Michaela Kolláriková

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy 

INTRODUCTION

People in Peril, n.o. (hereinafter PIP) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation providing humanitarian aid and development activities in the world and in Slovakia. The organisation was founded in 1999 with the aim of providing effective assistance to people suffering from the consequences of conflicts, natural disasters and undemocratic regimes. We have gradually expanded our mission in Slovakia to include educational activities and support for marginalised communities.

The values of the PIP include efficiency, needs-based aid, accountability, professionalism, partnership, as well as the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. 

Why this policy matters

At PIP we care about the kind of society we live in. Through our activities we try to help people who have lost their safety, dignity or freedom for various reasons, and we also contribute to building an open, tolerant and inclusive society in Slovakia. It is important to PIP that these values are also reflected within the organisation. That is why we have created this policy, which clearly defines our policies and procedures on diversity, equality and inclusion.

When working with our target groups, we strive to give a voice to those who are not usually heard and to create conditions where they feel safe to contribute their voice and experience. We believe that this policy can be a tool for creating and sustaining such conditions within PIP. We want everyone in PIP to feel that they belong to our organisation and that they are an asset to PIP through their unique combination of life experiences, world views and personality traits.

What is the aim of this Policy ? 

  • Eliminate instances of discrimination
  • Ensure that we treat all people fairly, with dignity and respect
  • Promote equality of opportunity
  • Promote equal access
  • Provide a safe, supportive and friendly environment – for staff, colleagues, volunteers, service users and partners
  • Integrate our values into the way we work

BASIC CONCEPTS

Inclusion means creating a safe and respectful environment that accepts people for who they are. Mutual understanding and tolerance are prerequisites for social and cultural acceptance and equal treatment. A successful inclusive approach leads to a sense of belonging. It is not just a tacit tolerance of differences, but a sense of active support that enables people to be their best. The process of inclusion involves everyone and makes people feel that they are an important part of the organisation. This cultural shift creates higher performing organisations through motivated employees.

Diversity is any dimension by which we can distinguish groups and individuals from each other. It is the conscious acceptance of the fact that we are different as human beings in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, political views, language, culture or nationality. The differences between us are both visible and invisible. Even aspects of invisible diversity, such as introversion/extroversion, cognitive diversity (different ways of thinking), different work and life experiences, or a tendency towards anxiety and mental health problems, have come to the forefront in recent years in an active approach to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Gender equality is the fair treatment of women and men, which can mean both equal treatment and different but equal treatment in terms of rights, benefits, responsibilities and opportunities. It is based on the principle that all people have the right to freely develop their abilities and choose among opportunities without being constrained by gender roles. The different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are recognised, valued, accommodated and promoted equally and without discrimination.

Source: the Diversity Charter and the Department of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Slovak Republic

POLICY STATEMENT

  • PIP believes that everyone who comes into contact with PIP should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or any other difference. 
  • PIP is committed to actively creating and promoting a fair, diverse and inclusive working environment for its staff and to promoting and creating such an environment when working with partner organisations or other colleagues and collaborators. 
  • Embracing diversity: PIP values and encourages diversity in its employees, colleagues or partner organisations, which includes differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, culture etc. PIP believes that each individual brings unique perspectives and experiences that contribute to the success and quality of PIP’s work. 
  • Ensuring Equity: We are committed to creating a workplace that upholds the values of fairness and justice. PIP strives to remove barriers to advancement and ensure equal opportunities for growth, development, and success for all employees.
  • Promoting Inclusion: At PIP we want to promote and create an inclusive environment where every employee feels welcome, respected and valued. At PIP, we encourage open dialogue, actively listen to diverse opinions and create an environment where everyone can contribute and thrive. The same is true when we work with our target groups. 
  • Cultivating Belonging: We aim to create a culture at PIP where everyone feels they belong and can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of discrimination or prejudice. We want to create a supportive environment for all.
  • PIP recognises that promoting diversity, equality and inclusion is a long-term process that requires education, reflection and action. 

APLICABILITY

The Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy must be read in conjunction with all other policies listed below and sets out the minimum standards of expected and desired behaviour in the QAO.  In particular, it includes

  • Code of Conduct of PIP. It defines the desired forms of behaviour in PIP as well as binding principles and standards of behaviour in the PIP, such as respect for people and non-discrimination. 
  • The Protection Framework Guidelines define the principles, validity and binding force, roles and responsibilities in PIN. It is a package of policies that generally focus on safeguarding, child protection, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse or whistleblowing. . 

Initiatives and strategies for diversity, equality and inclusion

Organisation-wide strategies

PIP is committed to building and maintaining the systems and infrastructure necessary to uphold these strategies:

  • Diverse Recruitment Practices: PIP strives to use unbiased recruitment strategies, to select candidates for positions from diverse sources, and to use inclusive recruitment practices so that the PIP attracts and retains people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Fair pay and benefits: PIP regularly reviews and adjusts pay structures to ensure fairness and equity across all demographic groups and to provide equal pay for equal work. To this end, PIP has created an organisational structure and clearly defined positions and their location within the organisational structure. Each job level is covered by a clear salary range. PIP Board of Directors is responsible for setting salary levels.
  • Training: PIP regularly communicates and sensitises all staff to issues of bias and privilege. PIP promotes and encourages diverse perspectives with respect for human rights and the uniqueness of each individual.
  • Inclusive workplace culture: PIP promotes inclusion by encouraging open dialogue, valuing diverse views and fostering a sense of belonging among all employees.
  • Career development opportunities: PIP supports the development of each of its employees. We promote equal access to training, mentoring and career development opportunities for all staff. A buddy programme has been established to support newcomers to the PIP team, to ease the transition into a new working environment and to provide peer support.
  • Performance evaluation: We have standardised the performance evaluation process into regular performance interviews. Climate surveys are conducted periodically for each department and in the organisation as a whole. Based on this, an action plan is developed. 
  • Non-retaliation policies: If someone reports a complaint of non-compliance with the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policy, PIP has a clear policy to protect the person who reported the behaviour and any witnesses. For example, forms of retaliation may include ignoring, vilifying, giving difficult work assignments, failing to provide supporting documentation, etc.
  • Supplier diversity: PIP encourages diversity in relationships with suppliers of services, goods and external partners. Within the project’s means, priority is given to service providers that directly belong to vulnerable groups, have positive social impact or low environmental impact. PIP do not support service providers that violate human rights, overtly or covertly target vulnerable groups or people of different age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, political views, language, culture or nationality.
 Example of good practice:When choosing the catering for the opening ceremony of the One World Festival, the team did not work with a professional catering agency but with NGO Mareena. Mareena provides professional catering services with the involvement of people with a migrant background.
  • Transparency and communication: PIP promotes transparent communication on social agenda challenges, thus fostering accountability and trust among employees. Regularly or according to current social events, the organisation’s management or MT team communicates a clear position of PIP and also explains the reasons for (not) engaging in civil society initiatives. 

Practices and procedures for PIP staff

PIP staff members are actively engaged in these practices and procedures, which are essential to creating and maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion: 

  • Be a role model: Model inclusive behaviours and attitudes to inspire others and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Show respect for all individuals, actively participate in diversity initiatives and create an inclusive environment.
  • Respect differences: Accept and respect the different backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences of colleagues. When communicating, use the individual’s chosen pronouns and respect their identity. Actively create an environment that is inclusive and affirming.
  • Promote inclusion: Actively involve others in discussions, projects and social activities to ensure that everyone feels valued and listened to. Speak out respectfully and constructively against discrimination, microaggressions or exclusionary behaviour.
  • Challenge bias: Identify and challenge biases in yourself and others to foster fairness and equity in the workplace. Act as an ally – support underrepresented groups, amplify their voices and promote equal opportunities and treatment for all.
  • Listen actively: Listen attentively and empathetically to different opinions and experiences without judgement. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we can respectfully accept opinions that differ from our own. Try to understand. 
  • Avoid hurtful stereotypes: Avoid assumptions or stereotypes based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, education, religious beliefs or ability.
  • Support others: Offer support and encouragement to colleagues, especially those who may be discriminated against or feel excluded. Encourage and welcome diverse perspectives in meetings, projects and decision-making processes.
  • Report violations: Report any violations or incidents of discrimination you observe in accordance with PIP policies and procedures to ensure a safe and respectful workplace for everyone.

REPORTING PROCEDURES 

At PIP, we take reports of discrimination, misconduct or policy violations seriously. We have zero tolerance for employees who discriminate against other team members, create an unwelcoming or unsafe environment, or behave unfairly towards others. Similarly, PIP will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who reports such behaviour.

PIP will not tolerate discrimination based on demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexuality, marital status, age or socio-economic status. This applies to behaviour towards employees, contractors, suppliers or partners. We encourage everyone to report any concerns or incidents they have experienced or witnessed that are contrary to the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion.

FOCAL CONTACT POINTS

Although overall responsibility for compliance with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy rests with the Human Resources Department and senior management of PIN, the focal points are key functions that will be identified and trained to ensure that the policies and procedures are embedded in the PIP’s programmes. They also ensure that the communities and individuals with whom PIP cooperates feel accepted and know how to report potential violations. 

The Focal Contact Points work in close coordination with Human Resources, senior management and all other PIP Contact Points. Their roles and responsibilities cover the following areas:

  • Promote safer recruitment where possible and capacity building,
  • Support procedures and systems for reporting, managing and responding to cases,
  • Supporting the development of safer programmes (including risk analysis and management).

To this end, safeguarding focal contact points will receive appropriate training on the implementation of diversity, equality and inclusion policies, reporting and case management procedures, including internal reporting.

REPORTING CASES AND INCIDENTS:

  • Direct to Human Resources: Employees can report issues to Human Resources either in person, by email or through a dedicated email address:
  • Through the MT team or direct manager/supervisor: Employees have the option of reporting incidents to their line manager or any member of the MT team, depending on the situation. 

Reporting procedure:

  1. Individuals should provide detailed information about the incident, including the date, time, location, description of the behaviour or situation and the individuals or witnesses involved, to one of the contact points.
  2. Human Resources and/or designated personnel will conduct an impartial investigation of all reported concerns or incidents.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

At PIP we recognise the importance of monitoring and evaluating our diversity, equity and inclusion policies to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with our organisational objectives. To achieve this, we have established the following mechanisms:

  • Data collection and analysis: We use data-driven approaches to gather information on the representation of different groups within our workforce or the target groups. Internally, we collect and analyse data on employees, their job performance and satisfaction, or their representation in PIP’s organisational structure.
  • Surveys and feedback from employees: Regular surveys and feedback mechanisms are used to assess staff perceptions, experiences and satisfaction with working in the department or with PIP as a whole, so that areas for improvement can be identified.
  • Regular monitoring: We regularly reflect on this policy to ensure that it is consistent with our organisational values, legal requirements and best practice in the areas of diversity, equality and inclusion.  
  • Integrate feedback into the directive: We welcome feedback from employees and stakeholders to help us incorporate different perspectives and continuously improve our practices. We also use data from employees and best practice from handling reported cases and incidents to improve internal processes.
  • Adapting to changing needs: PIP will respond to changing social, cultural and organisational needs and update this policy accordingly to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.

Challenges and examples from practice

Selection of participants for a teacher training: the aim is to select a diverse range of participation. When considering participation by gender, we will be guided by the percentage of men and women in the teaching profession. As there are around 10-20% male teachers in primary and high schools, we will adjust the ratio of participants accordingly. We already take this „disproportion“ into account when setting the indicators in the project as part of the analysis of the target group we are working with in the project. For example, it has become clear to us that female teachers on parental leave may also be interested in such training and we have created conditions that have helped them to actively participate in the training (e.g. accompaniment from another family member, their room together, absence from the programme with regard to the child’s needs, etc.).

Taking vulnerable groups into account: When selecting participants for LEČO summer school, we have clear criteria that we have prepared as a team. For example, we prefer students from vocational secondary schools and apprenticeships, where there is a higher long-term vulnerability to extremist manifestations. We also select on the basis of geographical location, giving priority to young people from areas of low opportunity or socio-economic exclusion. 

We proactively promote inclusion: In our work we often organise events for the academic environment or the public. When organising events, it is advisable to take into account special needs of participants, mobility impairments or other „invisible“ limitations. It is therefore important, for example, to choose the right questions for the event application form, to have trained facilitators/trainers who can work with the range of participation needs. During One World Festival activities, it is good practice to create an inclusive environment, for example by using adapted subtitles or the presence of sign language interpreters. 

Networking and collaboration: When speaking on issues that affect vulnerable groups (e.g. people on autistic spectrum, LGBTI+ people), it is essential to work with people or organisations that belong to or work directly with that community. In this way we give a voice and a space to people from that community, we also increase the credibility of the collaboration and we may be able to reach more people with our work. For example, we worked with the student association LIGHT* to produce educational materials about LGBTI+ people for school professionals. Their role was to supervise the educational materials to ensure their quality. Also, on the topic of children on the autism spectrum, we worked with a NGO that included a psychologist and the mother of a child on the autism spectrum. 

Internal cooperation: PIP works with different target groups. This uniqueness can contribute to sharing good practice with vulnerable groups and to taking into account their specific needs when working with them.

ORGANIZÁTORI

One World

FINANČNÍ PARTNERI

SLSP

PARTNERI

IOMGoOutbkisDAFilmskino lumiereFTF VŠMUkino mladosťA4TeledataMareenaVagusMyslímÚNaSSFFUKsvet medzi riadkamislidoBiela pastelka logo

HLAVNÍ MEDIÁLNI PARTNERI

MEDIÁLNI PARTNERI

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