Best non-discriminatory employers defined in Ukraine
The American Medical Centers, The British Council and the Softcom Group IT-company became the leaders of the Ukrainian corporate equality index 2014. The corporate equality index rating requirements were mainly met by the foreign companies.
As the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent reports, the Ukrainian corporate equality index examines corporate policies, rules and practices of private companies on the prohibition of discrimination at the workplace, and support for equality and diversity. The index takes into account prohibition of discrimination on grounds of gender, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The NGOs examined the companies’ policies towards the people with disabilities, women and LGBT representatives.
Executive director of the All-Ukrainian Charity Organization “Fulcrum” Bohdan Hloba says that discrimination has adverse effect on the country’s economy, “In 2015, more than 2,000 LGBT representatives have applied for asylum in the US because of persecution in Ukraine. It’s a scary figure. Each person was a part of our economy.“
“The study of the U.S. agency for economic development argues that the countries with economies in transition, which protect the LGBT rights at the legislative level, have the higher level of GDP if compare with those countries, where there is no prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. At the same time, according to the study of the World Bank, ensuring the rights of vulnerable communities increases GDP by 3%,” Bohdan Hloba notes.
Expert of the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine Larysa Bayda cites the example of the invisible disability, which the Ukrainian companies use discrimination against.
“Can people with higher education work? Of course, they can! Moreover, if they are lawyers fluent in two foreign languages. But, unfortunately, the company, which a girl with epilepsy applied to, needed a certificate. Our students trust the Ukrainian legislation, so of course she told everything about herself. The next day she was said, ‘Unfortunately, we can’t hire you.’ The same story has happened with her several times in different companies,” Larysa Bayda says.
Deputy Director of the British Council in Ukraine Natalia Vasyliuk says her company prepares its employees for the situations that may occur at the workplace.
“It turned out we had a student with epilepsy. And it happened. A poor teacher did not know what to do. We have recently conducted medical training for our teachers, because we believe that every teacher should know what to do in such cases. We can not tell a student that he or she can’t study because the group does not accept him. We said that this student would attend classes because we had a specially trained teacher, who knew what to do in such a case. The academic activity was disciplined at once,” Natalia Vasyliuk says.
According to Iryna Fedorovych from the Coalition for Combating Discrimination, the index aimed to show the best practices.
“The index wasn’t aimed at condemning the bad examples among the businesses. We tried to find the few successful working examples in Ukraine, where the policy of equality exists, brings welfare, and protects the employees in order to motivate others,” Iryna Fedorovych notes.
According to the experts, the introduction of the equality policies in the company will create a secure environment in the team, increase productivity and employee loyalty to the company. Such policy allows attracting creative educated employees of the new generation, to discover new partnerships with European and American companies and so on.
“Many NGOs work accusing someone. It does not help to solve the problem. The condemned companies just hide after that, they will not improve their work. Meanwhile, the authors of the Ukrainian corporate equality index offer free trainings, being of a great luxury for companies amidst the crisis,” says Konstans Boris, the communications and corporate social responsibility expert of the Auchan retail group, explains.
The Ukrainian corporate equality index was initiated by the All-Ukrainian Charity Organization “Fulcrum” in partnership with the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine, the NGO “National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine” with the support of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination, the International Fund “Revival” and with the information support of the LIGA:ZAKON company.