In 2011 the EBRD initiated an equal opportunities project with Alivaria Brewery in Belarus. The project was financed by our Shareholder Special Fund and aimed to identify what the company could do to provide equal opportunities and improve their human resources practices.

The project offered recommendations to better equip the firm to attract, retain and develop talent, and to secure and build on its position as a leading employer. It focused on organisational and business effectiveness, where workforce diversity and gender equality were presented as fundamental criteria for successful business growth.

Our recommendations – alongside a wider business transformation which saw Alivaria merge with Baltica (another brewery in Belarus) – provided tools which convinced the company that it needed the right mix of talented people, and the ability to promote professional development in a systematic way.

In 2014, these changes brought progress. For example, senior managers must now build robust talent development and succession plans. The company is also building a culture of diversity. A recently launched Young Talent project offers paid internships/work experience to university students. Furthermore, in recognition of the challenges faced by women returning to work after maternity leave (and keen to retain talent), Alivaria now provides laptops to enable women to work from home for periods of time and therefore better manage their career and family responsibilities. This represents a small but practical step which can help women remain in the workforce and progress their careers, while still meeting their family commitments.

Paid internships or work experience will be offered to university students

The company is building a culture of diversity