The Route to Inclusive Employment

A labor market in which everyone can participate optimally and in their own way, regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any characteristic

Large groups of people have difficulty finding or keeping a job. For example, the elderly and people with a non-Western background have a much smaller chance of being invited for a job interview and many homosexual employees do not dare to express their sexual orientation.

In addition, women still earn less than men and are lagging behind in holding decision-making positions. This puts these groups behind. It is also disadvantageous for society as a whole because it means that talent remains unused.

Long-term solution
The solution to these persistent problems is usually sought from the target groups themselves. For example, there are many projects to help people with a disadvantage in the labor market find a job. In practice, however, this approach proves insufficient to allow vulnerable groups to come into their own in their working environment in the long term.

For a long-term solution, it is important that employers develop an organizational culture that is truly open to all people and offers opportunities for everyone. To achieve this goal, WOMEN Inc. started a project at the end of 2018 that is specifically aimed at employers.

This social organization wants to support employers in creating an organizational culture that ensures equal opportunities on the labor market for everyone. WOMEN Inc. calls that “inclusive employment practices”.

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusivity is being the one who co-organizes the party.”

– Daniel Juday

Anyone can participate
At the end of the project, it will be clear to the employers involved and a coalition of policymakers and policy influencers what we mean by inclusive employership and how to get there. In the long term, inclusive employment practices must contribute to a labor market in which everyone can participate optimally and in their own way: women and men, taking into account other diversity characteristics such as age and ethnicity.

The project started with an investigation into existing knowledge about inclusive employment practices. In addition, the twenty employers involved will investigate active elements in the field of inclusion and diversity within their own organization. The elements that have an effect will be bundled in a report at the end of 2021. An awareness campaign is linked to this so that other employers can learn how to put inclusive employment practices into practice themselves.

Photo header: Ethan Hu

Marthe de Win Programmamanager at WOMEN Inc.