EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EMPLOYMENT
From Bolivia to Rwanda to the United States, our impact partners, SutiSana, Upavim Crafts, Women’s Bean Project, Chic Made Consciously, Catalyst Collections, World For Good, Azizi Life, and RoHo, empower vulnerable communities through employment.
What is it?
Empowerment through employment occurs when a company consciously hires people that may come from poverty, labor exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, and/or a situation where opportunities are not readily available. This type of employment strategy aims to teach these individuals skills and training along with financial stability so that they will eventually be able to free themselves of the situations that no longer suit them. In fact, these programs and positions provide these individuals with even more opportunities to help them realize and achieve their full potential.
Many of the partners listed earlier focus on empowering a certain group of people through employment. For example, SutiSana was founded with the intent to provide dignified employment for women who are leaving prostitution in Bolivia. Upavim Crafts empowers women to push back against the violence and poverty that exists in their communities. The Women’s Bean Project teaches women daily living skills, social skills, and provides career guidance and preparation so they can assimilate into the workforce at the end of their program. The World For Good strives to make an economic difference for women living in poverty where opportunity is scarce and exploitation is common. All of these company reach a hand out to those who want or need a way out of a life they do not want for themselves and their future generations.
Why does it matter?
In a world where White men dominate the business world, those who do not fit that identity are seen as less valuable. When going through the hiring process, women and minorities are less likely to be hired compared to the default that is the White man. In “third world”, “developing countries”, and “industrializing countries”, as well as the United States, socioeconomic status can play a major part in what occupations an individual is able to hold. Companies who employ an empowerment through employment business model are tossing those norms out of the window in order to play an active part in making their employees’ lives better by giving them access to opportunities they would not have been able to partake in otherwise.
Empowerment through employment practices give disadvantaged individuals the tools, training, and opportunities privileged individuals take as a given and yet can play a major part in their career success.