PRESS RELEASE: Major Businesses in Germany Step Up To Prepare hundreds of LGBT*IQ Refugees To Enter the Workforce
Berlin, July 12, 2022 – The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent), a network of over 250 major companies committed to refugees’ economic integration, alongside PROUT AT WORK and the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), today launched a new initiative to prepare LGBT*IQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual, and Queer) refugees in Germany to enter the workforce and advance in their careers.
Launched at a virtual summit, 14 major companies with operations in Germany collectively committed to support 700 LGBT*IQ refugees with mentorship opportunities. Accenture, adidas, Boston Consulting Group, Clifford Chance, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, EY, Generali, L’Oréal, McKinsey & Company, Medtronic, Novartis, PwC, und SAP have pledged to mentor at least 50 LGBT*IQ refugees each via their LGBT*IQ Employee Resource Groups over the next three years.
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Tent and CEO of U.S. food company Chobani, said, “I am so proud of the companies that have joined us today in standing up for LGBTQ refugees, who are among the most vulnerable. Getting a job is one of the most important things to help refugees integrate in their communities — but LGBTQ refugees face so many hurdles. With many companies in Germany struggling to fill jobs, businesses will benefit hugely from preparing these talented and resilient people to enter the workforce.”
The mentorship program will help prepare LGBT*IQ refugees to enter the job market, and gain access to new employment opportunities. Participating refugee mentees will have the chance to develop critical skills like how to draft an effective CV, job interview etiquette, and will also have an opportunity to build their personal and professional networks.The initiative will seek to include LGBT*IQ refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine who have recently arrived in Germany.
Albert Kehrer, CEO of the PROUT AT WORK Foundation, said: “We all deserve to feel seen, respected, and equal in the workplace. LGBT*IQ refugees are at risk of discrimination not only because of their LGBT*IQ identity but may also face additional hurdles to finding jobs due to gaps in their CVs, lack of credentials, or not knowing the local language. We are so proud to partner with Tent, LSVD, and the German business community to ensure that LGBT*IQ refugees have an opportunity to fully give back to their communities.”
Some LGBT*IQ refugees have fled violence and conflict alongside their compatriots, but face additional challenges in their new countries as LGBT*IQ individuals; others have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution directly related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Nearly seventy countries still criminalize same-sex relations, and nine may impose the death penalty. Transgender people face huge levels of discrimination and violence without legal recourse in countries around the globe. While there are no official figures available, it is estimated that Germany hosts thousands of LGBT*IQ refugees and asylum seekers.
“In many countries, being LGBT*IQ is still a punishable offense and there is massive exclusion in all parts of social life,” said Alva Träbert of LSVD. “For LGBT*IQ people, fleeing to Germany is a first life-saving step. But to really build a new life, they need social participation and the chance to stand on their own two feet again. This includes access to jobs where they are truly welcome, where they can contribute themselves and their strengths. This initiative will be instrumental in helping refugees find impactful employment.”
“Pride@SAP Germany is so proud to join this important initiative to support LGBT*IQ refugees,” said Stefanie Leopold, Spokesperson for Pride@SAP Germany. “We hope that through the program our employees will not only be able to help LGBT*IQ refugees develop new job skills and feel more confident entering the German labor market, but they too will benefit as they develop their own leadership skills, learn about new cultures, and gain important experience.”
This initiative builds on Tent’s successful mentoring programs for LGBT*IQ refugees in North America and in the United Kingdom, that have already mobilized nearly 50 companies to mentor more than 2,250 LGBT*IQ refugees over three years.
To help companies take part in the program, Tent, PROUT AT WORK, LSVD, and ORAM have developed a practical mentorship guide to support companies through the mentorship process.
Companies interested in joining the LGBTQ Refugee Mentorship Initiative in Germany can find out more by emailing [email protected].
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About the Tent Partnership for Refugees:
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees mobilizes the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 36 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries. Founded by Chobani’s founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016, we are a network of over 250 major companies committed to including refugees. Tent believes that companies can most sustainably support refugees by leveraging their core business operations – by engaging refugees as potential employees, entrepreneurs and consumers. The full list of Tent members can be found here. Find out more at www.tent.org.
About Prout at Work:
The PROUT AT WORK Foundation is a leading German think tank that advises and shapes the debate on LGBT*IQ issues in the workplace. The foundation’s goal is equal opportunity for people of any sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or gender characteristics. PROUT AT WORK provides support and guidance to individuals, employees, resource groups, businesses, and organizations through strategic workplace culture consulting and educational and awareness training for employees and leaders. Learn more at www.proutatwork.de
The Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) is a civil rights association that represents the interests and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI). Human rights, diversity and respect – we want LGBTI people to be accepted and recognized as part of society. For more information, visit www.lsvd.de.