Fostering Workplace Diversity: Albanian Businesses Engage with UN Standards at Round Table Event

December 20, 2023
Promoting diversity at the workplace

Albanian Businesses Engage with UN Standards at Round Table Event

UNDP Albania

In a significant step towards advancing workplace diversity, the round table event titled "Promoting Diversity in the Workplace" brought together key stakeholders. The event, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Ministry of Finance and Economy, and the PINK Embassy, saw the participation of approximately 60 representatives from public institutions, the business sector, international organizations, #LGBTIQ+ organizations, allies, and independent human rights institutions, such as the Ombudsman's Office and the Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination. This collaboration aligns with the ongoing "Different - Equal" Campaign.

Promoting diversity at the workplace

During this consultative session, participants discussed various pertinent topics, with a specific focus on:

  • Embracing UN #Standards of Conduct for Business: Exploring how Albanian businesses can adopt and champion these standards in the workplace. The discussion included details on how businesses can officially endorse these standards and become part of the global list of entities supporting them. For a comprehensive list of supporting businesses, visit this link.
  • Promoting Workplace Diversity: Sharing experiences of Albanian businesses in championing workplace diversity and providing support to the LGBTIQ+ community.
  • Challenges and Respect for LGBTIQ+ Rights: Discussing the challenges faced and emphasizing the importance of respecting the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in professional environments.
  • Case Studies of Discrimination: Analyzing concrete case studies of workplace discrimination and exploring potential solutions.
  • Government Measures against Discrimination: Examining measures implemented by the Albanian government to combat discrimination against individuals in the LGBTIQ+ community.
  • Educating Businesses on Human Rights: Highlighting avenues for Albanian businesses to enhance their understanding of human rights and emphasizing the significance of fostering inclusive organizational cultures, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • UN Free and Equal Campaign in Albania: Discussing how the Free and Equal campaign is playing an instrumental role in keeping this human rights matter on the agenda.

The session underscored the UN Standards of Conduct for Businesses, establishing unequivocal standards for upholding human rights in the private sector.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Albania present at the event underlined: "We recognize that real change demands the active involvement of society, especially the business community. The introduction of the Standards of Conduct for Business: Tackling Discrimination against LGBTIQ+ People is a groundbreaking initiative. Since 2020, the UN Free & Equal campaign in Albania has expanded its collaboration with the private sector. Our campaign calls for action to businesses not to be silent in the face of discrimination—a call for businesses to create an environment free from discrimination and harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation”.

Promoting diversity at the workplace

The UNDP Resident Representative in Albania, Ms. Monica Merino during her speech. 

Expressions of gratitude were extended to all institutions, businesses, and organizations that actively participated in this meeting.

Notable Participants: Raiffeisen Bank, Deloitte, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, Kastrati Group, American Bank of Investments, Gjonaj Group Holdings, Elite Travel, ANTEA Cement Sh.A, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tirana, International Chamber of Commerce in Albania, Austrian Business Chamber in Albania.