Seeing current tensions in Lithuania and an increasing volume of hate speech towards LGBTQ+ people, on Friday, March 5th members of Lithuanian Diversity Charter issued a statement supporting LGBTIQ+ community. Companies, public institutions and NGOs called for mutual respect in discussions on sensitive matters and sticking to facts and research rather than emotions.
It is long overdue to admit that Lithuanian society is diverse. Every citizen, no matter their age, sexual orientation, gender, religion, ethnicity, or health, has the right to live, work and take part in public matters and be treated with dignity. Moreover, human rights and legislation should not be applied selectively and is there for all of us.
“Respect, peace and acceptance of others, whoever they are, are our core values. – said Odeta Bložienė, CEO of Burokėlis ir krapas, which owns a family pizzeria Jurgis ir Drakonas. – It does not matter whom we love and what we dream about – we support each other. Diversity is the key to feel safe and empowered”.
“We believe that changes start within ourselves. This is why we pay so much attention to diversity and equality – it is a basic concept of any progressive society. We think more people value equality and their voices become stronger. We aim to build a sustainable, balanced and open society with no place for discrimination and violence”, said Dovilė Grigienė, CEO of Swedbank Lithuania.
“We support all communities which are discriminated or experience any form of violence, including LGBT community. We support diversity of opinions and fair discussions where there is no room for hate speech or human rights abuse. Such debate is always welcome in our site. We have to find common ground and grow to become a mature society without anger, myths and stereotypes”, said Ramūnas Šaučikovas, CEO of news site 15min.
“Moody’s is committed to treating people with respect and dignity and to protecting their human rights. Moody’s believes that a workforce that represents an array of backgrounds and experiences, helps create an environment that maximizes each employee’s contribution, and enhances our work, including the quality of our opinions, products and services. We are dedicated to maintaining a work environment that is open, inclusive and fair for all and to promoting diversity and inclusion in all of our global workplaces“, said Mariano Andrade Gonzalez, Moody’s Lithuania Country Head.
“Working with vulnerable communities we see the impact of stigma and negative perceptions, and how those contribute to exclusion of people from labor market and society. Society will allow all citizens to feel valued and respected only if we create equal opportunities for all and enable everyone to find their true selves”, said Jurgita Kupryte, CEO of SOPA, an NGO promoting employment for the disadvantaged.
“The fact that business and public institutions take responsibility to create open environment for all is a victory of recent years. I am truly glad business is not silent. This is what people expect from private sector. They look at companies to see the leadership that sets example and guarantees equal opportunities beyond the workplace”, said Rugilė Trumpytė, CEO of Lithuanian Diversity Charter.
Lithuanian Diversity Charter unites organizations committed to promoting openness, strengthening diversity management, and creating friendly and inclusive work environment regardless of a person’s gender, race, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity or religion.