MyPath: Support for Migrant Women, Women from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds and their Professional Development
The Bulgarian Fund for Women enters the essential part of the development of the MyPath Project under the European Union program in the field of education, youth and sports “Erasmus+”, in partnership with three other organizations, in Austria, Germany and Portugal. The project “MyPath: Career planning – participation of medium and/or higher qualified migrant women and women from ethnic minorities in the labor market” includes companies and organizations from the non-governmental sector that work in the field of retraining and combating unemployment, coaching and mentoring, as well as specialization in the organization of professional trainings and preparations.
The loss and weakening of work-related skills is a common barrier for migrant women, but also for women from ethnic minorities, who may often be overqualified for their jobs. Moreover, the emphasis on female migrants in the low-skilled sectors of the labor market and on the so-called “male” sectors of the skilled labor market further overshadows the presence of skilled female migrants. As a result, skilled migrant and ethnic minority women across the EU continue to face challenges within and outside their communities that have a detrimental effect on their equal participation in society. Discrimination and social exclusion reduce their ability to claim their rights and place them in an extremely vulnerable situation where poverty and violence can mix in a closed circle. Barriers to employment are often lack of childcare options, lower levels of working language skills, insufficient self-confidence and outside support, and fixed cultural role models. For them to be successful in planning professional development, initial support such as empowerment and capacity building, as well as building motivation, are of paramount importance.
Participating partners produce a variety of training materials and will implement the latest updates, practices, methods and learning activities specifically aimed at developing vocational skills of medium and/or highly skilled migrant and ethnic minority women.
The project will assess what barriers these target groups face that prevent them from finding employment and/or developing successfully at local level and will engage trainers in new teaching methods, with the aim of reducing the skills gap of the target groups and increasing their chances of employment in their areas of expertise. MyPath also aims to raise awareness among key stakeholders in the field (public sector, local and regional services, business, civil society) of the importance and added benefits of supporting the socio-economic and labor integration of migrant and ethnic minority women.
The project coordinator is QBS Gewerkstatt (Germany), in partnership with the Bulgarian Fund for Women, Best (Austria) and Mindshift (Portugal).
Cover photo: The MyPath team during our first meeting in Bochum, Germany in March 2022.
“This project was funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.”