How to create an inclusive and supportive work environment?

January 26, 2022

Cleantech Estonia and Startup Estonia diversity expert group are organising 4 trainings in March 2022 for the startup community to help to create an inclusive and supportive work environment by raising awareness about sexual harassment and gender violence at the workplace. Join the leaders in the community to make sure you provide the best possible work culture and environment for your employees.

The purpose of any business is to get the best out of their people and provide them with an environment that will support their performance. In order to achieve this, we must understand that everyone is responsible for contributing to a respectful, safe workplace. All employees and foremost managers should participate in training that provides the knowledge and skills to identify certain problematic behaviours and understand the interrelationship between preventing harassment, discrimination, bias and other workplace conducts and creating a positive, inclusive work environment. Great people have many doors held open for them, so you want to make sure you take care of them and keep them safe.

For that reason, the diversity expert group is inviting startup managers and HR professionals from the Estonian Startup Community to participate in the training to discuss together about sexual harassment and gender violence at the workplace. Together with the diversity expert group members, the workshop participants open the dialogue about if and in what forms of sexual harassment and gender violence exists in today's workplace. The intent is to build up a common understanding and create a baseline for the implementation of preventive policies in the companies in the Estonian startup ecosystem.

It is important to participate in the training as it will help you to:

Strengthen your workplace culture by communicating its values, goals, and policies in creative and meaningful ways that motivate individuals to act ethically, while protecting the organisation and its reputation.

Increase awareness of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour within your organisation. Training is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of unacceptable behaviour and remove uncertainty about what is and what isn’t appropriate behaviour. Through realistic examples and other relevant content, training can clarify grey areas and demonstrate how unwelcome conduct that goes unchecked can become harassment or discrimination.

Send a strong message from the management that when it comes to preventing harassment and other abusive behaviour and creating a respectful workplace, we’re all in this together.

Produce feelings of safety and inclusivity for employees: training may also have the symbolic effect of signalling to employees that they work in an environment where it is safe to come forward and that the organisation is not tolerant of harassment.

Help employees recognise and correct the behaviour that violates a person’s dignity, privacy, well-being, or personal boundaries. Training also plays a vital role for those in managerial or supervisory positions, since they are often held accountable for the corrective actions they take when this type of harassment occurs.

The training will be held by Matina Papagiannopoulou, a social scientist/researcher that specializes in gender studies. She has been collaborating for twenty years with the Research Centre for Equality Issues in Greece (KETHI), coordinating the 63 support structures of the Network of the General Secretariat for Demographic and Family Policy and Equality for the prevention of violence against women and their support. She has participated as a coordinator and/or researcher in about 50 studies on gender, gender-based violence, female immigration, etc. in Greece and abroad, and also, she has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level, while currently, she is teaching on issues of gender equality and gender-based violence at the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government in Greece (EKDDA).

The workshop will take place in 2 groups and consists of 2 training days. Specifically, the training for the first group will take place on:

Trainings for the second group will take place on:

The workshop will take place in Sunly, Port of Power at Masti 17, Pirita, Tallinn. It is also possible to participate virtually but preferred is in person participation.

Please fill in the registration form by the 28th of February.

This project is brought to life with the help of the Startup Estonia program (project No. EU50651), using the funds of the European Regional Development Fund. The project is organised by Cleantech Estonia, the not for profit organisation that is driving the development of the cleantech sector in Estonia but also abroad.

Cleantech Estonia has built the local ecosystem since 2015 by empowering research and innovation towards impactful and systematic sustainability. They are educating and funding cleantech startups and hooking up with relevant stakeholders. This offers a supportive community and builds collaboration between green businesses, government organisations and research, to create viable investment and business opportunities.

For any questions, please write to