Companies need to start adapting to diverse talent, not the other way around – EBRD, RDCC conference

Companies need to start adapting to diverse talent, not the other way around – EBRD, RDCC conference

When talking about inclusion further steps need to be implemented by companies – rethinking jobs and job descriptions in order to maximise the contribution of all people. This would shift the way companies recruit – from having candidates wrap around corporate requirements to creating jobs to fit the right categories of candidates. And technology can bridge the gap and empower persons with disabilities in ways that fit corporate requirements and allow them to contribute to the economy, society and their own wellbeing. These are some of the conclusions reached at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Central and Eastern Europe: Today and Tomorrow, organised by the Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce and the EBRD.

One of the main reasons the Chamber was formed, as a grouping for the first time ever of various seemingly unconnected groups, was to find common ground among them. A good example is the challenge of recruiting that often hits Roma and persons with disabilities in ways that it doesn’t affect the others. In a similar way, women (who are still for better or worse usually considered the primary caregiver) are often told to fit the job description rather than having the job description written for their schedule. If companies want to thrive and use the best available talent out there, this has to change – and some companies are already doing this, which gives them a huge advantage in a tight labor market.

Perry Zizzi, President of the RDCC and Managing Partner of Dentons Romania

We have a strong strategic focus on promoting or supporting people, communities, and businesses that are affected by crisis and by longer-term stresses. And this is something that is very central to the new equality of opportunity strategy that we just launched at the end of last year, which really sets out how we actually through our investment, through our engagement with clients, through our policy engagements, how we try to ensure that everybody is able to access economic opportunities regardless of their circumstances. There are three key ways in which we do that by working with our clients, who very often are employers. We look at access to skills and jobs for people from different backgrounds, but also at the same time enabling our clients to tap into the entire talent pool and really find talent where it is and then to build talent in order for them to be able to expand, to innovate, and ultimately to grow. We look at access to entrepreneurship and finance, and particularly for women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, those in less developed regions, but also, for example, now supporting refugees from Ukraine to somehow maintain the SMEs, the companies that they already had to support them through this crisis, possibly in the transition of their companies into Poland, into Romania, into other countries. And then the third area very important is access to vital services. And here we really look at energy security, food security but also infrastructure, ICT connectivity to make sure that these services are provided in an inclusive way and really are open for everybody to use.

Barbara Rambousek, Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion, EBRD

I’m looking forward to an entrepreneurship program for persons with disabilities. I think this will be a very important trend in developing as entrepreneurs for persons with disabilities. We are looking also for assistive work for persons with disabilities, how to ensure that persons with severe disabilities are accompanied at work, they are provided with the support they need in order to fully achieve their potential. And why not? We are looking forward to providing further assistive technologies as we are doing right now, but also in the new financial period related to work opportunities so that persons with disabilities are entitled to receive assistive technologies in order to fully attend work and to be able to perform their activities at work.

Mihai Tomescu, President, National Agency of Person with Disabilities


The event rounded three extraordinary panels of speakers:


Beata Javorcik, Chief Economist, EBRD

H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Ueda, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Romania

Shane Dixon, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Bucharest

Charlotte Ruhe, Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe, EBRD

Barbara Rambousek, Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion, EBRD

Igor Ostrowski, Global Head, Dentons

Andreea Baciu, Chief Culture Officer, UiPath

Estera Anghelescu, Recruiting & Employer Branding Director, Kaufland Romania & Moldova

Mihai Tomescu, President, National Agency of Persons with Disabilities

Elena Ungureanu, Country Manager, Visa Romania

Ana Dumitrache, Country Head, CTP Romania

Megan Bishop, Economic Officer, U.S. Embassy Bucharest

Stefan Sfeatcu, Human Resources Analyst, Kaufland Romania & Moldova

Olivia Vereha, Vice-president of Product, Code for Romania

Daniela Serban, President, Romanian Investor Relations Association (ARIR)

Petru Dulgheru, Executive Director, REDI (Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative)

The panels were moderated by Ioana Ciurlea, Journalist and News Anchor, Digi24.

The conference was sponsored by CTP, Dentons, Google, the Embassy of Japan in Romania, Kaufland Romania & Moldova, Raiffeisen Bank and VISA, with the support of Embassy of Finland in Bucharest, Embassy of Italy in Bucharest, Embassy of Spain in Bucharest, Embassy of Norway in Bucharest, Embassy of Sweden in Bucharest, U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, the French Institute, Belgian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Romania-Portugal Chamber of Commerce, Professional Women Network and Social Innovation Solutions.

About the RDCC

The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce (RDCC) is a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of diversity and inclusion in the Romanian business community and supports the development of the Romanian economy through the implementation of greater diversity and inclusion. As such, the RDCC is a forum for activities that bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including women, LGBTQ+, Roma, disabled and other disadvantaged groups and community and business leaders. Their vision is to create a business organisation that promotes professional development opportunities, community resources and networking events. The RDCC also offers a certification program useful to multinational businesses that wish to ensure the diversity of their business partners.

About The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The EBRD is a multilateral bank that promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiative in 38 economies across three continents. The Bank is owned by 71 countries as well as the EU and the EIB. EBRD investments are aimed at making the economies in its regions competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated.


Press Contact

The RDCC Communication Team


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