Gain&Sustain has met some of the members of the Styrian team of the project “div-in-co”. The project has two main focuses: on one hand, it intends to coach companies with a multicultural environment; and on the other, it offers counselling and support to women with a refugee background, who are looking for a job to overcome the challenges that come with a new job in a different culture. It is an on-going project that started in August 2018 and it is implemented simultaneously in Styria, Salzburg and Upper Austria. The members of the team added the Danube Compass information platform as a tool to be used in their daily work.
- What is “div-in-co”?
“div-in-co” stands for "diversity, inclusion and consulting" and it aims to bring the concept of diversity closer to Austrian companies. It intends to inform and raise awareness among interested companies on this topic and those who have recognized advantages in diversity of workforce. The other main focus is women with refugee background, because for them it is a big challenge to find work and reach long-term employment. The aim of “div-in-co” is a sustainable inclusion of women with refugee background in the labour market. To accomplish that, we work with both companies and women in order to give support to both target groups.
- Which role does the private company have in the economic integration of refugees?
Private companies have a big role in the economic integration of refugees since without them, our society will not succeed in tackling many different challenges. Private companies are not only key players for the economic integration, but also for social development, acting as multipliers. If all companies, step by step, open up towards a more welcoming attitude towards refugees both the companies themselves and the society as a whole will gain tremendously.
3. Which are the first challenges that women with refugee background face when starting a new job?
When starting a new job, everyone is challenged by the new situation. As a woman with refugee background – potentially feeling insecure in terms of language, culture, religion and gender issues – these challenges can be especially overwhelming. The access to information is often difficult and our experience shows that they hesitate to ask for help. Also, many women have children and do not have sufficient information regarding the social support available. "div-in-co” supports them within their first months after employment starts, concerning questions about job and authorities and guides further them to relevant information sources.
4. Is there done enough in terms of integration program for newcomers?
There is much more we can do in order to make integration easier for newcomers. “div-in-co“ will lay an important groundwork and is one example of a project aiming to provide more support – and that goes for both the companies and the women with all their diverse insecurities.
5. Which tools do you use regularly in terms of updating relevant information concerning the legal situation?
“div-in-co” focuses on consequent networking regarding information sources and interfaces. We are establishing a partnership with different organisations and institutions in order to keep an up to date communication flow. Since the surrounding and especially the legal requirements are changing continuously, it is our goal to pro-actively develop our project.
6. What are your experiences while working with the Danube Compass?
The “div-in-co” team appreciates highly the creation of Danube Compass because it provides important information in our field of work in an appealing, user-friendly and clearly arranged manner. It is a helpful compendium of essential information for both us (div-in-co team) and our clients and it has the potential to be our central tool.