Helping love refugees find jobs and businesses diversify is, in short, what MINE works with. MINE is an NGO situated in Malmo, Sweden. For the past 13 years, they have been helping students, immigrants, refugees, and people who moved to Sweden simply because of love.
All these people with skills or an educational background from another country. People who are well qualified, but who do not necessarily have the right network to find jobs. MINE helps them, while encouraging businesses to be open-minded, and see the potential of these people with a different cultural background.
“There is so much potential in all of these people, they just need to find the right place to work”, the CEO of MINE, Magdalena Nour explains.
MINE was founded by large influential businesses who wanted to tap into the skills and competencies they felt were present in Malmo. They had a hard time finding these people themselves and found that the people also had a hard time finding them.
Today, MINE collaborate with a large number of international businesses, Universities and even small startups. Businesses such as PWC, Vinge, Eon, Malmö University, Lund University, Helsingborg University, the City of Malmo, and many other public and private businesses.
“We encourage and educate employers on diversity and inclusion, and how to make that a profit for them”. Nour points out that even though they are an NGO, they understand, and prioritise, the fact that the businesses they work with need to benefit financially from hiring people with a different cultural background.
“It is not only the people looking for jobs, who need to adapt, change, and learn things, it is also the businesses looking for competences”.
Equality -“it is all about norms”
Every business and every person in Scandinavia knows that men and women should get equal pay and be treated equally. However, that is not always the case. Even though people know what the right thing to do is, many businesses still end up doing it wrong.
This disconnect between knowing what is right, and actually doing it right, all comes down to a set of old social norms. “We all have norms and we all have prejudices. The important thing is to realise when you actually fall into one of this holes”. And it is important to remain aware of how you go about it in a business. The choice of words you use and how you approach a situation. It makes a big difference, Nour explains.
“You can have an enormous amount of good intentions, and still make mistakes”. And that is fine. The important thing is to realise that we all have a set of norms which silently affects how we act and make decisions.
MINE hopes that, with time, businesses will be able to have a clear focus on their norms, and how they go about diversifying.
“If people can be themselves in a workplace, they can focus work. Then, they don’t have to focus on putting on a mask entering the workplace. They don’t have to focus on covering up things of personal matters, but then you can just focus on being there. So you get less people who are sick, you get more engagement, and you get a better result. You also get better products.”
It is, therefore, a matter of 'diversify or die', Nour strongly points out. Businesses need to embrace a diversified work environment if they want to exist in a diversified and multicultural market. MINE has seen that businesses who do so, get a rise in the work efficiency, and the businesses benefit financially with a higher return on investment.
Diversify or Die – the future
MINE aims to include more businesses. “We need all kinds of employer organisations to take a step into the future and realize that it is ‘diversify or die’ if you want to hang around here!” Nour says. She points out that Malmö is a multicultural city with a vibrant businesses culture, and businesses who do not diversify will stay the same and slowly die.
MINE’s vision is to have an inclusive society, where everyone belongs. They want to help businesses tear down barriers between the Swedish job market and foreign-born academics with international merits. The aim is also to get more businesses to share best practices. There are a lot of good initiatives and a lot of smart people who understand how the organisations benefit from a more inclusive approach.
Se the full interview, with the CEO of MINE, Magdalena Nour here:
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