The following perspective was penned by By Noah Richmond - In Europe, I met a very interesting gentleman by the name of Nikolay Zirchyk. Nikolay is the founder and CEO of Red Lanterns, a novel new app designed from the ground-up to bring transparency to sexual education. Nikolay told me: “I am going to change the way sexual education is perceived with mobile app technology …” and I became very intrigued how is it possible to change millions of people all over the world, their characters, education, beliefs…It is not a secret, that multicultural related problems are penetrated everywhere. In my travels, I meet many new people, new companies and new opportunities, as well as challenges. While overseeing interviews over the last few years all of the companies I worked with expressed common challenges. All of them lacked highly skilled staff. No matter what business the company is involved with, a highly skilled professional is always in demand. To solve this challenge many companies, outreach not only to domestic, but also to foreign labor markets. In fact, many corporations shop around the word in search for great employees who can give the company and edge over competitors. This creates amazing diversification inside the company and huge challenges for HR. Nikolay told me “Any company, be it IBM, INFOSYS, Google, Shell, Total, you name it, any global company has multinational staff. Many see this as an opportunity, but different cultures have different values, and often HR departments cannot keep up teaching the stuff how to behave, what to do or not to do. So, you may see a situation when sexual harassment is caused by lack of education and other culture-based factors.” I have asked Nikolay if he began any testing. And he told me “We already began to test our Red-Lanterns App internally with a few major companies. I cannot disclose the names yet, but we’re seeing great results so far. What HR departments found especially effective is when a person is financially rewarded for education, especially in his or her native language. In addition, the certification creates a legal layer of protection for a company against different harassment-related charges, as it is much harder to convict a company when a person knew that his actions are not allowed.” How necessary is the Red-Lanterns App anyways? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States, the EEOC “resolved 97,443 charges and secured more than $482 million for victims of discrimination in private, federal and state and local government workplaces. The agency reduced the workload of pending charges by 3.8 percent to 73,508 -- the lowest pending charge workload in three years. The agency responded to over 585,000 calls to its toll-free number and more than 160,000 inquiries in field offices, reflecting the significant public demand for EEOC's services. EEOC has previously released fiscal year 2016 highlights.” Reading the data I realized that Nikolay is on to something big. The path to ridding the workplace of sexual misconduct can be profitable too. Of course, it’s not only companies that are affected with changing corporate cultures. We also notice that more and more immigrants come to Western Countries such as the United States, Germany, Sweden, England, Canada, and Australia from counters such as Afghanistan, Syria and many other African and Middle Eastern countries. These people are raised in a completely different environment, and for them practices such as modesty laws and gender segregation based on fundamentalist religious may be a norm. Nikolay’s comments resonated with me. “We cannot blame them, we can only teach them how to understand our values. What’s important is that the teacher will be respectful and reasonable enough to deliver such a message.” Different cultures, religious and nations come together in one place, bringing together people with completely different education, living conditions, experience. What is allowed in United States is a complete Taboo in Afghanistan, what is good in Ghana, may not be allowed in Great Britain. Today, communities self-segregate and deal with this issue on their own, hoping that outsiders will adjust themselves. Entrepreneurs such as Nikolay are trying to bring sanity and clarity to sexual education, and I hope the results will be good.
Kazakhstan is doing very well. They’re really — they’ve turned things around. They have a lot of advantages over some nations, frankly, and they have some tough situations.Voice Eurasia Crossroads
Recent developments in Azerbaijan’s neighborhood – the potential resolution of the status of the Caspian Sea; a more vibrant Central Asia due to Uzbekistan’s new openness towards its neighbors; and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia – portend a greater political and economic role for the Republic of Azerbaijan.Argument Eurasia Crossroads