representation growth and will change how they report their representation in 2021. As a response to the external community, HPE is projecting donations to organizations focused on diversity issues or racial/ethnic justice. This is the first step in a roadmap that will drive greater investment in minority communities, including leading kids to STEM programs, enabling apprenticeship-style on the job pathways, and mapping high-concentration skills to neurodiversity talent pools.

Presenting the Bulgarian Triathlon Association
Kaloyan Iliev, Board Member, Founder;
Genoveva Petrova, Board Member,
Bulgarian Triathlon Association

At the end of the event the Bulgarian Triathlon Association presented its activities Kaloyan Iliev, Board Member and founder and Genoveva Petrova, Board Member emphasized the rapid development of triathlon in Bulgaria and the health benefits of its practitioners. In addition, they explained how they envision the partnership with AmCham members.

“Partnerships depend on the goals of each company in order to work in unison and to be mutually beneficial. Our projects and activities could be a great addition to your corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy.”, said Genoveva Petrova.

Download the presentation of the Bulgarian Triathlon Association and proposal to members