The second Sustainability Talks event, organized by the Responsible Business Forum, took place on September 28th in Belgrade, with the theme “Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace,” hosted by Erste Bank. After a brief introduction by the company hosting the event, a panel discussion followed on the strategic approach to nurturing diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace. 

To comprehensively address the topics of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, representatives from relevant institutions participated in the discussion. These included Tijana Koprivica, Chief Business Sustainability Officer at Delta Holding, Jovana Krivokuća-Milovanović, Executive Director of the Youth with Disabilities Forum; Aleksandra Gavrilović, Program Coordinator for Education at Labris; and Jelena Kotević, Head of the Group for Complains at Office of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality.

The panelists discussed issues such as promoting the employment of persons with disabilities, fostering gender equality, protecting the rights and preventing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals and other vulnerable social groups, as well as creating a work culture where all employees feel safe to be themselves. The discussion was moderated by Sonja Konakov Svirčev, Manager for Socially Responsible Business, Diversity, and Inclusion at Erste Bank. 

The Responsible Business Forum also announced the opening of a competition for the Most Inclusive Employer award, aimed at recognizing companies that truly operate according to the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion and further sensitize the business community and the broader public on this issue. 

Sustainability Talks are thematic meetings and gatherings organized by the Responsible Business Forum for its members, with the goal of exchanging knowledge, sharing experiences and challenges, and showcasing examples of good practices in the field of sustainable development and responsible business. 

The second Sustainability Talks event was supported by the “Job Fit: Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities” project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Youth with Disabilities Forum. Other project partners are the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, Caritas of Serbia, Smart Kolektiv and the Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities.