Danske Bank together with other Lithuanian organisations express solidarity with the LGBT+ community by supporting partnership regulation in Lithuania

Danske Bank together with other leading companies took a stand in seeking to highlight the necessity of regulating civil partnership in the country. The initiative was organised by Danske Bank Lithuania’s Rainbow Network and was joined by Vinted, Telia, Nasdaq, Moody‘s, Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics.

November was chosen for this initiative for a reason: exactly half a year ago, on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Danske Bank initiated a discussion about tolerance with an installation in Vilnius' Lukiškės Square. Furthermore, due to the active public debates on the necessity of partnership regulation in the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) as a draft Law on Civil Partnership should be brought up for discussion once more. 

 

“The issue of partnership regulation has been raised for the past 20 years, and we believe that we cannot wait any longer – both same-sex and different-sex couples should have a legally defined right to partnership. With this initiative, we are expressing strong support for civil partnership regulation and implementation in Lithuania, and making a statement that business representatives may not have made publicly until now,” 

 Kęstas Nugaris, Senior Operational Risk Manager and founder of the Rainbow Network at Danske Bank Lithuania.

Diversity management expert Vilma Gabrieliūtė emphasised that the fact that major Lithuanian employers are taking practical steps in ensuring diversity in their organisations and communicating them publicly is crucial – it shows that the companies are committed to implementing the principles of equal opportunities and understand the damage caused by gender inequality, homophobia, xenophobia and other prejudices.

“According to various research, actions by employers in the field of diversity not only help to reduce social inequality in the society, but also make employees feel better and increase their loyalty to the organisation. By supporting diversity organisations send a clear message to their employees that here everyone can be him/herself, and different forms of family are valued,”  Vilma Gabrieliūtė. 

Danske Bank fosters diverse and inclusive internal culture, maintaining a sense of community and providing equal opportunities to all colleagues irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or beliefs.

“Even if we do not achieve civil partnership regulation in Lithuania in the near term, we will continue to promote active debate and express our support to the partnership institute. We will also seek to ensure respect and equal opportunities for various forms of families,” told Nugaris.

In implementing its social-responsibility actions Danske Bank focuses on the issues of diversity & inclusion and emotional wellbeing, promising to continue to collaborate with its partners to highlight social issues that are relevant to employees and the society.

The published video also includes some of the moments from the Inclusion Day‘21 event broadcast live on the 17 of November, where Lithuanian business representatives, public activists and artists made presentations on diversity and inclusion-related topics and expressed their support to the LGBT+ community. Among the participants were representatives of the European Commission’s representation office in Lithuania and Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, the artist duo Agnietė Lisičkinaitė and Greta Grinevičiūtė, also representatives from Danske Bank Lithuania, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Telia, Moody's, Nasdaq.

Danske Bank together with its partner organisations want to make the Inclusion Day an annual event that would cover a new diversity & inclusion topic each year to promote public debate and allow employers to express their opinion.

“According to various research, actions by employers in the field of diversity not only help to reduce social inequality in the society, but also make employees feel better and increase their loyalty to the organisation. By supporting diversity organisations send a clear message to their employees that here everyone can be him/herself, and different forms of family are valued,”  Vilma Gabrieliūtė.