Do Belgian / European workplaces reflect the diversity of the Belgian / European society?
1. The Law of Inverse Relevance ?
« … Suppose you’re visiting a company’s corporate headquarters for the first time and, while you’re waiting to meet an executive, you read the framed mission statement hanging upon the lobby wall.
If you expect that mission statement to actually reflect what goes on inside the company, you will be disappointed, because mission statements reflect what the corporation wants the world to believe they’re doing rather than what they’re actually doing.
… The lesson of the Law of Inverse Relevance is simple: you either « talk the talk » or you « walk the walk. » Contrary to popular belief, you can’t do both… »
2. How many applications job-seekers need to send to get a call-back?
In France, The « Institut Montaigne » published a research with title as « Discriminations religieuses à l’embauche, une réalité« .
They found out that a job-seeker with the name « Michel » had to send 5 CV, « Nathalie » 4, « Dov » 7, « Esther » 5, « Samira » 6 and « Mohammed » 20!
« How many CVs job-seekers in France need to send for a call-back? »
3. How does the Brussels' job market treat you?
I had a very interesting meeting with a Belgian consultant, Muslim, self-starter, fluent in several languages, wearing a hijab.
- Discrimination: « Struggling… It is hard out there, can’t get through first round interviews. It has an economic and emotional impact »;
- « Discrimination is hard when you look different »;
- Stereotypes: “Since Charlie Hebdo in January and November 13, pressure is higher… We feel it on the street, in public transport, on the workplace… »;
- « Right before interviews, it happened that I heard how I was being introduced, I knew it was ‘game over’ and asked myself ‘should I stay or go?’ Instead, I went all the way to confront their stereotypes and showcase my expertise »;
- « The purpose of interviews is to talk business and evaluate what I bring to the table to one’s company; my skills »;
- « A friend (Mohammed), university graduate – Master, sent 300 CV and did not even get one call back for a job interview. So what (about integration)? »;
- « My last two assignments happened via friends, in the Muslim community. So, career development = via « communautarisme » only? I appreciate working with people from different backgrounds. Diversity adds values. »
As (your) origin / ethnicity determines if one can be successful on the labour market in Belgium, given society’s issues on inequality, identity, migration, youth unemployment…
- Do you consider these societal challenges as integral part of your business or externality?
- Make-up of your staff: Which % of your employees (management and board included) have a foreign origin
- Which key criteria do you use in scouting talent?