• Virtual Conference and meetups - 10 November (online)

    The language of the conference is English.

    The program may be subject to change.

    10:00 - 10:15 Welcome and opening

    Melinda Miklós | CEO WeAreOpen




    10:15 - 10:30 Smartiz Program

    Réka Boros | IT Product Owner (Vice President) at Morgan Stanley


    10:35 - 10:50 LAP: The Allies Toolbox

    Eloisa Romero | Middle East and Africa Cluster Sourcing Manager at Citi


    11:00 - 11:15 Powering Gender Equality

    Agnes Zoller | Public & Government Affairs Manager, Hungary and the Czech Republic, ExxonMobil


    11:20 - 11:35 Making an impact from Local to Global

    Krisztián Zimber | Learning & Development Coordinator at BT (British Telecommunications)


    11:40 - 11:55 Parental Transition Support Program

    Hajnalka Török | HR Project Manager at Morgan Stanley



    12:00 - 14:00 Break



    14:00 - 14:50 Unpacking the impacts of LGBTQ+ discrimination in Hungary and Poland

    Luca Dudits | Communications Officer at Háttér Society

    Miłosz Przepiórkowski | Member of the board at Lambda Warszawa

    Vyacheslav Melnyk | Executive Director at Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH)

    Máté Hegedűs | Press Officer at Budapest Pride

    Ádám Kanicsár | LGBTQ journalist and activist


    14:50 - 15:00 Break


    15:00 - 15:50 Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Debates on Intersectionality

    Katalin Fábián | Professor in the Department of Government and Law at Lafayette College


  • Conference Day - 11 November (BMC Library and live stream)

    The language of the conference is English.

    The program may be subject to change.


    9:30 - 10:00 Registration


    10:00 - 10:15 Opening remarks
    Melinda Miklós |
    CEO WeAreOpen


    10:15 - 10:45 Vulnerability is strength: why holding open conversations about mental health matters

    Pál Bíró | Country Manager at Google


    10:45 - 11:15 ExxonMobil Diversity Report

    Jeroen Kirschbaum | Lead Country Manager Hungary

    Sasha Thomas | Division Manager Controllers


    11:15 - 12:00 Time to listen: How can employers cooperate with NGOs?

    Eszter Nógrádi | Company Fundraiser at BAGázs

    Katalin Vég | CEO at Salva Vita Foundation

    Tamás Dombos | Board Member at Háttér Society

    Szilvia Szénási | CEO Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation


    12:00 - 13:00 Lunch Break


    13:00 - 13:15 Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ law explained: what’s next for businesses?

    Stefánia Kapronczay | Executive Director at Társaság a Szabadságjogokért - Hungarian Civil Liberties Union


    13:15 - 13:30 Challenging stigma and taboos at the workplace: let’s talk about people living with HIV

    Dániel Waliduda | Coordinator of HIV Peer Support Service at Háttér Society, Hungarian NGO and Editor at Humen Magazine


    13:30 - 13:45 Invisible no more: marginalized people at the workplace in Hungary, novel data offered by OPEN Survey

    Melinda Miklós | CEO WeAreOpen


    13:45 - 14:00 What is pinkwashing & how to avoid it?

    Ádám Kanicsár | LGBTQ journalist and activist


    14:00 - 14:30 A data-driven discussion: quantify and measure the personal experience from retention to performance

    Viola Petra | Sr. Software Engineering Manager - Google Cloud Retail Solutions

    Orsolya Vásárhelyi, PhD | Postdoctoral Researcher at NETI Lab BCE, Data Scientist, Data Driven D&I Expert


    14:30 - 15:00 Coffee Break


    15:00 - 15:30 RomaMoMA an imagined and yet real space for Roma arts and artists

    Hajnalka Somogyi | Leader of project at OFF-Biennale

    Nikolett Erőss | Curator, OFF - Biennale


    15:30 - 15:50 Why companies choose to advocate for diversity and inclusion. How does IBM foster meaningful partnerships with LGBTIQ+ initiatives?

    Marijn Pijnenburg | Global Leader Marketplace Diversity | Business Development Executive at IBM


    15:50 - 16:35 Reflections on the state of gender balance in leadership and the potential ways forward

    Eser Sevinc Manav | Vice President Operations and General Manager Central Europe at The Coca-Cola Company

    Veronika Špaňárová | Managing Director and Citi Country Head, Hungary

    Helga Sasdi | CEO, Publicis Groupe Hungary

    Nora Wagner-Varady | Head of Outreach and Partnerships at CEU InnovationsLab


    16:30 - 17:00 Coffee Break / Registration for the OSA ceremony





  • Workshops - 12 November (online and in-person)

    The language of the conference is English.

    The program may be subject to change.



    Irányi u. 17, Budapest | 1056 • Hungary


    Registration 8:30 - 9:00


    9:00 - 10:30

    The first steps towards creating a truly inclusive culture

    Judit Radnai - Tóth | Senior Consultant: Employee Experience, Employer Branding, Diversity


    Diversity has been linked to more creativity and innovation in the workplace. When people with different backgrounds and experiences are brought together, it leads to more effective problem-solving. In this workshop, we will talk about the first steps towards building an inclusive company culture, where everyone feels valued and able to contribute their diverse perspectives.


    11:00 - 14:00

    Lépéselőny - Training for challenging gender-based discrimination at the workplace

    Maya Fenyvesi, Anna Végh | Amnesty International


    The Lépéselőny program aims to eliminate gender-based discrimination in the labor market. Within this framework, in close cooperation with employers, employees, and experts, we have developed a training consisting of optional and basic modules that provide participants with knowledge and skills to recognize discrimination at work. As a result, they can develop action plans to reduce it. Through the Lépéselőny project, we are working for equal workforce opportunities for both women and men.




    14:30 - 16:00


    Melinda Miklós | CEO WeAreOpen


    #IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

    Many of us struggle when it comes to talking about our own accomplishments. Cultural and gender modesty norms, as well as impostor syndrome, can prevent anyone from acknowledging their remarkable attributes and expressing their achievements. During the 90 minute workshop, you will learn the importance of self-promotion in your personal and professional life and be equipped with tools to develop this skill. Participants will be invited to challenge the social perception around self-promotion.



    An exact date is TBA at a later point in time for this online workshop.

    D&I in Talent Acquisition

    Nikolett Suha | Human Rights Professional|D&I Strategist|Equality Management in Business


    The overall aim of the workshop is to gather and access with knowledge a group of HR professionals on the basics of D&I in talent acquisition (unconscious bias, discrimination, underrepresented groups, D&I objectives, etc.) To introduce the business reasons of why to hire from a more diverse pool of talents with special attention to Roma candidates (positive changes in the company culture and value, employee retention, recruitment strategy, higher revenue, etc.) To mobilize HR professionals and motivate them to connect to potential sources of diverse talent pools



  • For free

    Join us for free for Google's #IamRemarkable workshop and for podcasts from all over Central and Eastern Europe! Register your membership here!

    With full access

    To get full access to the program including meetups, talks, panel discussions, and other workshops, get your ticket here!

  • Meetup Days (ONLINE)

    Listen to OPEN Podcasts and be inspired by the shortlisted OPEN Spotlight Award Case Studies

    10 November

    FREE, registration is required

    9:00 OPEN Podcast - Finding Synergies Together: Diversity and Inclusion in Central Eastern Europe


    16:00 - 18:00 OPEN MeetUp - Presenting Shortlisted OPEN Spotlight Award Case Studies


    Excellence in Belonging

    16:10-16:25 From ad to aid – Making a difference in challenging times: how Coca-Cola has responded and adapted in the current reality

    Judit Szucs, Head of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company


    16:25-16:40 Excellence in Belonging

    Katarina Karalic, Procter&Gamble

    16:40 - 16:55 Virtual Pride March

    Szunyog Emese, Office Manager, Citi


    We See You Here

    17:00-17:15 Fathers friendly Company: Dads, We see You here!

    Adriana Sopta, Director of Capability Development & Recruitment, INA Group


    17:15 - 17:30 Return To Work Program​

    Balázs Fremda, Executive Director, Head of Human Resources, Morgan Stanley

    11 November

    FREE, registration is required

    9:00 OPEN Podcast - Finding Synergies Together: Diversity and Inclusion in Central Eastern Europe


    16:00 - 18:00 OPEN MeetUp - Presenting Shortlisted OPEN Spotlight Award Case Studies


    Engine of Change:

    16:10 - 16:25 MAMFORCE success story for employers and employees
    Diana K. Descovich CEO & FounderMAMFORCE


    16:25-16:40 Learn.Here.Now
    Barbara Berentés Learning & Development Manager at BT (British Telecommunications) Reginal Operations Centre


    16:40-16:55 Tesco Menopause Program
    Nóra Hevesi, Head of Communications & Campaign, Barbara Szigeti, Head of People local operations Tesco
    16:55-17:10 Citi Reverse Mentoring
    Aniko Simon-Horvath, Citi Operational Risk Senior Analyst


    17:10 -17:25 Empowering talented young women leaders to reach for the stars

    Andrea Istenesné-Solti, Country Chair Shell Hungary zRt., HR Manager CEE/ACH, HBLF Member of the Board

  • Conference Day - 12 November (ONLINE)

    The language of the conference is English.
    The program may be subject to change.
    The program on 12 November is available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket only.

    9:30 - 9:40 - Welcome and opening

    Melinda Miklós| CEO | WeAreOpen


    9:40 - 10:00 COVID & Workplace: An Opportunity to Embrace D&I and Adapt to the New Normal

    Lucy Quist | Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Technology, Operations and Firm Resilience & Head of Change Leadership in Technology Transformation Morgan Stanley


    10:00 - 10:25 How Nudges Can Boost Inclusion in the Workplace

    Helen-Alice Miranda, Director of Strategic Relationships | HUMU
    In this session Humu will share their inclusion model, the Humu Inclusion Blossom™, discuss why it’s so hard to achieve inclusion at scale and talk about how nudges can help to create a workplace where everyone feels heard and valued. When it comes to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, small ongoing efforts matter more than one-time trainings. Nudges can help to create inclusion at every level of the organisation by allowing space for tiny interventions that feel safe, break down barriers and create shared understanding across differences.

    10:25-11:15 The case for fostering diversity & inclusion during a global crisis

    Join leaders from Central Eastern European companies and NGOs to explore why companies should keep D&I on their agenda and what they can do to foster inclusion and diversity in a crisis.

    Panel Discussion

    Dinah Spritzer, | CEO, Founder | Media Confident

    Olga Kozierowska | CEO | Success Written in Lipstick Foundation

    Elzbieta Budzynska | Managing Director | Unilever Food Solutions North Eastern Europe

    Veronika Spanarova | Chief Executive Officer for Hungary | Citi

    Ota Horak, General Manager, SpoluWorks


    11:15 - 11:40 Break


    This session is brought to you by

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    11:40 - 12:00 #IamRemarkable - Fostering Allyship through Self-Promotion

    Shirley Dloomy | #IamRemarkable Site Lead | Google Israel Ltd.​

    #IamRemarkable is a global Google initiative that strives to empower everyone, particularly women and underrepresented groups, to speak openly about their achievements in the workplace and beyond, and simultaneously foster a mindset of encouraging others to do so as well. The aim is to stimulate workplace diversity through self-promotion, and celebrate the positive impact allyship has on individuals and businesses as a whole.


    12:00 - 12:20 Making The Business and Economic Case for LGBT+ Inclusion

    George Perlov, Researcher | Open for business

    In this session George will share the overall research focus of Open For Business' new program in Central and Eastern Europe, which looks at issues of national reputation, innovation and entrepreneurism, as well as the cost of LGBT+ discrimination in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. He will preview some initial findings from the report Open For Business will publish next spring.


    12:20-12:30 Q&A


    12:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break

    14:00-14:50 In this together? How the pandemic impacts already existing inequalities

    We know that the Coronavirus pandemic is a challenging situation for everyone. What we may not know is the impact of the pandemic on different minority groups, and how it affects them at their workplace and beyond, and what employers can do to support them. Join speakers from WeAreOpen, Amnesty Magyarország, Háttér Társaság and Salva Vita Alapítvány to examine how the pandemic impacts already existing inequalities.
    Panel Discussion

    Katalin Kappel |Salva Vita
    Bea Sándor | Háttér Society
    Zorigt Burtejin | Amnesty International

    András Szeles | BAGázs

    Judit Radnai-Tóth | WeAreOpen

    14:50-15:10 Media Representation and Racism: Deconstructing prejudices against Roma on social media

    Maria Bogdan, Researcher, Heidelberg University

    In her presentation Maria Bogdan talks about how media representation can define the position of groups in society. As a case study she will talk about the representation of Roma on social media in the recent years: how the local and international scene of the Roma movement have been using social media to fight against prejudices while working on to empower Roma identity.


    15:10 - 15:30 American Style Diversity: The impossible dream or attainable goal?

    Dinah Spritzer | CEO, Founder | Media Confident

    What does diversity mean in terms of population in the United States versus Central and Eastern Europe? Is it about gender, age, ethnicity, disability? How do the populations compare in their diversity? The U.S. business approach to diversity was initially driven by a fear of massive financial losses from class-action lawsuits by women and ethnic minorities Today, however, thanks to studies by renowned research firms like McKinsey, organizations are driven by evidence that a diverse and inclusive workforce is more productive and profitable. Some organizations launch diversity initiatives to improve their reputation, particularly among millennials. But what exactly are these initiatives, are they effective and would they find traction in Central and Eastern Europe? We look at differences in the legal milieu and cultural factors that would affect the implementation of practices such as diversity audits, diversity KPIs, recruitment quotas and 50.50 women in management goals. We will look look at the diversity gold standard set by a firm such as Coca Cola, and debate whether its rules and expectations have a future in our region.​

    15:30-15:40 Q&A


    15:40 - 16:00 Break

    This session is brought to you by

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    16:00-16:20 A company with a cause: why brands can’t afford to ignore social issues

    Gabriel Makki, Central Europe Vice President, Sales | P&G

    We see a growing demand for companies and top brands to react to social issues, and not only have an authentic purpose but also act on that promise. Why should a brand get involved in social issues? What responsibility does a brand have? How can a brand shape the narrative around social issues?


    16:20 -16:40 The OPEN Campaign model: why companies should switch competition to cooperation for social change?

    Melinda Miklós | CEO | WeAreOpen


    16:40 - 17:00 Making a difference in challenging times: how Coca-Cola has responded and adapted in the current reality

    Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe | The Coca-Cola Company

    Refreshing the world and making a difference is our Company purpose. In other words, doing business the right way and not the easy way and empowering our communities is equally important to us as achieving our business goals. Diversity and inclusion have been at the core of our purpose long before it has been articulated. Gender, racial, ethnic, religious or age differences, sexual orientation preferences and physical or mental disabilities have been regarded as mutually enriching. And we have taken an active stance to ensure they are equitably treated and fairly represented in business and life, while doing our best - using our scale and clout- to ensure that discrimination and hate speech have no place in our lives including social platforms.

    The covid-19 pandemic has accentuated inequalities and has created a new type of disadvantaged. That is why we decided to pause our advertising for a while and focus our efforts in supporting health systems across the world strengthen themselves while supporting our HORECA customers to reopen like never before. Some examples of our Hungarian efforts will be presented. This journey is ongoing: we learn, unlearn and relearn as we go aiming for progress, not perfection. And we partner with others to complement and amplify our efforts and exchange ideas as to how to make our communities more competitive and our consumers more empowered to also be part of the solutions to a more sustainable world where all people are treated with respect.


    17:00-17:10 Q&A

  • OPEN Spotlight Award - Award Giving Ceremony & Networking (on Zoom)

    Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket

    18:30 Welcome speech by WeAreOpen’s CEO Melinda Miklós


    18:45- 19:30 OPEN Spotlight Award Ceremony and Online Networking Experience

  • Deep Dive Day - 13 November

    Online Workshops and Deep Dive Discussions

    Free and paid sessions, check below for details.

    ROOM 1


    9:00 - 10:30 Words Break Bones - Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    Dr. Anna Szilágyi, writer & educator


    Dr. Anna Szilágyi is a writer and educator. Her research explores the discourse of discrimination. Her writings have appeared in top international journals and academic books. She has taught at City University of Hong Kong, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Central European University. Her global educational program, “Words Break Bones” provides experts, journalists, professionals, and citizens with crucial linguistic skills to detect and avoid misleading and discriminatory communication practices.


    10:30 - 11:00 Break


    11:00 - 12:30 Words Break Bones - Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    Dr. Anna Szilágyi, writer & educator


    Dr. Anna Szilágyi is a writer and educator. Her research explores the discourse of discrimination. Her writings have appeared in top international journals and academic books. She has taught at City University of Hong Kong, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Central European University. Her global educational program, “Words Break Bones” provides experts, journalists, professionals, and citizens with crucial linguistic skills to detect and avoid misleading and discriminatory communication practices.


    12:30 - 13:30 Break


    13:30 - 15:00 Adapting to Change - Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    Andrew Hefler and Declan Hannigan | Grund


    2020 has seen us all adapt to changes we could not have imagined before! How did we do it? Can we keep this agile mindset? Can businesses leverage these abilities to expand the pie, be more inclusive and listen to more diverse voices? In this workshop we see how we can identify and develop these skills in a practical way.


    Using our method of Applied Improvisation we believe that people improve by doing. Participants come away with a practical toolset they can use in many different settings. We thrive on-stage by being flexible, adaptable, interested, open, communicative and willing to innovate. These are skills that we love to pass on to others.


    Andrew Hefler has been designing training based on improvisation techniques for 17 years. He is a director, trainer, working in theatre, music, film and television for nearly thirty years.

    Declan Hannigan has been training in applied improvisation for 12 years and has worked internationally with blue chip companies across the region and beyond. As an actor you can see him on all your streaming platforms with the likes of Charlize Theron and Jared Harris.

    ROOM 2


    9:00 - 10:00 Zooming into how to be an inclusive leader also online - Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    Jana Tikalová, Founder & CEO of OPIM Diversity & inclusion trainer and consultant
    Jana Tikalova is a founder of a non-profit organisation OPIM active in diversity, inclusion and human rights for two decades. She has started her carrier as a human rights trainer for the Council of Europe and working as a trainer and D&I consultant in different sectors also at international levels. She also has experiences with HR & Training positions in two corporate companies. During the covid-19 pandemic, in her organisation, she has initiated a web app Diversity Talent Pool, a job platform matching diverse people with different needs and companies open to diversity and inclusion having also educational features and impact.


    Inclusive leadership is a key domain for a diversity driven company. In the workshop, we will go through some fundamental principles and roles of an inclusive leader. We will focus on the current situation where the world is overwhelmed by online work. We will look into equitable approaches that can help to be more inclusive and understandable of individual needs in online remote work.


    10:00 - 11:00 Break


    11:00 - 12:00 Building a trans-inclusive workplace - Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    Tamás Dombos | board member / project coordinator | Háttér Society

    Transgender people face many challenges when looking for a job or trying to integrate in a workplace community. Their situation in Hungary has gotten worse this year, as new legislation was adopted that bans legal gender recognition for trans and intersex people: they can no longer have their gender and name changed in their official documents even if they live according to their preferred gender for several years. The session explores how employers are impacted by this change, and proposes practical tools to mitigate these problems and create trans-inclusive workplaces.


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    Employee Resource Group ROOM

    Available with the FULL PROGRAM ticket


    9:00-14:00 Innovate Diversity

    Pavlína Louzenska | Lead Mentor |Google for Startups

    Máté Barna | Design Manager, Trainer | MOME, Cellux Csoport


    Join Google's design thinking workshop if you wish to develop your creativity and innovation skills for the benefit of your company's employee resource groups.

    If you are looking for a method that helps you to find groundbreaking ideas and you don't know how to start working on your problems, this workshop is for you. Get familiar with the useful methods and tools that Google use to develop and test new ideas at our Design Thinking workshop. The workshop will help to learn 3 very important skills: empathy, 10x more ideas, experimentation and prototyping

    What will you learn?
    - How to identify and define the problems that your groups are facing
    - How to come up with innovative ideas
    - How to create pilots and test them


    Notes from the facilitators:
    Please note that the workshop requires a half day commitment (4,5 hours).
    This practice oriented and carefully structured, modular workshop strongly builds on group work and the commitment and active attendance of the participants. Drop out can be distracting for others so please respect each other and make sure to stay for the entire time. We guarantee you will learn a lot and will have fun! Thank you.


    Pavlína Louzenska is a Marketing, Product and Business Consultant with focus on tech and design companies. She is a Lead Mentor in Google for Startups for Europe and Africa, as well as in various other accelerators. She founded #HolkyzMarketingu, a female empowerment community which currently unites 24 000+ women. She is a Transparency International Board member and a Google Certified Trainer for Design Thinking.


    Máté Barna, Design Manager at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest and Designer and Trainer at Cellux Csoport. He graduated from the Department of Product Design at MOME. As a designer, he advocates for the power of design research, the approach of thinking in complex systems, a people-oriented attitude and teamwork. He is interested in several social issues and topics related to hard-to-reach stakeholders. Typically, he likes to get to know the people he's designing for, to think with their heads and imagine himself in their position at every stage of the creative process. Besides designing, he also works actively in the field of communication and as a design project manager. As a result, he is at home in the world of agencies, large corporations, various institutions and organizations. He often applies Service Design and Design Thinking methodologies and their various tools in these areas of work as well.

    #IamRemarkable ROOM

    FREE, registration is required

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    #IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond, thereby breaking modesty norms and glass ceilings. Learn more at g.co/IamRemarkable
    In this interactive session, you will participate in group discussions and exercises to develop the confidence and skills to promote yourself effectively.

    • During the 90 min #IamRemarkable workshop we will:
    • Share data and research regarding self promotion and unconscious bias
    • Go through the main exercise to help you articulate your achievements and practice self promotion
    • Have a discussion and share take home exercises


    11:00 - 12:30 #IamRemarkable


    Judit Radnai-Tóth & Melinda Miklós | WeAreOpen


    12:30 - 13:30 Break


    13:30 - 15:00 #IamRemarkable


    Judit Radnai-Tóth & Melinda Miklós | WeAreOpen

  • Weathering the storm: the role of diversity & inclusion

    The COVID-19 pandemic brought plenty of new challenges for all of us. Things that seemed so dystopian and distant just a few months ago, now are part of our everyday reality. How can we imagine a post-COVID world and how should we adapt to a whole new realm of work and life?


    In these challenging times fostering inclusion and diversity at the workplace can easily be deprioritized, but inclusion and allyship has never been more in the focus of attention.


    This pandemic not only introduced a new dynamic into the workplace but it also highlighted already existing inequalities among women, racial and sexual minorities etc. issues that we tend not to talk about that much.


    It is time to reflect on where we want to be once this is all behind us. Are we rebuilding the old world, or are we using this critical experience as a chance for transformation?

    This crisis can be a moment to increase our awareness about diversity and inclusion, and companies have an important role in this. Some people expect organizations to step up, raise their voice, use their influence, and take their part in the struggle for positive change.


    This year at OPEN Conference our goal is to reflect on what has happened, what effect this pandemic has on disadvantaged groups and our general way of work and life. Furthermore, we would like to show why companies should keep D&I on their agenda, what they can do to foster inclusion and diversity in a crisis and how diverse teams with multiple perspectives can strengthen businesses in these hard times.

  • Competition vs cooperation:

    brands acting together for social change

    In this together?

    How the pandemic impacts already existing inequalities

    Brands and racial justice

    - silence is not an option

    Hate is the virus:

    the case for improving open workplace culture

    Your Story Counts: how visibility and representation can make a difference


    The role of trust in the crisis:

    can companies live up to new expectations?

    Finding synergies together:

    diversity & inclusion in Central Eastern Europe

    All Posts