Enhancing Diversity and fighting against Discrimination

IMG 5765On Thursday the 19th of November 2015, the final Di&Di's French steering committee, which took the form of a conference and debate, entitled: “Fighting against discrimination and promoting diversity in the labour market: Building inclusive strategies and concrete solutions for the professional integration of migrant populations » was held. It was organised by one of the French partners, Enda Europe, at the Maison des Metallos (Paris 75011) for the restitution of the final results of the European Di&Di Project.

The afternoon (see programme here) was launched with an introduction by Arielle Michelier, an Enda Europe board member, who described the organisation’s history and activity, particularly in relation to the themes of the day: discrimination and diversity.

Then, led by Simona Mattia (Migration and Diversity project manager, Enda Europe), it was time for the first half of the program: the results of the six European partners, the lessons learnt and the challenges ahead for the Di&Di approach.

The audience was first reminded of the general framework and aim of the project (to assist the integration of migrants, primarily young graduates and low-qualified women, in the employment sector). The Di&Di multi-actor participative approach IMG 5762is particularly innovative and sustainable because it takes into account the local context of each country with regards to immigration and employment and then adapts its format through action-research methods to deliver the most suitable project.

From the results, a few areas were identified as requiring more work: legal rights, the implicit rules of the labour market and the lack of networks. Nonetheless, most participants gained awareness about their rights, increased their self-confidence, valued their background and skills more and improved their knowledge of how to enter the job market, present themselves to the employer and avoid discrimination. Some, amongst themselves, even set up their own professional networks, like in Bulgaria. Overall the project was deemed a success.

After a short break, the second half of the program commenced: a round table with contributions from actors, from a range of fields, engaged in the fight against discrimination and the promotion of diversity.

IMG 5799The discussion was launched by Sonia Hamoudi, (CESE), who discussed her latest report on:” “The economic impact of diversity policies on company performance: the case of young graduates of foreign origin”, concerned with young French nationals of foreign origin. She stated that, rather than empty diversity policies, real opportunities needed to be offered to them, to avoid harming their self-esteem, leading to further negative repercussions. Building on this Rokhaya Ndiaye (APIMIG) explained that one of the biggest problems was the lack of knowledge about the implicit rules of the labour market. Babe Deme (Personal Development coach & ADEM) seconded this and emphasised that migrants tended to be overly loyal to their first employers and, hence, undervalued themselves. For these reasons, Fanny DRIGNY (ANI) underscored that early intervention was essential as suffering discrimination as a child can negatively impact how one grows as an adult. Additionally, Bernadette Piter (Discrim’Consulting) explained that existing legislation in France is fairly effective against discrimination, but that the main issue is that few people know their rights. After a lively discussion with audience about practical implementation, the reality of diversity policies and how to raise awareness amongst employers, the debate finally drew to a close.

Overall, the conference and discussion was a fruitful exchange of opinions, ideas and information that can hopefully continue to spread the message of Di&Di and be built on for a diverse employment sector, free from discrimination.

Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded
with support from the European Commission.
Theses publications reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

All rights reserved © Enda-Europe. Brand names from Europe and its partners and logos appearing on this website are registered trademarks.
Website by : Les Hirondelles Du Net