Diversity Pays Off


Companies successfully implementing diversity policies are 45% more likely to receive a bigger market share. In 57 percent of these same companies team cooperation is on a higher level, and in over 70 percent of the cases these companies are more likely to break into new markets.

These are some of the statements of Dimitrina Vasileva, Manager of Diversity and Inclusiveness for Central and Southeastern Europe at Ernst & Young Bulgaria, made during her presentation in front of the participants in the Diversity Pays Off forum. Vasileva quoted data of Global People Survey according to which companies pursuing diversity policies have higher turnover and gross profits and enjoy lower personnel fluctuation.

Today’s meeting was the first of a series of events at which representatives of NGOs and the business are reaching out to each other in an effort to implement and develop active diversity policies in corporate environment. Among the participants in the forum, which took place at Microsoft Innovation Center Bulgaria, were also Milena Dragiyska-Dencheva, Chief Executive Officer of Lidl Bulgaria, Mariya Peeva, Leader of the Global Programme for Employee Resource Groups, Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement Department of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Desislava Borislavova, Manager Communications and Philanthropy for CEE Multi-country Europe, Microsoft, Monika Kovachka-Dimitrova, Senior Project Manager, CSR coordinator and member of the Leadership Team of SAP Labs Bulgaria, Valeriya Doycheva, Training and Development Expert at Telenor Group. They all shared the experience of their companies in pursuing diversity policies and their positive effects on development.

Today is an important day, because it marks the launch of an initiative uniting the business community and vulnerable groups. These are the words of H.E. Eric Rubin, the US Ambassador to Bulgaria, from his welcoming speech to the participants in Diversity Pays Off. This initiative is wonderful because it addresses important topics of the Roma minority integration, the integration of people with disadvantages, the rights of the LGBT. Initiatives as such will contribute not only to success of the business in total, but for society as a whole, Ambassador Rubin concluded.

Data from studies of Open Society Institute – Sofia and the World Bank about public attitudes towards differences and the different were presented at the forum. Boyan Zahariev, Progrtamme Director at OSI-S, provided data on the socio-emotional skills of the Roma and the job expectations of those of them with higher education.

The special guests of the event were Professor Kathleen Wood form Gallaudet University, Washington, USA, and Irisa MacAulay, student at the same university – a unique educational institution for people with impaired hearing. Irisa MacAulay spoke about the empowerment of the deaf through education.

Other guests of Diversity Pays Off were H.E. Bea ten Tusscher, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bulgaria, Antony Thompson, Permanent Representative of the World Bank in Bulgaria, representatives of the business and NGO sector in Bulgaria.


Diversity Pays Off is a joint initiative of Open Society InstituteSofia Foundation, through the Bridge to Business Programme, GLAS Foundation with the WorkItOut platform, the Bulgarian Fund for Women, Listen Up Foundation and Social Future Foundation with the JAMBA platform.

The initiative is carried out with the support of the Bridge to Business Programme.