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ISS joins the Mentoring Refugee Women initiative

ISS has pledged to mentor 50 refugee women as part of a European initiative launched yesterday by the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the global nonprofit Catalyst.

The purpose is to make an impact on the lives of refugee women in Europe by improving their job and career opportunities.

ISS joins more than twenty other companies across Europe in this initiative. Together, the companies will be mentoring more than 1,150 refugee women, who traditionally have experienced much lower levels of employment compared to refugee men as well as women who are local nationals. By providing refugee women with professional mentorships including CV- and job interview support, access to networks etc., the companies will seek to empower the women and enhance their opportunities at the job market.

By joining the initiative, ISS reinforces its social commitment to advancing opportunities for groups of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Specifically, ISS has committed to mentoring 50 refugee women over the next three years in Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Margot Slattery, Head of Group Diversity and Inclusion in ISS World Services A/S, said: “I am really pleased to join this important initiative. Social responsibility is part of ISS’s DNA, and we have a long tradition of including and integrating minorities and socially excluded people into our workforce – which today counts almost 400,000 employees worldwide.

“Our ambition is always about making a true difference for our employees, our customers and the surrounding communities and societies, we operate in. At the same time, we strongly believe that a diversified workforce creates the greatest value for both ISS and our customers. In several of our countries, we are already involved in various integration initiatives and activities aimed at supporting and educating refugees and immigrants. I am very much looking forward to welcoming these 50 refugee women – who may also be my future colleagues.”

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani – a major US food company – and Founder of Tent, said: “A decent job is one of the most important things to help refugees better integrate in their new communities – but refugee women are doubly discriminated against and face so many barriers to employment. I am very proud of the companies stepping up today pledging to mentor this population. This is the right thing and the smart thing to do – with Europe facing labour shortages across many sectors, it makes good business sense for companies to prepare new, hard-working, and resilient talent to enter the workforce.”

Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director, EMEA, Catalyst added: “This mentoring programme, that we’re honoured to partner with Tent on, is an important step to raise visibility on the plight of refugee women, but also the impact mentoring can have on their lives, communities and societies as a whole. We’re delighted that so many multinational organisations have warmly embraced this initiative and are taking meaningful action, so no women are left behind.”

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