Advocacy

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Ukraine Corporate Equality Index

What is “corporate equality” and why is it important?

We all know that corporations play a very important role in our economy and society. As employers, producers and purchasers of products and services, they influence our decisions and quality of life on a daily basis. As economic agents, they impact public finance and policies at many levels. But do corporations really represent all members of society?

Corporate equality means that corporations embrace diversity in their business practices, including employment policies, leadership roles, supplier relationships, advertising and marketing.

Corporate equality values the contribution of all employees, business partners and customers, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, and ensures an environment based on respect.

Corporate leaders understand that corporate equality is not only fair, but it is good for business. Studies have shown that corporations that actively promote diversity are more successful over the long-term. As Ukraine moves toward European integration, citizens, workers, consumers, business and public officials should ask themselves these questions:

  1. What can we do to ensure that ALL workers in Ukraine have equal rights to seek and hold employment?
  2. How can we draw upon the diversity of Ukraine to strengthen our economy and be more successful in business
  3. Do I want to work for or buy products from a company that does not protect employees from discrimination?
  4. Does this company share my values and understand my perspective? 

Based on similar practices in the US and Europe, the Ukrainian NGO "Fulcrum" in cooperation with our partner organizations has established the Ukraine Corporate Equality Index. The first of such efforts in Ukraine, our goal is to better understand the status of corporate equality and begin a national dialogue.

Similar efforts outside of Ukraine include the Human Rights Campaign Fund: http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/corporate-equality-index

Ukraine Corporate Equality Index – The UCEI is a national survey of corporate policies and practices regarding non-discrimination in the workplace and support for equality and diversity in business. The survey will be conducted annually and open to private businesses with more than 100 employees.

The survey will include an overarching study of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. The survey will also result in a weighted score for each participating company. Those companies receiving high scores will be identified as leaders in their industry, region, and size category and the top scoring companies will receive the title of "Best Places to Work." A comprehensive communication plan will share the results of the first UCEI through press, social media, and events.

The index is intended to be informative and helpful to Human Resource professionals, business leaders, policy makers, workers and consumers. UCEI is not an effort to expose bad practices, but to recognize leadership and celebrate progress. The UCEI will also be supported by a collection of tools and resources (in Ukrainian and English) for HR professionals and managers in Ukraine who seek to build a more inclusive environment.

While we anticipate that many of the initial participants in the UCEI survey will be international companies operating in Ukraine, we also see a long-term value for Ukrainian companies. As Ukraine moves toward European integration and expanded access to highly competitive global markets, the UCEI will help investors and consumers make decisions about Ukrainian companies. Our goal is to promote transparency not only for the benefit of all workers and consumers, but also for the economic benefit of Ukraine.