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Challenges and Opportunities for Migrant and Refugee Women in the Digital Labor Market

Migration has historically been a means for people to seek protection and better opportunities, but the experience can be challenging and devastating, particularly for women. Discrimination and sexism leave women vulnerable during their journey and struggling to access jobs, from dependent care to bias. While migrant and refugee women have the potential to lead and address social and economic challenges, their voices are often not heard due to limited platforms.

Bringing refugee women into employment is a particular challenge. Their employment rate is on average 45%, 17 percentage points lower than that of refugee men and 6 percentage points lower than that of other women not born in the EU. (OECD, 2016)

Knowledge of the host country language has a considerable impact on the employment outcomes of refugees, which holds across all education levels.

The Code to Change is very well aware of these challenges, discrimination and prejudices refugee & migrant women face, and we believe it is our duty to become that platform where these voices are heard.

In 2021, The Code to Change embarked the RIDE-EU Project, funded by the European Comission. The project aims to include migrant and refugee women in the digital labour market by giving them a better chance to

  • re-skill in the digital sector
  • upskill in the digital sector
  • Provide an income for their families while doing a fulfilling job
  • Feel more included in the host society

We delivered digital skills training and mentorship & coaching sessions for refugee and migrant women in the Netherlands, who were struggling to

  • Integrate in the host society
  • Find better positions in the labour market
  • Upskill or reskill due to lack of confidence
  • Earn a livelihood for their families.

The Code to change believes that it is necessary and important to include refugees & migrant women in the labour market for:

  • Innovation
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Filling skills gap
  • Expansion into new markets
  • Enrichment from different cultures

Without diversity in the workplace, the industry risks missed opportunities.

The RIDE project aimed at working on these problems and to make host societies a better place for refugees and migrant women.

Last year, The code to Change organized a career day for refugee and migrant women in Science Park Amsterdam, to help introduce them with company representatives, have speed mentoring sessions and learn about the top skills in demand, which are necessary to enter the Dutch labour Market.

Overall, the RIDE project was a valuable learning experience that highlighted the needs of vulnerable groups in the Netherlands while showing them a way to move forward in their personal and financial careers. By including migrant and refugee women in the labor market, we can enrich our workplaces with different cultures and skills, which ultimately benefits everyone.

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