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Employability and Entrepreneurial Competence Framework for Migrant Women’s Development and Integration Intellectual Output 1

Elaborated by Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo “Danilo Dolci”


Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………...5

1. Context of migrant women in four countries .............................................................. 15 2. Legal situation ................................................................................................................ 27 3. Migrant entrepreneurs’ climate .................................................................................... 38 4. Start-up supporting initiatives ...................................................................................... 42 5. Migrant-supporting initiatives ...................................................................................... 47 Support for migrant women’s start-ups ............................................................................... 47 Support for migrant women’s employability ........................................................................ 50 6. Obstacles faced by migrant women.............................................................................. 55 Women’s situation in the four countries ................................................................................................. 55 Obstacles according to employers ............................................................................................................ 63 7. Skills for employment ..................................................................................................... 65 Formal educational skills and overqualification .................................................................................... 65 Necessary skills according to women ....................................................................................................... 66 Necessary skills according to employers ................................................................................................. 68 8. Challenges at the workplace .......................................................................................... 73 Challenged faced by women ....................................................................................................................... 73 Experiences of employers ............................................................................................................................. 78 9. Feedback and recommendations .................................................................................. 80

Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 84 REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................... 87

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Gender division of the regular immigrant population, 2014. _________________________________________ 15 Figure 2: Gender composition of migrant population, 2010-2014. _____________________________________________ 15 Figur 3: Foreigners who have residence in italy in 2016. _______________________________________________________ 16 Figure 4: Reasons for migration to italy in 2016 - women. _____________________________________________________ 17 Figure 5: Total foreign-born population from 1993-2015 in the UK. ___________________________________________ 18 Figur 6: Migrant women in Iceland 1998 – 2017. _______________________________________________________________ 18 Figura 7: Migrant women in Iceland – domiciles. _______________________________________________________________ 19 Figure 8: Education level of Greece's total and Migrant population. ___________________________________________ 20 Figure 9: Employment Rates by nationality group and gender, 2014. __________________________________________ 22 Figure 10: Participation of TCN's at the local level by gender. _________________________________________________ 22 Figura 11: Unemployment rates women 15 years and older. Years 2007-2016. ________________________________ 23 Figure 12: Employment rate of foreign-born and UK-born, 1993-2015. _______________________________________ 25 Figure 14: Occupational distribution for female foreign-born and UK-born workers in 2015. _________________ 62

LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Total amount of participants involved in the Focus Groups in all countries ..................................................... 9 Table 2: Total amount of participants involved in the interviews in all countries ..........................................................10 Table 3: Profile of the migrant women who participated in the focus group and interviews in Greece ...............11 Table 4: Profile of employers/business intermediaries who participated in the focus group and interviews in Greece ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................11 Table 5: Profile of the migrant women who participated in the focus group and interviews in Italy ....................12 Tabella 6: Profile of employers/business intermediaries who participated in the focus group and interviews in italy .................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 Table 7: Profile of the migrant women who participated in the focus group and interviews in UK .......................13 Table 8: Profile of employers/business intermediaries who participated in the focus group and interviews in UK .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Table 9: Profile of the migrant women who participated in the focus group and interviews in Iceland ..............14 Table 10: Profile of employers/business intermediaries who participated in the focus group and interviews in Iceland ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................14 Table 11: A profile of respondents and their business, by neighbourhood. Source: Hatziprokopiou & Frangopoulos, 2016. ................................................................................................................................................................................39

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INTRODUCTION Advancing Migrant Women is an EU co-funded project (Erasmus + - KA2: Strategic Partnership | VET) which brings together partners from four different countries (Italy, Greece, Iceland, UK) to ensure support for migrant women. The project responds to the situation of migrant women in Europe, in which migrant women face double discrimination. Research shows that people from migrant backgrounds are more at risk of social exclusion and jobs are one of the most important ways of integration, as well as a source of income and social status (OECD Report, 2015). However, especially migrant women face difficulties integrating due to a lack of financial means, qualifications and family support and have high unemployment rates, which consequently hinders their integration. Migrant women, especially third country women, are the least integrated in the labour market and are less economically active. Furthermore, women in general are more vulnerable to isolation and lack of confidence (Key et. al. 2014), which makes migrant women even more at risk. These are two issues that migrant women face: the unemployment of migrants in general, and the specific problems migrant women face because they are women. The project aims to create high quality training material for migrant women, which will empower them by developing their employability and entrepreneurship skills. The programme will be inclusive of all migrant women and will train and mentor them while improving their skills. This will be achieved by the development of a two-fold program, including a training programme for the development of employability and entrepreneurship skills, and mentoring circles™ for the development of self-confidence and self-efficacy. To wider the level of impact of the programme beyond the regions of the partnership, the partners will create a Guide for the recruitment of migrant women which will highlight the benefits of employing migrant women.

Objectives of the project: •

Address the employment and integration issues that migrant women face in European countries

Empower migrant women by developing their employability and entrepreneurship skills

Develop high quality training material and support for migrant women

Increase awareness amongst employers of the benefits of recruiting migrant women

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In order to achieve these objectives, the project foresees the following results: •

Development of the ‘Employability and Entrepreneurial Competence Framework for migrant women’s development and integration’ containing an analysis of the position of migrant women in the partner countries.

Advancing Migrant Women Training Package Development & Piloting, including training activities and learning path for migrant women to increase their employability skills and introduce them to entrepreneurship.

Career Circles™ for Migrant Women, to increase women’s transferable soft skills

Development of the Advancing Migrant Women’ e-learning platform

Development of the Guide ‘Maximising Diversity: The Business Case for the Recruitment of Migrant Women’

This report presents the first output of the project: the research on the position of migrant women in the partner countries. The outcomes of the research will provide the basis for the development of the training materials and Career circles™. The partnership will use both the training programme and Career Circles™ to achieve direct skills development within the target group of migrant women to in turn widen the transferable soft skills set they need to either access the employment market or start their own business. Migrant women will be offered a multitude of tools and exercises to fully achieve their relevant and high-quality skills and competences. Improvement of skills such as confidence and self-efficacy will not only help them (re)gain employment, but it will also increase their levels of social inclusion. Finally, the AMW project will aim to increase awareness amongst employers of the economic and social benefits of recruiting migrant women. It will hereby address the full spectrum of the barriers migrant women face and harness the benefits of female migrants’ integration towards achieving the overall objectives of poverty reduction, peace building and socioeconomic development. In order to design a training programme that effectively supports women to find employment and build confidence, the obstacles that hold migrant women back from employment and the skills that are necessary to find it must be pointed out and addressed. This competence framework aims to find the similarities and differences among migrant women throughout the partner countries in order to create a programme that can be applied to a large group of migrant women around Europe while keeping an eye on the specific needs of individual women.

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THE STRUCTURE OF THE RESEARCH In order to be informative in a clear and accessible way, the report structure has been developed in two main parts: 1. The first (from chapter 1 to 5) will present an overview of migrant women profile and background, their legal situation, the migrant entrepreneurship climate, the policies and initiatives to support start-ups as well as migrant led start-ups and employment support in all four countries. 2. The second part (from chapter 6 to 8) will present the outcomes of the qualitative research focusing on: a. those obstacles that migrant women face when looking for employment or wanting to start their own business; b. their skill profile both in terms of skills they already possess and skills they need to acquire; c. their relationship with employers and co-workers. In doing so, a clear distinction between migrant women and employers answers will be made which allows for specific use of this information for the guide for employers. The last section of this report will present the feedback received on the preliminary structure of the training course and on the coaching circles™, on which the recommendations that follow are based. Finally, the last chapter will present our conclusions.

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METHODOLOGY The competence framework is based on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, including online research and face-to-face sessions with migrant women as well as employers. The research topics where determined and structured according to a template that was provided to all partners. The first part of the research consisted of the quantitative research, based on online research, focussing on statistic on migrant women and their educational and employment profile, European and national legislation, the current state of the art on migrant and/or women entrepreneurship and the different types of (financial) support available in each country, as well as on a European level, for the support of female migrant entrepreneurship or migrant women’s employability. Other, more subjective topics were included in the online research, such as discrimination, social reception, and skills of migrant women. The second part the research was carried out by the partner organization by organizing focus groups and interviews with migrant women as well as with employers or business intermediaries who have experience with hiring migrant women or who are interested in hiring migrant women. Finally, a template was sent to all partners in order to structure the national reports, combining the desk research and the qualitative results. These national reports are the primary basis for this comparative research in which all information is summarized and analysed. Focus groups and interviews For the face-to-face sessions a general template was provided to all partner organizations, including topics and questions for each type of focus group or interview. The filled-in templates serve as evidence for the interviews and focus groups, together with the audio recordings of the meetings. In addition, all women and employers were asked to sign a consent form and sign a signature form. The aim was to conduct 2 focus groups and 4 interviews in each partner country, 1 focus group and 2 interviews with migrant women, and 1 focus group and 2 interviews with employers. Focus groups The aims of the focus group with migrant women were to: •

Identify the specific obstacles to employment

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Identify lacking skills and existing skills

Gain input for the training programme

The aims for the focus group with employers were to: •

Discuss skills they believe migrant women already possess or lack.

Obstacles women might face to employment

Share experiences on migrant women

Gain input for the training programme

It has been suggested to have a focus group lasting about 60 to 90 minutes and moderated by a facilitator.

For some partner organizations, it was rather difficult to achieve the foreseen numbers in the focus groups. In Italy for instance, even though many people signed up for the focus groups, in the end only a few showed up and it was decided to have a second focus group with migrant women, whereas in the case of the employers more interviews were conducted to make it even in terms of numbers. Also, in Iceland, the focus groups were quite difficult to organize, however this was due to difficult weather conditions. In the end, the partnership reached with the focus groups in total 31 migrant women, and 20 employers and/or business intermediaries.

COUNTRY

Number reached with FG with migrant women

Number reached with FG with employers

Greece

12

6

Italy

7

3

United Kingdom

7

5

Iceland

5

5

TABLE 1: TOTAL AMOUNT OF PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED IN THE FOCUS GROUPS IN ALL COUNTRIES

Interviews The interviews were conducted in all 4 partner countries with migrant women as well as with employers or business intermediaries. The aims of the interviews were to discover more in depth what kind of skills migrant women lack or excel at and what kind of training would benefit migrant women most. The interviews were individual with predetermined questions in order to give a defined structure and facilitate the comparison between the countries.

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Through the interviews, a total of 8 migrant women were involved, and 13 employers or business intermediaries. This led to a total involvement of 39 migrant women, and 23 employers.

ACTIVITY

Nationality

Profile of people interviewed/participating in to the focus group

Focus group Migrant women (12)

5 women from the Philippines and 7 women from Africa

6 women were newcomers, they didn’t speak Greek and they didn’t work. The other women were in Greece for longer and some of them could communicate in Greek. Four of them worked mostly in the cleaning services and childcare.

Interviews migrant women (2)

1 woman from Albania 1 woman from Nigeria

Finished high school in Albania and a private hairdressing school in Greece. She started as care giver and famer in Greece in the country side. After moving to the city, she worked in cleaning and after her hairdresser education, as a hairdresser in houses. 26 years old, BA in Business administration in Greece and n ow works in an education institution.

TABLE 2: TOTAL AMOUNT OF PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED IN THE INTERVIEWS IN ALL COUNTRIES

For more specific information about each focus group and interviews for each country, below is given a country specific information. Greece: ACTIVITY

Nationality

Profile of people interviewed/participating in to the focus group

Focus group

5 women from the Philippines and 7 women from Africa

6 women were newcomers, they didn’t speak Greek and they didn’t work. The other women were in Greece for longer and some of them could communicate in Greek. Four of them worked mostly in the cleaning services and childcare.

1 woman from Albania

Finished high school in Albania and a private hairdressing school in Greece. She started as care giver and famer in Greece in the country side. After moving to the city, she worked in

Migrant women (12)

Interviews migrant women (2)

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cleaning and after her hairdresser education, as a hairdresser in houses.

26 years old, BA in Business administration in Greece and n ow works in an education institution.

1 woman from Nigeria

TABLE 3: PROFILE OF THE MIGRANT WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN GREECE

The focus group took place in Melissa Network of Migrant Women in Greece, an organization that hosts migrant women and refugee women and their children on a daily basis. In addition, 2 employers from Greece participated in the interviews and 6 employers/intermediaries from Greece participated in the focus group.

ACTIVITY

Organisation profile

Focus group #1 Employers and intermediaries (6)

• • • •

Melissa Network of Migrant Women in Greece Mercy Corps Club of Ukrainian Women in Greece Kenyan Women's Group

Interviews

One has a small supermarket in the centre of Athens for 15 years One works as an employee in a private company

employers

TABLE 4: PROFILE OF EMPLOYERS/BUSINESS INTERMEDIARIES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN GREECE

Italy: In total, there have been 2 focus groups with migrant women, one focus group with employers and businesses intermediaries, 2 interviews with migrant women and 4 interviews with employers. There were multiple focus groups with migrant women because although there was a high enthusiasm at the beginning, the actual turn out for the first focus group was rather low. To get the different opinions as well as discussions, a second focus group has been organized.

ACTIVITY

Nationality

Profile of people interviewed/participating in to the focus group

Focus group #1 Migrant women (3)

2 women from Ivory Coast

1 woman from Kenya

One is not working because she is taking care of her baby, other one has worked as a caregiver. She works as a babysitter.

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Focus group #2 Migrant women (4)

1 woman from Senegal

• •

1 woman from China

• 1 woman from Vietnam

Interviews migrant women (2)

She has her own restaurant She works as a translator and part of a cultural association Volunteering and working at a cultural association

1 woman from Ukraine

Trying to get a teacher job

1 woman from Kenya

Working as a cultural mediator for 4 hours a week Caregiver

1 woman from Ivory Coast.

TABLE 5: PROFILE OF THE MIGRANT WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN ITALY

The work experiences differed between the women, some woman had many years of experiences in searching for work, some not at all. Some had positive experience and faced many difficulties in finding jobs, others rather found themselves in a lucky position in which they never looked for a job for long. In addition to the focus groups and interviews with migrant women, one focus group and 4 interviews with employers and business intermediaries have been carried out. Also, regarding this target group, the profile was very diverse. ACTIVITY

Organisation profile

Focus group #1 Employers (3)

• •

Interviews Employers (4)

• • •

Owner of a restaurant with 3 migrant women: in the kitchen, as waitress and as part of the cooperative Sportello lavoro – business intermediate inside a migrant drop-in centre Owner of a restaurant who takes foreign interns who still go to school, both from the north of Europe and as well as from refugee centres. The manager of a kindergarten which mainly takes care of immigrant children and employs migrant women A woman who has employed a woman as a caregiver for her mother and for her own house One of the owners of a social tailor shop who has female migrant employees Manager of a restaurant who employs migrants

TABLE 6: PROFILE OF EMPLOYERS/BUSINESS INTERMEDIARIES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN ITALY

All participants had experiences with migrant women, most of them very positive. This might give a one-sided image. The only person with a negative experience felt uncomfortable to talk about her experience with other people. United Kingdom:

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Inova organized the following meetings: ACTIVITY

Nationalities

Profile of people interviewed/participating in to the focus group

Focus group Migrant women (7)

3 women from Pakistan

1 woman is unemployed, 1 is claiming unemployment benefits, 1 is looking for part-time work, 1 is looking for volunteering work, 3 are housewives and not currently looking for work

3 women from Bangladesh 1 woman from Liberia.

Interviews migrant women (2)

1 woman from Cuba

Moved to UK 10 years ago for employment and has a variety of different forms of employment since moving here

1 woman from Romania

Moved to the UK 2 years ago and has a part-time job

TABLE 7: PROFILE OF THE MIGRANT WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN UK

In the focus group, groups of women were asked how they feel about such barriers, and which skills they would like to enhance and so on. During the interviews, they were asked to identify the barriers they have experienced, and the skills that they believe are necessary for them to learn to overcome these barriers. Inova also conducted another Focus Group with 5 employers and intermediaries who employ migrant women or who are interested in employing them. In this focus group, intermediaries were asked about which skills and conflicts migrant women have, along with asking their opinion on the training methods which the AMW project aims to use. ACTIVITY

Organization profile

Focus group #1 Employers and intermediaries (5)

Focus Group attendants all work for several support organisations in Sheffield. 1 participant furthermore organises the yearly ‘Migration Matters’ festival that aims to raise awareness of the importance of migration and celebrate migrants through theatre, music, talks, etc.

Interviews Employers (3)

The interviews were conducted with 3 intermediaries working for 3 different support organisations in Sheffield. These organisations help migrant women to gain inter alia soft skills and employment.

TABLE 8: PROFILE OF EMPLOYERS/BUSINESS INTERMEDIARIES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN UK

Iceland:

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Six migrant women and five employers and intermediaries were invited to two separate focus groups. Five migrant women participated in the group interview and four employers. Five migrant women and two employers were also interviewed for a better overview of the skills migrant women possess, and what they lack and what kind of training they would benefit from. ACTIVITY

Nationalities

Profile of people interviewed/participating in to the focus group

Focus group Migrant women (5)

Hungary, El Salvador, Serbia, Mexico, Poland and Philippines.

Four of them are married, there off are two married to Icelanders.

Interviews migrant women (2)

Hungary & Poland

One moved to Iceland twenty years ago and has a fulltime job. One has been here for one year, full time employed

TABLE 9: PROFILE OF THE MIGRANT WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN ICELAND

ACTIVITY

Organization profile

Focus group #1 Employers and intermediaries (4)

• • • • •

Interviews Employers (2)

Manager for a company in the tourist business Principal from one of the local primary schools Hotel director Rector from one of the Universities in the area Owner of a bakery who has female migrant employees Manager for a company in the tourist business (exhibitions, a museum, restaurant, gift shop) who has female migrant employees

TABLE 10: PROFILE OF EMPLOYERS/BUSINESS INTERMEDIARIES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FOCUS GROUP AND INTERVIEWS IN ICELAND

When selecting participants for both focus groups, individuals were invited from the tourist industry, school sector and the hotel and restaurant industry. The partner also focused on having an equality in gender attendance. The individuals invited are very well educated with bachelor, master or Ph.D. degree. Only one of the migrant women had not finished her bachelor’s degree. All the employers are Icelandic and have many years of experience as employers of migrant women.

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1. CONTEXT OF MIGRANT WOMEN IN FOUR COUNTRIES 1.1 MIGRANT WOMEN The following section will compare available statistic data on migrant women in four European countries: Greece, Italy, United Kingdom and Iceland.

In Greece, most migrant women

come

from

the

Balkan region especially from Albania

(142,143).

nationalities

are

Other Ukraine

(14,451), Georgia (10,801), FIGURE 1: GENDER DIVISION OF THE REGULAR IMMIGRANT POPULATION, 2014. SOURCE: MINISTRY OF INTERIOR, OCTOBER 2014. (AUTHORS’ COMPILATION)

Russia

(10,417),

Moldova

(6,807), India (3,079), Egypt (2,753) and Pakistan (1,237).

On the overall migration figure, male (53,2%) migrants are more than female (46,8%) ones (see figure 1)1. In general, there are also more men than women coming to Greece. As is shown in figure two, the numbers of migrant population are decreasing from 2010 because of the economic crisis the country is currently facing.

FIGURE 2: GENDER COMPOSITION OF MIGRANT POPULATION, 2010-2014. SOURCE: MINISTRY OF INTERIOR, OCTOBER 2014. (AUTHORS' COMPILATION)

1

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR. 2014. DATA IS BASED ON THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS IN POSSESSION OF A VALID RESIDENCE PERMIT BY COUNTRY OF

ORIGIN BY REFERENCE DATE 10.2.2014: 10 MAIN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.

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In Italy there has been a large divide on migration trends due to the law on family reunion of 1990. Before that law, migrant data were highly diversified regarding the gender perspective, migration to Italy was mostly male from certain countries (e.g. Morocco and Senegal) and female from others (e.g. Cape Verde and the Philippines). Also, the composition of migrant population varied considerably concerning the county’s different areas and cities as found out by several studies2. After 1990 this trend changed completely due to the steep growth of migrant women arrival from the Maghreb region due to the new law on family reunion. Also, the recent flow of migrant, refugees and asylum seeker coming by boat across the Mediterranean Sea are changing the statistic concerning migrant residents’ composition in Italy.

These changes in the migration flow towards

Italy

led

to

the

current

situation, which sees migrant women slightly outnumbering migrant men, as shown by figure 3. The main reasons behind the growing female migrant flow towards Italy overtime are: •

Work reason especially before 1990. The main employment sectors have been domestic

FIGUR 3: FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE RESIDENCE IN ITALY IN 2016. SOURCE: ISTAT. (AUTHORS’ COMPILATION)

work and caregiving. Largest nationality groups have been made up of women coming from Ukraine and Philippines •

After 1990, women coming to Italy to reunite with their familiars

Women coming to Italy as refugees or asylum seeker, mostly from Nigeria and Ukraine.3

As of the 1st of January 2017, the number of non-EU migrants holding a residence permit was 3.714.137 (roughly 9.5% of total population). Overall, the largest groups per national

2

FAVARO, G. AND TOGNETTI BORDOGNA, M. (1991), DONNE DAL MONDO. STRATEGIE MIGRATORIE AL FEMMINILE. MILAN: GUERINI E ASSOCIATI

3

MASTRANGELO, ANTONIETTA. 2018. "L'IMMIGRAZIONE IN ITALIA: IL RUOLO DELLE DONNE MIGRANTI". SUPERABILE.

HTTPS://WWW.SUPERABILE.IT/CS/SUPERABILE/NORMATIVA-E-DIRITTI/PERSONE-STRANIERE/APPROFONDIMENTI/LIMMIGRAZIONE-IN-ITALIA-ILRUOLO-DELLE-DONNE-MIGRANTI.HTML .

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origins are Moroccans, Albanians, Chinese, Ukrainians and Philippines. However, most migrant women come from Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Morocco, China, and Poland.4 Main

reasons

for

which migrant women decided to come to Italy are explained in figure

4:

family

reunion and to study. Other

reasons

are

work,

asylum

and

religion.

Nationality

groups varies sensibly concerning

the

reasons behind the incoming migrant

flux

of

women

to

FIGURE 4: REASONS FOR MIGRATION TO ITALY IN 2016 - WOMEN. SOURCE: ISTAT.

Italy. Most of female

(GRAPH MADE BY AUTHOR)

immigrant coming in

for work related reasons are from the USA. For family reasons, mostly Moroccan, Albanian and Indian women. Study reason China, USA and Russia. Most of Asylum seeker women are from Nigeria (21.9% of total applications) and Ukraine5. However, due to the high rates of irregular migration in Italy, official data are often incomplete. Most women coming in Italy through less legal ways are often victims of human trafficking and prostitution.

The UK migration trends show some similarities to those of Italy since, from 1993 to 2015, the number of the migrant population more than doubled (from 3.8 million to around 8.7 million) accounting for 13.5% of the overall population6. This had strong effects on the political debate and public opinion within the country concerning the immigration issue. Overall, Poland born immigrants are the largest group followed by Indians7. Immigrants numbers are constantly increasing year after year, peaking in the 2005-2008 period due to 4

NON-EU CITIZENS IN ITALY. YEARS 2016-2017". 2017. ISTAT.IT. HTTPS://WWW.ISTAT.IT/EN/ARCHIVE/204326.

5 LANNI, ALESSANDRO. 2016. "HOW MANY REFUGEES IN ITALY ARE WOMEN?". OPEN MIGRATION. HTTPS://OPENMIGRATION.ORG/EN/ANALYSES/HOWMANY-REFUGEES-IN-ITALY-ARE-WOMEN/ 6

RIENZO, C., AND VARGAS-SILVA, C. 2017. “BRIEFING. MIGRANTS IN THE UK: AN OVERVIEW, (6TH REVISION)”, THE MIGRANT OBSERVATORY, 21ST

FEBRUARY 2017, HTTP://WWW.MIGRATIONOBSERVATORY.OX.AC.UK/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2017/02/BRIEFING-MIGRANTS_UK_OVERVIEW.PDF, PG. 3. 7

IBID., PG. 6.

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the extension of the EU eastern borders in 20048. Slightly more women than men decide to move to the UK. In 2015, 52% of migrants were female.

FIGURE 5: TOTAL FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION FROM 1993-2015 IN THE UK. SOURCE: LABOUR FORCE SURVEY Q4

Icelandic data on migration show that foreign born individuals residing in Iceland account for 10,6% of the population (35.997 individuals). From 2016 to 1st January 2017, the number of migrants residing on the island has increased both concerning new arrivals and secondgeneration migrants (from 4.158 to 4.473). Those two categories combined make up to 12% of

Iceland

population.

Polish are the largest group (38,3%) of them, followed by Lithuanians (5,2%) and people from the Philippines (4,5%)9. Although male migrants are 6% more than female ones, FIGUR 6: MIGRANT WOMEN IN ICELAND 1998 – 2017. SOURCE: STATISTICS ICELAND, 2017.

the

number

of

migrant women from 1998 to 2017 increased from just 6911 to 22.685

units in 2017. Comparing the data from 1998 to 2017 the most remarkable trend to be 8 9

IBID. PG. 3. "STATISTICS ICELAND: IMMIGRANTS AND PERSONS WITH FOREIGN BACKGROUND 2017". 2017. STATISTICS ICELAND.

HTTPS://WWW.STATICE.IS/PUBLICATIONS/NEWS-ARCHIVE/POPULATION/IMMIGRANTS-AND-PERSONS-WITH-FOREIGN-BACKGROUND-2017/.

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pointed out is the major increase of migrants’ ratio from Eastern and other European countries and the gradual decrease of those coming from Nordic countries. Polish women account for the 34% of total female migrants in Iceland followed by women from the Philippines (6,2%) and Thailand (4,7%).

FIGURA 7: MIGRANT WOMEN IN ICELAND – DOMICILES. SOURCE: STATISTICS ICELAND, 2017.

In conclusion, comparing the data available for the four countries it is possible to point out that the composition of migrant population varies consistently from one country to another concerning both countries of provenience and gender prevalence. Whereas in Italy and the UK migrant women are slightly more than migrant men, the situation is the opposite in Greece and Iceland. However, in all four countries one gender does not substantially outnumber the other. Furthermore, the number of female migrants depends on the nationality and for some nationalities there are more female migrants than for others. Concerning nationalities of immigrants in all four countries, it is possible to say that there are similarities on the region of provenience (main areas being eastern Europe, northern and sub Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia) but the different histories of the countries and the distribution of different nationalities among the four countries vary substantially.

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1.2 PERSONAL PROFILE: NATIONALITIES & LEVEL OF EDUCATION/TRAINING Although data on migrants’ educational background are available for only three out of four countries, some common features are easy to pick up. Research shows that overqualification is by far the most common problem that migrant women face if residing in Italy, Greece or the UK. Also, the problem of degrees recognition is a transversal issue throughout the three countries. Overqualification is defined as holding higher educational attainments and qualifications than those required for the position in which one is employed. Below, available data for those three countries are further presented.

As can be seen in figure 8, Greek data show that migrant population who achieved higher education degrees is drastically lower compared to Greek population. However, regarding primary and secondary school the statistics are quite balanced. In fact, there are more migrants holding a secondary school certificate than Greek nationals. Unfortunately, there are not gendered data available.

FIGURE 8: EDUCATION LEVEL OF GREECE'S TOTAL AND MIGRANT POPULATION. SOURCE: NATIONAL STATISTICAL SERVICE OF GREECE, LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2014

In Italy certain data available regarding education of migrant population have been produced by a research of the International Office Migration10. The research shows that migrant women are less educated than migrant men having received an average of 6.9 years of schooling compared to 7.6 years for their male counterparts. In addition, the percentage of migrant women that completed only lower secondary school (87.6%) is higher than the percentage for male migrants (72.7 %). However, many of the migrants are very young which

10

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM). 2016. "STUDY ON MIGRANTS’ PROFILES DRIVERS OF MIGRATION AND MIGRATORY TRENDS.

A RESEARCH ON THE SOCIOECONOMIC PROFILE OF MIGRANTS ARRIVING IN ITALY.". HTTPS://ITALY.IOM.INT/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/NEWSDOCUMENTS/MIGRANTS%20STUDY%20-%20FINAL%20ENG%20VERSION%20-%20ELEC.PDF.

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makes it difficult for them to have an extensive education training. This report is focussed on irregular migration and takes into account the not registered migrants in Italy. By contrast, official Italian statistics “Istat” show that more migrant women completed secondary school or hold a higher education degree than men 11 . However, from the registered migrants in Italy, more non-EU migrants have a lower-high school diploma, but afterwards native Italians seem to have higher levels of education than migrants12 (this is for man and women together). This been said, educational backgrounds tend to vary consistently depending on the country of origin. Generally, women from Ukraine and the Philippines have the higher levels of educational achievements and therefore are the most afflicted by overqualification13. Similarly, in the UK, aside the lack of formal qualification and language skills 14, a problem that migrant women who have educational degrees or qualifications face is getting those degrees or qualifications recognised15. A study conducted on migrant women on spousal visas showed how 92% of them completed formal education prior to moving in the UK and 58% of them achieved a graduate or post-graduate degree as well. However most of the women were unemployed. The few that were employed, had low-paid part-time jobs for which they were overqualified. The migrant observatory noted that often the skill-level required to be employed in most British professions is higher than the skills acquired by achieving educational degrees abroad16. According to the Telegraph, compared to the EU, ‘Britain is the only one where the migrants are better educated than the locals’ . In the UK 17

54% of foreign-born residents have higher education qualifications compared with only 31% of UK natives. Nevertheless, migrants are often overqualified and less-paid than their fellow British workers. Icelandic data on migrant educational background have been considered insufficient due to the lack of national statistics and the lack of recent studies concerning migrants 11

THE DATA HOWEVER WAS UNFORTUNATELY FROM 2014 AND COULD HAVE CHANGED BY NOW.

12

DIREZIONE GENERALE DELL'IMMIGRAZIONE E DELLE POLITICHE DI INTEGRAZIONE. 2017. "SETTIMO RAPPORTO ANUALE. GLI STRANGIERI NEL

MARCATO DEL LAVORO IN ITALIA". HTTP://WWW.LAVORO.GOV.IT/DOCUMENTI-E-NORME/STUDI-ESTATISTICHE/DOCUMENTS/SETTIMO%20RAPPORTO%20ANNUALE%20%20GLI%20STRANIERI%20NEL%20MERCATO%20DEL%20LAVORO%20IN%20ITALIA%20(2017)/SETTIMO-RAPPORTO-ANNUALE-GLI-STRANIERI-NELMERCATO-DEL-LAVORO-IN-ITALIA-DEF.PDF 13

ISTAT. 2015. "L’INTEGRAZIONE DEGLI STRANIERI E DEI NATURALIZZATI NEL MERCATO DEL LAVORO. II TRIMESTRE 2014".

HTTPS://WWW.ISTAT.IT/IT/FILES//2015/12/LAVORO_STRANIERI.PDF 14

BAKOWSKI, P, (2010), ‘THIRD-COUNTRY MIGRANT WOMEN IN THE EU: HOST-COUNTRY BARRIERS TO INTEGRATION’, 3RD MARCH 2010,

HTTP://EIGE.EUROPA.EU/DOCS/2045_LDM_BRI(2010)100026_REV2_EN.PDF, PP 1-6. 15

IBID

16

RIENZO, C. 2017. “CHARACTERISTICS AND OUTCOMES OF MIGRANTS IN THE UK LABOUR MARKE”, (5TH REVISION), THE MIGRANT OBSERVATORY.

23RD MARCH 2017, HTTP://WWW.MIGRATIONOBSERVATORY.OX.AC.UK/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2016/04/BRIEFING-CHARACTERISTICS-ANDOUTCOMES-OF-MIGRANTS-IN-THE-UK-LABOUR-MARKET-1.PDF, PG. 5. 17

IBID

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educational background (most recent being produced five years back from now). For these reasons, it has been impossible to be specific on migrants’ educational backgrounds.

1.3 EMPLOYMENT PROFILE : EMPLOYED VS. UNEMPLOYED. Data from all four countries show that migrant women face higher rates of unemployment if compared to those of migrant men. This divide is even larger if rates are compared with native men or women. Even if they have higher educational profiles. In Greece, migrant women employment rate is lower than their male counterparts one, and even lower if compared to those of Greek citizens.

18

Migrant women faced an

19

unemployment rate of 34.2 in 2017. (figure 9).

FIGURE 9: EMPLOYMENT RATES BY NATIONALITY GROUP AND GENDER, 2014. SOURCE: LABOUR FORCE SURVEY, 2ND TRIMESTER 2014. (GRAPH MADE BY AUTHOR)

Interestingly as well, local level women participation to the Greek socio-economic fabric is considerably lower than men’s. Their participation in the community is minimal which

leaves

them

and

their

interests

underrepresented. This seems to be due to childcare and housekeeping activities these women carry out as well as language barriers Migrant women face a lot of bureaucratic

FIGURE 10: PARTICIPATION OF TCN'S AT THE LOCAL LEVEL BY

delays in order to obtain a work permit or

GENDER. SOURCE: MINISTRY OF INTERIOR, 2014.

they are often overqualified and so they take employment positions that do not correspond to their educational or professional skills. The percentage of over-qualified individuals was 18

OECD. 2018. “INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION OUTLOOK 2018”. PARIS: OECD PUBLISHING. HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1787/MIGR_OUTLOOK-2018-EN.

19

IBID.

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shown to be higher among migrant women than among men (63.1 %). Migrant women often have finished secondary education in higher numbers than native Greek women or migrant men. However, there is a mismatch between the educational level and the type of work they do.20 In Italy, migrant women have higher unemployment and lower employments rates than migrant men, are the differences increase when these women are non-EU. In 2016, non-EU women had an employment are of 45.1% compared to 58.1% EU-Women, and 47.9% for native Italian women. Italian women thus also have a low employment rate. Employment rates of men are 70.9% for Migrant men (EU and non-EU) and 66% for native Italians. As shown in figure 11, unemployment rates for non-EU migrant women are the highest compared to native or EU women: 19% of non-EU women were unemployed in 2016, 14.6% of the EUwomen and 12.2% of native Italian women. Although in the last years the general unemployment rates of all workers in total have lowered, mostly of EU and non-EU migrants with respect to Italians, but this trend is not visible for non-EU migrant women. Since 2013 their unemployment rate FIGURA 11: UNEMPLOYMENT RATES WOMEN 15 YEARS AND OLDER. YEARS 2007-2016. SOURCE: MINISTERO DEL LAVORO E DELLE

has gone up slowly.

POLITICHE SOCIALI 2017

Regarding employment and unemployment rates, nationalities are also determinant factors. Whereas women from the Philippines, Ecuador, China and Ukraine have a high employment rate (79.9%, 66.7%, 65.6%, 61.9% and 65.2% respectively in 2016), and working mainly in domestic work, care and assistance, and family services, women from Egypt and Pakistan have much lower employment rates (5.6% and 4.6%)21. When it comes to employment rate, women from Egypt and Ghana have the highest percentages of unemployment (68.1% and 45%) in comparison to women from China and the Philippines (2.5% and 7.2%). Inactivity also varies a lot from nationality to nationality, the highest number of inactivity amongst non-EU women is 92.9% for Pakistani women, or 82.8% and 82.3% for Bangladesh and 20

LIANOS, THEODORE P. 2007. "BRAIN DRAIN AND BRAIN LOSS: IMMIGRANTS TO GREECE". JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES 33 (1): 129-

140. DOI:10.1080/13691830601043562. 21

ISTAT. 2015. "L’INTEGRAZIONE DEGLI STRANIERI E DEI NATURALIZZATI NEL MERCATO DEL LAVORO. II TRIMESTRE 2014".

HTTPS://WWW.ISTAT.IT/IT/FILES//2015/12/LAVORO_STRANIERI.PDF

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Egyptian women. These nationalities also coincide with the different reasons for migration. The nationalities that traditionally see women as subjects of individual emigration from countries such as the Philippines or from Eastern Europe and South America, are contrasted by women who emigrated for reunification from national realities where religious or cultural reasons discourage women from working22. Related to the new incoming migrant women, the IOM report clearly states that is highly unlikely that newly arrived women find employment as they arrive in Italy. In most cases, there is a rather long waiting period between arrival and first employment. This could be connected to the lack of language skills and specific skills as well as social networks. Also, the legal status has a determinant role in reducing/increasing the length of that waiting period since asylum seekers are allowed to work only after two months from their application. A strange feature of the Italian case is that less educated migrants find employment way easier than more educated ones. This might be explained by the more unstable socioeconomic situation of the first group, which could give them an incentive to take on poorly paid and manual jobs. In general, newcomer men are more likely than women to be employed (respectively 17% and 6%)23. Overqualification strikes hard among migrant population compared to native population. In addition, in 2014, migrant women (38%) were more overqualified than men (23%). Overqualification rates varies throughout different national groups. Among those, Polish (50.3%) and Ukrainian (49.5%) were the most overqualified. The differences between men and women is especially large among migrants from Romania (39.8% of women are overqualified versus 17.5% of men). The least difference is found among migrants from Philippines where both men and women indicated they are overqualified (41.5%). India is the only nationality in which women feel to be less overqualified compared to their male counterparts (10.2% women vs. 20.6% men). This can be explained by the fact that overqualification is especially strong among those working in the family services sector, which employs mostly migrant women. However, these numbers are from 2014 and thus the exact numbers might not be the same any more24.

22

DIREZIONE GENERALE DELL'IMMIGRAZIONE E DELLE POLITICHE DI INTEGRAZIONE. 2017. "SETTIMO RAPPORTO ANUALE. GLI STRANGIERI NEL

MARCATO DEL LAVORO IN ITALIA". HTTP://WWW.LAVORO.GOV.IT/DOCUMENTI-E-NORME/STUDI-ESTATISTICHE/DOCUMENTS/SETTIMO%20RAPPORTO%20ANNUALE%20%20GLI%20STRANIERI%20NEL%20MERCATO%20DEL%20LAVORO%20IN%20ITALIA%20(2017)/SETTIMO-RAPPORTO-ANNUALE-GLI-STRANIERI-NELMERCATO-DEL-LAVORO-IN-ITALIA-DEF.PDF. 23

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM). 2016. "STUDY ON MIGRANTS’ PROFILES DRIVERS OF MIGRATION AND MIGRATORY TRENDS.

A RESEARCH ON THE SOCIOECONOMIC PROFILE OF MIGRANTS ARRIVING IN ITALY.". HTTPS://ITALY.IOM.INT/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/NEWSDOCUMENTS/MIGRANTS%20STUDY%20-%20FINAL%20ENG%20VERSION%20-%20ELEC.PDF. 24

ISTAT. 2015. "L’INTEGRAZIONE DEGLI STRANIERI E DEI NATURALIZZATI NEL MERCATO DEL LAVORO. II TRIMESTRE 2014".

HTTPS://WWW.ISTAT.IT/IT/FILES//2015/12/LAVORO_STRANIERI.PDF

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Overqualification and unemployment are also widespread among UK residing migrant women population since their employment rate is 63%, which is sensibly lower if compared to native women 70%. Concerning men, British born individuals are slightly less employed than foreign born ones (78% against 80%). Therefore, migrant women employment rate stands lower than the other three segments of UK residing population.25 Although many female migrants are well qualified, their opportunities for work are often limited to gendered labour markets of domestic and care work, the services industry, and commercial sex work26

FIGURE 12: EMPLOYMENT RATE OF FOREIGN-BORN AND UK-BORN, 1993-2015. SOURCE: LABOUR FORCE SURVEY, Q1-Q4.

In Iceland female unemployment is higher than male unemployment for migrants. However, this is only a recent trend as before 2007 the employment data regarding migrants show a pretty balanced situation for both men and women. After 2007, up to 2012 both male and female unemployment grew (male more than female). From 2012 onwards, the level of female unemployment has been higher than the male one. The growth of female unemployment could be related to the growth of qualified (VET trained or graduate) migrants’ arrivals to Iceland from 2008 onwards since it increased job competition27.

25

IBID. PG. 4.

26

KONTOS, M. 2011. “BETWEEN INTEGRATION AND EXCLUSION: MIGRANT WOMEN IN EUROPEAN LABOR MARKETS” MIGRATION POLICY INSTITUTE.

HTTPS://WWW.MIGRATIONPOLICY.ORG/ARTICLE/BETWEEN-INTEGRATION-AND-EXCLUSION-MIGRANT-WOMEN-EUROPEAN-LABOR-MARKETS 27

DIRECTORATE OF LABOUR. 2017. HTTPS://VINNUMALASTOFNUN.IS/EN

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To sum up, education is not enough for migrant women in order to find work as research shows that migrant women often have an educational background but are still unemployed. The degree of unemployment depends greatly on the particularities of the country, but unemployment or underemployment is common for all countries. Different factors are key here, such as the difficulty to get recognition for formal educational titles and the conversion of those titles, but also the stable low-paid niche that is traditionally seen as a “female� occupation such as housekeeping and caregiving. This leads, in some cases, to more favourable situation in terms of employment for migrant women than for men, however this kind of employment is of low social status, often not well paid, and not giving women the chance to reach their full potential.

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2. LEGAL SITUATION 2.1 EUROPEAN LEGISLATION Since all four countries are still part of the EEA, they follow certain common immigration and work legislations. The EU directive 2004/38/EC28 on “free movement of people” lays down the basis of the integrated EEA immigration and work rights system. It gives the right to EU nationals to live and work in any EU member state under the same conditions as country nationals, including social security, access to education, etc. The Free movement of People principle does not apply to Third Country Nationals (TCN), who have to follow a different set of EU laws. Depending on their residence status in an EU member state, third country nationals who hold a valid residence/work permit have the right to move around in the Schengen area for up to three months within a six months period (Directive 2003/109/EC). If TCNs want to move in another member state, there are a set of provisions that take into account a series of factor such as their immigration status and the national legislation. On top of that, there are a set of legal migration directives that regulate the mobility of each third country national categories: •

Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person

REGULATION (EC) No 810/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

Directive 2005/71/EC on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification

28

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. 2004. ‘DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE

COUNCIL OF 29 APRIL 2004 ON THE RIGHT OF CITIZENS OF THE UNION AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBER TO MOVE AND RESIDE FREELY WITHIN THE TERRITORY OF THE MEMBER STATES AMENDING REGULATION (EEC). OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. HTTP://EURLEX.EUROPA.EU/LEXURISERV/LEXURISERV.DO?URI=OJ:L:2004:158:0077:0123:EN:PDF

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COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement

Directive 2011/98/EU introduced a common and single application procedure in all EU member states. The Directive also extends the same rights of member state nationals to TCN who hold a valid residence and work permit, in all employment related areas (working conditions, vocational education and training, social security, etc.).

Directive 2003/109/EC allows TCN to stay in another member state for longer than three months to pursue economic activity, study, or any other purpose under certain conditions. Long-term resident can also apply for a residence permit in another member state from its territory without need of a visa29.

Third country nationals who want to move from a member state to another are subjected to the immigration law of the country in which they want to move in to. If TCN are family members of EU citizens, they enjoy the same rights of EU citizens. Under Directive 2004/38/EC, family members include the spouse, the registered partner, direct descendants under 21, direct ascendants of the EU citizen or the spouse, and in addition other family members who are dependent due to serious illness and duly certified long-term partners30.

29

EUROPEAN MIGRATION NETWORK (EMN). 2013. "INTRA-EU MOBILITY OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS". EUROPEAN MIGRATION NETWORK STUDY

2013. HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/HOME-AFFAIRS/SITES/HOMEAFFAIRS/FILES/DOC_CENTRE/IMMIGRATION/DOCS/STUDIES/EMNSYNTHESIS_REPORT_INTRA_EU_MOBILITY_FINAL_JULY_2013.PDF. 30

IBID. P. 18

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COUNTRIES ADOPTION OF EU REGULATION AND THEIR SPECIFICITIES In addition, Greece and Italy are part of the Blue Card programme31. It gives to highly skilled TCNs the chance to apply for work permits and find employment in the EU through a tailored application procedure. In Greece and Italy, the EU Blue Card (BC) skilled workers immigration program is also an option for those TCN who would like to live and work in 25 out of 28 EU member states (the BC does not apply to Denmark, Ireland and the UK). To successfully apply for a BC, candidates must possess outstanding skills in a professional field, have obtained a university degree, have received a job offer with an above-average salary compared to the state where he/she is going to live and work. Each country has its own additional requirements before releasing a Blue Card. Below are pointed out Greek and Italian requirements: •

have a valid work contract or binding job offer for highly qualified employment with a duration of at least 1 year;

meet the minimum salary threshold in the Member State concerned. For 2015, Greece set the minimum salary threshold at: 30 675 EUR. Italy set it at 24.789 EUR.

for regulated professions the applicant must present documents proving that the national legal requirements are met;

for unregulated professions, the applicant must present documents proving that the relevant higher professional qualifications are met.

present a valid travel document, an application for a visa or a visa (if necessary), and a valid residence permit or a national long-term visa (if appropriate);

present a proof of health insurance (or a document showing that a health insurance request application has been submitted).

Both in Italy and Greece, a Blue Card is valid for 2 years when the contract is for unlimited time (renewable every 2 years). If the contract is temporary (less than 2 years), the EU Blue Card will be issued for the duration of the contract plus three extra months. Since the UK does not take part in the Blue Card program, UK immigration of TCNs is regulated entirely by national law except for those TCNs that are considered equal to European citizens under a long-term stay permit. Only European and EEA citizens are entitled to the “free movement of people” rights, which have been introduced into the British legal system by the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. Since 6 April 2015, to be in full 31

"EU IMMIGRATION PORTAL - BLUE CARD - INFORMATION - EUROPEAN COMMISSION". 2016. EU IMMIGRATION PORTAL.

HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/IMMIGRATION/BLUECARD/ESSENTIAL-INFORMATION_EN.

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accordance with EU law, the Immigration Regulations 2006 law’s provisions has also been extended to TCNs to non-EU family members who have an Article 10 residence card (a document issued under EU law by EEA Member States to non-EEA family members). Thus, to live and work in the UK, TNCs must apply for a British Visa and a work permit. Iceland regulation on TCNs immigration is completely under Icelandic control since Iceland is not a member of the European Union. TCNs have to directly apply for a residency permit and a work permit. The employment rights of workers from third countries are governed by the foreign Nationals’ Right to Work Act No. 97/2002, which regulates the conditions for the issue of work-permits.

NATIONAL POLICIES ON IMMIGRATION Concerning national legislations, each of them differs substantially, making it impossible to identify common features. Therefore, this section will present an overview of the four countries’ legislations. One common feature however is the difficulty in each county the recognition of previous obtained academic titles or experience is a complex, long and unclear process. If further details are needed, we invite you to access the national reports. Greece In Greece, migrant women are still considered as complementary part of male migration under the category of protected family members. In recent years there has been some improvements by the implementation of the code of immigration and social integration introduced in the Greek legislation. However, it is questionable if these improvements are enough to address properly women needs and gender equality issues32. The two key Greek legislation provisions on immigration and foreign citizens integration are 1) the law 3386/2005, integrated by the Laws 3731/2008, 3863/2010 and 3907/2011, and 2) the Code of Migration and Social Integration. The law 3386/2005 has been approved in 2005 and, among other things, introduced some improvements regarding gender perspective. The law makes it easier for migrant woman to renew their residence permits. It also integrates the EU provision of family reunion and longterm residency into the Greek body of law. Law 3386/2005 also states the need of social integration measures and the right of migrants to receive equal and fair employment 32

TRIANDAFYLLIDOU, A. & MAROUFOF, M. 2011. “MIGRATION IN GREECE, RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN 2014. REPORT PREPARED FOR THE OECD

NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION EXPERTS”. PARIS: 30 NOVEMBER-2 DECEMBER 2011. HTTP://WWW.ELIAMEP.GR/WPCONTENT/UPLOADS/2014/10/MIGRATION-IN-GREECE-RECENT-DEVELOPMENTS-2011.PDF

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treatment and safeguards their fundamental rights. It includes a provision as well which gives to migrants the right to be supported in family reunion and access to employment and education and training services. The law introduced also some provisions tailored to migrant women such as the possibility to apply for a residence permit independently from their husbands’ position, status, income, ethnicity in case the woman is victim of domestic abuse. More in details: •

Migrants who continuously lived in Greece for at least five years under a family reunification status have the right to apply for independent residence permit (Article 60 of the Law 3386/2005 amended by the Article 45 of the Law 3731/2008).

If migrant women lose their status but are able to proof their strong connection and long

permanence

in

the

country

can

obtain

a

residence

permit

for

humanitarian/exceptional reasons (Article 42, Law 3907/2011). •

The “Ergosimo” insurance voucher as mean of payment and social security services card for those working in domestic services sector, aimed at formalising irregular workforce (Article 20, Law 3863/2010).

Nevertheless, the law is obtaining mixed results since it does not apply to migrant women under temporary residence permits. Alongside the status issue, other issues have been too complicated administrative and bureaucratic procedures and strict immigration policy. The Code of Migration and Social Integration (Law 4251/2014) has been introduced in 2014 to reform the previous immigration rules. The reform aims to foster migrant integration within the Greek society as well as the integration of their families, migrant children and those entitled of international protection. The code also states the equal rights of family members to receive educational and training services. Moreover, after one year from the reunion, family members can start economic activities. Residence permits received under family reunion conditions are valid for one year and renewable for two years. After five years from family reunion or when kids reach age of majority, family members have right to independent and individual residence. Another key feature of the code is that it prohibits any kind of discrimination towards migrants because of constitutional principles. It also remarks the respect of their fundamental rights and cultural differences. In Greece, there are no formal state procedure for the recognition of qualification that migrant women have obtained outside of the European Union. In other words, there does not exist a one-stop-shop for applicants to apply for recognition of qualification and national guidelines are lacking on topics such as fair procedures, timelines and fees for assessment by professional, governmental, and non-governmental organization. In theory, the

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procedures should be the same for immigrants inside and outside of the EU but in practice the titles obtained in non-EU countries are often downgraded or not recognized. More documents are required depending on the profession, for instance a residence and work permit and a certificate of reciprocity from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In case migrant women have a legal residence permit, they can go through the established procedures to recognize their qualifications and degrees, but in reality this path is rarely pursued by migrant women. The process of recognizing degrees from non-EU countries is fairly long, bureaucratic and demanding. What is more, migrant women have limited access to information regarding procedures, requirements or fees necessary to receive the recognition or accreditation of their academic titles or university degrees. Thus, migrant women’s skills and experience are not being adequately recognized by Greek employers, and therefore they are prevented from moving beyond low-skilled and low-paid jobs. Recognition of a university degree does not necessarily enable a migrant woman to find work equal to her professional qualifications, as additional licenses may be required to undertake certain jobs. For example, qualified nurses, have to obtain a professional license to practice their profession. Other professions like that of lawyers, exclude those who are not Greek nationals and refuse to enlist them among their members, meaning that they cannot practice law. To enable the integration of refugee populations in higher education and the labour market, in March 2017, a pilot project was launched by the Council of Europe’s Education Department to assess their skills and the first European Qualifications Passports were issued. Refugees often flee their home countries during chaos situations, and so it is rare that they have supporting documents for the qualifications they had obtained before their arrival in the country. Qualification recognition proceeds based on a questionnaire and a structured interview, supported by any available documentation. Successful candidates receive a document that is valid for five years and is foreseen to be applicable in all European countries. Interested countries can access the information through the electronic database of the Italian National Information Centre CIMEA, which plays a central role in the European network of qualifications centres. The information contained in the Passport refers to the university degree, work experience and language proficiency. The methodology used was developed by the expert body under the Norwegian Ministry of Education - NOKUT and UK's national agency for the recognition of international qualifications - NARIC. Other countries such as Norway, the UK and Italy have already tested it while the concept of Qualifications Passport is now known in most countries of the ENIC-NARIC network. By the

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end of the 2017, it will be tested in France and Armenia. During the second phase of the pilot project, the methodology will be implemented by a number of other countries in 2018. In Greece, between March and June 2017, 54 passports were issued. The Passports are a starting point in integration activities, including applications to further studies and work but they are not formal recognition acts and so they do not guarantee admission to studies or employment.33 Italy There are different legislations and procedures for working in Italy when coming from a nonEU country. In general, non-EU migrants need a Visa and a work authorization if they want to work in Italy. The employer has the duty to apply for visa and work permit. Once in Italy, foreigners must obtain a residence permit before the 8th day from their arrival. On top of that the Italian system works with an annually determined quota therefore only TCNs who stay within the quota will obtain a work authorization3435. Each nationality has its own quota. Only highly skilled workers are not subjected to the quota system but must go through a labour market assessment. This assessment is aimed at making sure that no Italians or EU/EEA citizens or long-term third country residents were available for the same position36. However, under certain circumstances, migrant already residing in Italy can apply for a work permit form within Italian territory. This can happen only for those who hold a residence permit that allows conversion into a work permit and fulfil other law requirements. Visas who do not fall under this category are Asylum visa, tourist visa and medical/religious reason permits. The family reunion derived permits (equal duration than main holder one) allow migrants to get a subordinated job. To get an actual full-time unlimited employ the permit must be converted into a Work permit. In this case the permit will have a duration of 2 years (renewable). Otherwise the permit will be valid for the contract duration plus three months. Migrants coming to Italy for reasons of asylum, have the right to work right away, after their asylum right has been confirmed. In the waiting time for their application to be approved,

33

"GREECE: FIRST EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS PASSPORTS FOR REFUGEES ISSUED". 2018. EUROPEAN WEB SITE ON INTEGRATION. MIGRANT

INTEGRATION INFORMATION AND GOOD PRACTICES. HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/MIGRANT-INTEGRATION/NEWS/GREECE-FIRST-EUROPEANQUALIFICATIONS-PASSPORTS-FOR-REFUGEES-ISSUED. 34

"WHAT DO I NEED BEFORE LEAVING?". 2015. EU IMMIGRATION PORTAL - ITALY - EMPLOYMENT - EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

HTTP://EC.EUROPA.EU/IMMIGRATION/WHAT-DO-I-NEED-BEFORE-LEAVING/ITALY/WORKER/EMPLOYED-WORKER_EN# 35

TESTO UNICO SULL’IMMIGRAZIONE DECRETO LEGISLATIVO, TESTO COORDINATO, 25/07/1998. NR. 286. ARTICLE 21: DETERMINAZIONE DEI FLUSSI DI

INGRESSO. HTTP://WWW.CAMERA.IT/PARLAM/LEGGI/DELEGHE/98286DL.HTM 36

"EU BLUE CARD - COUNTRY FACTS ITALY". 2014. EU IMMIGRATION PORTAL. HTTP://EC.EUROPA.EU/IMMIGRATION/BLUECARD/COUNTRY-

FACTS/ITALY_EN.

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they can start to work after 60 days from their application opening time, under a special visa. Another requirement that asylum seekers must fulfil is to live in SPRAR centres while their application is being processed (Art. 22 of the Legislative Decree 142/2015). SPRAR stands for “Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees” and is made up of the network of local institutions that implement reception projects for forced migrants that use government funding. At a local level, the local institutions, in cooperation with voluntary sector organizations, undertake “integrated reception” interventions which go beyond the simple distribution of food and housing, and provides complementary services such as legal and social guidance and support and offers individual programmes to promote socio economic inclusion and integration37. Those who obtain the status of refugees or other protection have granted a five-year residence permit which is both renewable and transferable to work permit. This work permit completely equates refugees’ right to those enjoyed by nationals. Another important issue for migrant workers is seeing their credential recognized. According to Italian law, it is mandatory that certain professionals’ categories have their credentials certified3839. The law distinguishes between two categories40: •

Unregulated professions: those professions that do not need any patent or license and can be undertaken by those who hold both Italian and foreigner qualifications

Regulated Professions: only those who have a (validated) degree and other requirements can follow these career pathways. In addition, most of the regulated professions require a license to be practiced. It is possible to convert foreign authorization by apply to the competent Italian administration. Rules are different depending on whether the license has been issued by an EU member country or a non-EU member. o EU countries: in this case the regulation is complemented by the Directive 2005/36/EC

on

foreign

professional qualification

recognition.

Italian

authorities grant the issue of the recognition under condition of further compensatory measures. This however does not count for all professions, as the law prescribes, but includes nurses, midwives, doctors, dental practitioners,

37

"SPRAR & SERVIZIO CENTRALE". 2016. SPRAR.IT. HTTP://WWW.SPRAR.IT/LA-STORIA.

38

"TITOLI PROFESSIONALI: RICONOSCIMENTO TITOLI CONSEGUITI IN PAESI EXTRA-COMUNITARI". 2018. MINISTERO DELLA GIUSTIZIA.

HTTPS://WWW.GIUSTIZIA.IT/GIUSTIZIA/IT/MG_3_4_17.WP?TAB=D 39 40

"PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION". 2018. CIMEA. ACCESSED AUGUST 6. HTTP://WWW.CIMEA.IT/EN/PROFESSIONAL-RECOGNITION.ASPX. COMUNE DI MILANO AND FONDAZIONE RUI. 2010. "STUDY AND WORK IN ITALY. HOW TO RECOGNISE FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS IN ITALY".

HTTP://WWW.CIMEA.IT/FILES/FILEUSERS/3619_STUDY%20AND%20WORK%20IN%20ITALY_CIMEA%202010.PDF.

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pharmacists, architects and veterinary surgeons. Other professions, such as sailors or lawyers do not fall under this directive41. o Non-EU countries: Presidential Decree 394/99, art. 49-50 and Presidential Decree n. 334/04 regulate qualification recognition and professional certificates issued by third countries. These decrees give the possibility to recognize foreign credentials after completion of compensatory measures. All applications have to be sent to the ministry of Justice42. Self-employed foreigners who would like to stay and work in Italy, must obtain43: •

Self-employed work authorization visa prior their arrival

Residence permit within 8 days from their arrival

Before starting their activity, foreign self-employed citizens must obtain authorization from administrative authorities. The competent authority depends on the nature of the selfemployed activity, for instance companies must register to the chamber of commerce and restaurants are subjected to the approval of the local public health department. Also, the one-stop-shop and the provincial directorate must verify the respect of the quota. United Kingdom Migrant workers face difficulties with degrees and qualification recognition in the UK. Employers often seem not to trust abroad obtained qualification and migrant might struggle translating their titles appropriately44. Those who graduated from UK universities will see their degree recognized but face problems in staying in the country after graduation. In addition, in 2011 the UK government tightened the visa regulation to find employment in Britain after graduating from a British university. Foreign students have a four months period after graduation to find an employer who is willing to sponsor them, otherwise they will have to return to their home country.

41

“RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS IN PRACTICE - GROWTH - EUROPEAN COMMISSION". 2018. GROWTH. INTERNAL MARKET,

INDUSTRY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SMES. HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/GROWTH/SINGLE-MARKET/SERVICES/FREE-MOVEMENTPROFESSIONALS/QUALIFICATIONS-RECOGNITION_EN 42

"TITOLI PROFESSIONALI: RICONOSCIMENTO TITOLI CONSEGUITI DA CITTADINI COMUNITARI IN PAESI UE". 2018. MINISTERO DELLA GIUSTIZIA.

ACCESSED AUGUST 6. HTTPS://WWW.GIUSTIZIA.IT/GIUSTIZIA/IT/MG_3_4_11.PAGE?TAB=F.. 43

"WHAT DO I NEED BEFORE LEAVING?". 2015. EU IMMIGRATION PORTAL - ITALY - EMPLOYMENT - EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

HTTP://EC.EUROPA.EU/IMMIGRATION/WHAT-DO-I-NEED-BEFORE-LEAVING/ITALY/WORKER/EMPLOYED-WORKER_EN# 44

MIGRATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE. 2014. "MIGRANTS IN LOW-SKILLED WORK: THE GROWTH OF EU AND NON-EU LABOUR IN SKILLED JOBS AND ITS

IMPACT ON THE UK". HTTPS://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/UPLOADS/SYSTEM/UPLOADS/ATTACHMENT_DATA/FILE/333083/MAC-MIGRANTS_IN_LOWSKILLED_WORK__FULL_REPORT_2014.PDF

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Those who graduated from non-UK universities, but wish to take up employment within the UK need to get in touch with UK NARIC45, the official ‘national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills’

Iceland In Iceland, TCNs have to apply for Residence and Work permits if they want to live and work on the country. The law that regulates the residence permit procedure is the Act on Foreigners No. 96/2002. The specific rules and procedure to obtain a residence permit are regulated by the act on foreigners No. 80/2016 and the Regulation on foreigners no. 540/2017. However, TCNs are allowed to stay up to three months without a residence permit. Work permits are regulated by the act on foreign nationals’ right to work No. 97/2002. It states that an employer who wants to hire a foreign worker must apply and obtain the future employee work permit prior his/her begin to work. All required documents must be sent to the Directorate of Immigration to receive the residence permit, then the application will proceed to the Directorate of Labour which will issue the work permit. One of the main responsibilities of Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins 46 (e. The Education and Training Service Centre) is to ensure development and dissemination of methods to validate non-formal and informal learning. Validation of skills, i.e. trades and occupational is executed by Lifelong learning centres and makes it possible for uneducated workers to have their acquired skills evaluated. Migrant women have the opportunity of validation, if they have worked in the field for 3 years or longer. A few migrant women have had competence validation in the fishing industry and also in social service such as helpers in kindergartens, elementary schools, residences for invalid people and in elderly homes. Translation has been provided if needed. After participants gain their credits, they can apply to secondary schools to complete their studies and get a diploma. Unfortunately, the schools do not provide any special help so the students must rely on their language skills to carry out their studies. There is no validation offered in academic field of works. Migrant women who have completed university education from their homeland, most often face the facts that their exams are not recognized in Iceland. Migrant women who, for example, are educated in the health care sector must apply for recognition from the Ministry of health care, but must complete some extra studies in Icelandic university. This varies, of course, by individuals, but

45

"WELCOME TO UK NARIC". 2018. UK NARIC. HTTPS://WWW.NARIC.ORG.UK/NARIC

46

FRÆÐSLUMIÐSTÖÐ ATVINNULÍFSINS (FA) (E.THE EDUCATION AND TRAINING SERVICE CENTRE (ETSC)) 2018. ACCESSED AUGUST 6, 2018.

HTTP://FRAE.IS.

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makes it complicated for them, as many of them live in the countryside and do not have direct access to someone to assist them in this battle. Lifelong learning centres in Iceland provide career counselling for adults and migrant women are part of the target group. In the annual report 2016 of career counselling for adults in Iceland it is stated that the ratio between clients is 58% women and 42% men. Altogether foreign clients are 7% of the total group. Icelandic courses are provided in lifelong learning centres and other educational centres and language schools. The courses are not obligational and not free. As a matter of fact, they are rather expensive, but those who are members of labour or trade unions can apply for support from their mutual educational funds. If migrants want to apply for residence permit they need to prove that they have had valid Icelandic lessons and applicants for citizenship need to pass a test confirming their knowledge in Icelandic47.

47

THE DIRECTORATE OF IMMIGRATION. ACCESSED AUGUST 6. HTTPS://WWW.UTL.IS/

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3. MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS’ CLIMATE The following section will provide data and tendencies on migrant entrepreneurship in all 4 countries. The highest level of entrepreneurial activity among migrant population are those of the United Kingdom and Italy. Lack of official statistics for both Iceland and Greece makes it impossible to be accurate on migrant entrepreneurship for those two countries. However, Greek data show a quite recent and quickly growing entrepreneurial spirit among the migrant population.

In Greece the official number of migrant led enterprises is small. This is due mostly to very strict immigration rules that, up to recent times, relegated most migrants to work as dependants. Recently some steps forward have been taken through the introduction of new measures. Athens is the most vital city in terms of migrant businesses. Here, some migrant businesses play a key role for the local community and economy. Some progress has been achieved by the new Code of Immigration and Social Integration. This code allows selfemployment and makes it easier to renew the stay permit. Anyways, only long-term residence permit holders are able to open a business and carry out economic activities on their own. Furthermore, the lack of statistic data makes it impossible to be accurate on the entity and relevance of migrant led businesses and start-ups. This scarcity of available data is mostly due to the several measures that prevent migrants in opening businesses (3 years waiting period, 60.000 euros bank deposit and obtaining a business licence). Also, to begin the process, there are some official recognition requirements and a proof of residence permit is needed. However, due to informal labour market, unregistered migrants often set up SMEs through collaborating with legal resident or Greek nationals. The incidence of these businesses is quickly growing especially in the urban areas of Greece. Most common businesses operate in trade, services, repair or construction. Moreover, Greek downtown districts have been gradually abandoned by nationals and inhabited by migrants who opened all sort of businesses from mini markets, barber shops and retail stores to jewellery, clothes and exotic spices stores. These stores and shops serve mostly the migrant communities and only to a lesser extent the Greeks. Although there are some data available on migrant men entrepreneurship, those available on women entrepreneurship are almost non-existent. Entrepreneurialism has been found thriving within some ethnic groups, for example in 2005 the percentage of self-employment within the African communities was of 22.9% for African men and 13.7% for women and in

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2008 around 36% of African businesses in Athens were run by women, according to the National Centre for Social Research. Migrant women usually are active in businesses that require little or low skill. In table 1 (below), you can see a local research based on three areas of Athens- Kypseli, Metaxourgeio and Ambelokipoi- from participants in a research project about migrant entrepreneurship. The data include information on gender, education, number of years residing in Greece and countries of origin.48 The major sectors of economic activity among migrant entrepreneurs include construction (28%), trade and repair (29%) and private households (12%).49

TABLE 11: A PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS AND THEIR BUSINESS, BY NEIGHBOURHOOD. SOURCE: HATZIPROKOPIOU & FRANGOPOULOS, 2016.

By contrast, in Italy migrant enterprises are quite common. By the end of 2015 almost 550.000 enterprises were led by migrants, accounting for 9.1% of the whole Italian business volume. Most of those enterprises were led by young people (80.2%) and non-EU resident (69.9%). Considering the EU average, foreign entrepreneurs who have employees is relatively low (15.8% against 25.7% EU average). Therefore, these enterprises are mostly individual entrepreneurs 50. A research of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Observatory (2015) found out that entrepreneurship rates among foreign female population are exponentially growing. In 2015, 18% of the foreign-led companies were led by women. These businesses are located mostly 48

HATZIPROKOPIOU, P. & FRANGOPOULOS, Y. 2016. “MIGRANT ECONOMIES AND EVERYDAY SPACES IN ATHENS IN TIMES OF CRISIS” CITY, 20:1, 61-74.

49

HATZIPROKOPIOU, P. 2008. “MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN GREECE”, IN OLIVEIRA, CATARINA REIS AND RATH, JAN (EDS.), MIGRAÇÕES JOURNAL -

SPECIAL ISSUE ON IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP, OCTOBER 2008, N. 3, LISBON: ACIDI, PP. 73-84. 50

TORRISI, CLAUDIA. 2017. "IMMIGRATI E IMPRENDITORIA: TUTTI I NUMERI". OPEN MIGRATION. HTTP://OPENMIGRATION.ORG/ANALISI/IMMIGRATI-E-

IMPRENDITORIA-TUTTI-I-NUMERI

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in Rome, Milan, Naples, and Torino. Main business areas are the personal services and the craftsmanship sectors. Although most of these companies are individual business, there is a new and rapidly growing tendency to develop other business set-ups such as corporation, cooperatives and consortiums. This tendency underlines the evolving complexity of migrant led enterprises, away from the micro-enterprise settings and toward more mature business structures.51 A large part of female entrepreneurs is Ukrainian, Nigerian and Chinese, followed by women from the Philippines, Moldavia and Peru. Regarding the men/women balance, for some nationalities such as Ukrainian entrepreneurs the number of women is equal to the men’s one, but other national groups (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt) show a strong presence of male entrepreneurship.

The presence of foreign-born entrepreneurs in the British economy is even stronger. It accounts for one seventh (14%) of British companies, since migrant are running 463,527 businesses.52 Foreign entrepreneurs make up to 14% of all jobs in Britain. Concerning female entrepreneurship, UK born women show a slightly higher business leading percentage compared to foreign born ones since British women account for 29.1% of all business founders, whereas 25.9% of migrant entrepreneurs are female.53 Migrant entrepreneurs tend to be younger than their fellow British entrepreneurs. The average age to start a business is of 44.3 years for migrants and 52.1 years for native entrepreneurs.54

In Iceland data on entrepreneurship are available through the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report) which is an international collaborative research project. Last available data on Iceland are from 2009 and do not make a clear distinction between national run enterprises and non-nationals ones. Therefore, it appears that the percentage of migrant led enterprises is rather low.

To conclude, Greek data and Icelandic (absence of) data suggest that migrant led enterprises account for a relatively small part of the business environment of the two countries. Migrants who reside in Greece though recently started to invest in the entrepreneurial activities due 51

CESPI CENTRO STUDI DI POLITICA INTERNAZIONALE. 2015. "OSSERVATORIO NAZIONALE SULL'INCLUSIONE FINANZIARIA DEI MIGRANTI. IV

RAPPORTO." PG. 133. HTTP://WWW.MIGRANTIEFINANZA.IT 52

CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURS & DUEDIL. 201. ‘MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: BUILDING OUR BUSINESSES CREATING OUR JOBS.’

HTTPS://CENTREFORENTREPRENEURS.ORG/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2015/11/MIGRANTENTREPRENEURSWEB.PDF, PG.17. 53

IBID., PG.21

54

IBID, PG. 35

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to a series of factors mainly connected to a marginal shift of the legal framework and policy on immigration and immigrant status introduced by the newly approved Code of Immigration and Social Integration. The Greek case shows also that national groups within Greece migrant community matters, since they provide different data on migrant entrepreneurship. Therefore, national groups are something to consider when approaching migrant entrepreneurship, avoiding generalisations. Italy and the UK seems to share more similarities especially regarding the volume and entity of migrant led enterprises within their economic fabric. Both British (14.2%) and Italian (9.1%) enterprises owned by migrants are growing in number and structural complexity, moving away

from

individual

entrepreneurs

or

micro

enterprises

structures.

Female

entrepreneurship among migrants in both countries is still far from catching up with male entrepreneurship. However, the gap is gradually shrinking due to the recent exponential growth of female entrepreneurship. Finally, the Italian case remarks the strong differences among the nationality groups and highlights once again the importance of avoiding generalisations.

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4. START-UP SUPPORTING INITIATIVES Below are listed available governmental plans, programmes and action aimed at supporting start-ups and fast-growing SMEs. Italy Women entrepreneurship in Italy is sensibly less developed than male one. The Italian government set up some measures to promote women entrepreneurship but much more needs to be done in order to support female entrepreneurship initiatives. However, the Italian government launched some funding programmes to support start-ups and a special fund dedicated to women entrepreneurs: •

The Italian start-ups Act

Smart&Start Italia

Positive actions for female entrepreneurship

1. The Italian start-ups Act The Decree-Law 179/2012 on “Further urgent measures for Italy’s economic growth”, converted into Law 221/2012 established a support scheme for start-ups which are developing or working with high-tech innovation. These companies could belong to any sector of the Italian economy as long as they prove the value of the innovation they are developing/introducing into their production. The Start-ups act guarantees55: ● Incorporation and following statutory modifications by means of a standard model with digital signature ● Cuts to red tape and fees: ● Flexible corporate management ● Extension of terms for covering losses ● Exemption from regulations on dummy companies ● Exemption from the duty to affix the compliance visa for compensation of VAT credit ● Tailor-made labour law 55

"NEW ITALIAN LEGISLATION ON STARTUPS". 2018. MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. ACCESSED MAY 15.

HTTP://WWW.SVILUPPOECONOMICO.GOV.IT/INDEX.PHP/EN/DOCUMENTS/2025221-NEW-ITALIAN-LEGISLATION-ON-START-UPS.

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● Flexible remuneration system ● Remuneration through stock options and work for equity schemes ● Tax incentives for corporate and private investments in start-ups ● Possibility to collect capital through equity crowdfunding authorized online portals. ● Fast-track, simplified and free-of-charge access for innovative start-ups and certified incubators to the SME Guarantee Fund which covers up to 80% of bank loans for a maximum of 2.5 million euros per company. Recently, Italy introduced a visa programme for extra EU entrepreneurs willing to invest in Italy. It makes it easier for them to obtain an entrepreneurship visa through an online procedure which will release visas in maximum 30 days if requirements are met.

2. Smart & Start Italia Smart&Start Italia is a government funded scheme to give an incentive to businesses operating in the digital economy. It supports innovative start-ups that have been set up in the last 48 months from the application date. Both individuals and companies can apply for funding. The business plan needs to be between 100.000 and 1.5 million euros to be eligible for funding. Both capital and operating expenditures are covered by the programme. The scheme works with a system of interests-free loans, plus a 20% non-refundable grant for certain areas of the peninsula. There is a higher grant foreseen when including women in the start-up56: ● Up to 70% of the business plan expenses that qualify for funding ● Up to 80% of business plan expenses if the startup consists entirely of people under 36 or women, or it includes at least one Italian Ph.D. who is working abroad but intends to relocate back to Italy.

3. Positive actions for female entrepreneurship Aside these general start-ups incentives, the Italian government recently introduced support policy targeted to women entrepreneurship as well. The law 215/92 "Positive actions for female entrepreneurship" give women entrepreneurs or companies owned by a majority of women the possibility to access favourable credit and funding options. To be considered a “female enterprise”, the law sets up the following conditions: 56

"WHAT WE DO - STARTUPS". 2018. INVITALIA: L'AGENZIA NAZIONALE PER LO SVILUPPO D'IMPRESA. ACCESSED FEBRUARY 18.

HTTPS://WWW.INVITALIA.IT/ENG/WHAT-WE-DO/SERVICES/STARTUPS .

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● Individual company: the holder must be a woman; ● Society of people and cooperatives: there must be at least 60% of female members; ● Company of Capitals: at least 2/3 of the shares must be in possession of women and the administration must be composed of at least 1/3 of women. When meeting one of the previous requirements, enterprises can access a range of facilitations that the law provides, namely: Grants, facilitations to start the business activity, guaranty for a financial request from the state, micro credit, Smart&Start57. The process through which women entrepreneurs can apply, works with an open call system. Entrepreneurs can apply only when the MISE or the regions send open the call. Each call has its own specificities and target enterprises58. United Kingdom British government supports entrepreneurial initiatives by running two programmes: 1. Global Entrepreneur Programme – aimed at early stage entrepreneurs and start-ups 2. Sirius programme – aimed at final year university students or recent graduates with start-up ideas59. UK government website lists a wide range of financing and funding options for British enterprises

depending

on

geographic

area,

business

volume

and

sector

etc:

https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support The entrepreneurship visa is a valid option for those who would like to start a business in the UK although it requires a bank deposit of at least 50.000 GBP. Government programmes and loans are not the only options that entrepreneurs have in Great Britain whether they are locals or migrants, they can obtain: ● Reward-based crowdfunding – this option is particularly advantageous since it provides both an initial investment and the chance to gain brand ambassadors. Kickstarter for instance is a platform where ‘investors pledge funds in return for being

57

LOSITO, ALESSANDRA. 2018. "FINANZIAMENTI AGEVOLATI DONNE 2018: REQUISITI DOMANDA E BANDI". GUIDAFISCO.IT.

HTTPS://WWW.GUIDAFISCO.IT/FINANZIAMENTI-AGEVOLATI-DONNE-1411. 58

"NUOVE IMPRESE A TASSO ZERO: GIOVANI E DONNE". 2018. INVITALIA. ACCESSED FEBRUARY 6. HTTP://WWW.INVITALIA.IT/SITE/NEW/HOME/COSA-

FACCIAMO/CREIAMO-NUOVE-AZIENDE/NUOVE-IMPRESE-A-TASSO-ZERO.HTML 59

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE. 2017. “WHY OVERSEAS COMPANIES SHOULD SET UP IN THE UK”.

HTTPS://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/PUBLICATIONS/WHY-OVERSEAS-COMPANIES-SHOULD-SET-UP-IN-THE-UK/WHY-OVERSEAS-COMPANIESSHOULD-SET-UP-IN-THE-UK.

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sent a product at a later date, or in exchange for a reward such as a discount of future purchases’60. ● Incubators and accelerators – ‘the majority of accelerator and incubators run over a 13-week period in which you generally work in the accelerator’s space under the pupillage of previously successful entrepreneurs’61. They often require entrepreneurs to exchange a quota of their company in return for investment and guidance. ● Angel Investors – Are defined as ‘high-net-worth individuals, looking to invest in other businesses’62. They could invest in businesses directly – so called ‘direct investment’ by meeting up with entrepreneurs during potential business events. However, participation to these events could be problematic for both women and migrants. Iceland Icelandic and migrant women in Iceland have several funding possibilities under a wide range of public and private funds. Some of them are open to anyone while others are specifically geared towards women-led entrepreneurship initiatives. General ones: ● New Business Venture Funds: a governmental fund to support investments on venture capitalism market development and growth in Iceland. ● The tourism board of Iceland offers grants to entrepreneurs for innovation related to environmental tourism. ● The Agricultural production fund supports the development of agricultural business in Icelandic rural areas through grants and other funding options. ● Promote Iceland (Íslandsstofa) supports people who would like to invest in Iceland. ● Investments Fund is another option since it promotes the growth of investments in Iceland and the further integration of Icelandic economy in the global trade system by investing on innovation, development and promotion projects, research and studies. ● Rannís fund which aims to strengthen the success of Icelandic culture and industry by promoting targeted science, technology development and innovation.

60

WOODLEY, S.. 2016. “HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ROUTE TO FUNDING”, STARTUPS. HTTPS://STARTUPS.CO.UK/HOW-TO-FIND-THE-RIGHT-ROUTE-TO-

FUNDING 61

IBID.

62

IBID.

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Women specific ones: ● Women's employment grants (Atvinnumál kvenna) is a funding programme of the labour directorate which funds project on business diversification, usually developed by groups or associations. Maximum grant amount is 4.000.000 ISK, minimum is 600.000 ISK up to a total of 35.000.000 ISK per year (Atvinnumál kvenna, 2017).63 ● “Svanni” is a grant for entrepreneur women in Iceland and loan Guarantee Fund. Beginning back in 1991, the Ministry of Welfare has yearly awarded grants to women entrepreneurs in Iceland to encourage women entrepreneurial initiatives and to increase their access to finance. In March 2011, the Svanni-loan guarantee fund has also been established. The fund is under control of the Ministry of Welfare, The Ministry of Industries and Innovation. It means that since 2011 women owned or led companies can be awarded both loans and loan guarantees. Application rounds are April and October. Maximum loan is up to 10.000.000 ISK.64

63

ATVINNUMÁL KVENNA - KONUR Í FRUMKVÖÐLASTARFI. ACCESSED 15 JULY 2018. HTTP://ATVINNUMALKVENNA.IS

64

“SVANNI - GRANTS FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN ICELAND” 2018. ATVINNUMALKVENNA.IS. ACCESSED 15 JULY.

HTTP://ATVINNUMALKVENNA.IS/LAN (ONLY AVAILABLE IN ICELANDIC)

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5. MIGRANT-SUPPORTING INITIATIVES The following section describes a series of programmes, actions and initiatives in support of migrant women from a European, National and Local level perspective both in terms of migrant led start-ups support and employability and labour market integration support. Overall the main issues appear to be a widespread lack of coordination between levels, startup support is offered mostly for highly innovative start-ups. On the local level however, there are many initiatives in support of migrants regarding both start-up and employability support.

SUPPORT FOR MIGRANT WOMEN’S START-UPS On a European level, there is an EU action plan for 2020 65 . This action plan supports entrepreneurship focusing on three priorities, namely: entrepreneurial education and training, reducing administrative barriers, reigniting entrepreneurial culture. The action plan is implemented on the national level by the SME envoy. On the European level, the support to female entrepreneurship initiatives are also connected to the following three measures: ● The EU prize for women innovators, an award for those women who got funded by an EU institutions or fund during a stage of their career development and founded companies highly successful and innovative66. ● The Small Business Act (SBA) an EU policy framework which aims at improving the business environment for SMEs by lowering the barriers to their development and growth in their business volume67. ● The Entrepreneurship action plan for 2020 which aims at supporting new business generation and remove obstacles to entrepreneurship all over Europe68. Support on a national level is pretty weak throughout all four countries however at the local level there is a wide range of organizations and institutions implementing projects and initiatives in support of migrant women entrepreneurial skills acquisition and related issues. Moreover, the lack of coordination between EU and national level weakens de facto the 65

"COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE

AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2020 ACTION PLAN REIGNITING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT IN EUROPE". 2012. EUR-LEX. ACCESS TO EUROPEAN UNION LAW. HTTPS://EUR-LEX.EUROPA.EU/LEGAL-CONTENT/EN/TXT/?URI=CELEX:52012DC0795 . 66

EUROPEAN COMMISSION. 2017. “EU PRIZES FOR WOMEN INNOVATORS” HTTP://EC.EUROPA.EU/RESEARCH/PRIZES/WOMEN-

INNOVATORS/INDEX.CFM?PG=HOME 67

EUROPEAN COMMISSION. 2017. “FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS”. HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/GROWTH/SMES/PROMOTING-ENTREPRENEURSHIP/WE-WORK-

FOR/WOMEN_EN 68

IBID

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effectivity of migrant women tailored policies. In the following paragraphs some local initiatives supporting migrant women’s start-up, as well as migrant women’s employability, are described for each country. Greece There are several programmes available for migrants’ social inclusion in Greece. Most of them either come from the EU or the National Employment Action Plans (NAPS). However, there is a lack of coordination among the policies in support of migrants and this reflects especially on the migrant women low access rates. Free professional training and life-long learning are two areas particularly important for migrants’ support actions. The programme “Employment and vocational training” alongside with the professional training provides also Greek language classes for migrants. Young migrant women who are legal residents in Greece have access to the “Second chance schools”, open to people between 18 and 30 years old who have not finished the mandatory nine-year schooling in their country. They also have access to adult education programs run by the General Secretariat for Adult Education of the Ministry of National Education. Unemployed migrants legally residing in Greece can participate in vocational training, which is run by the Organisation for Manpower Employment in cooperation with the EU-funded Centres of Professional Training.69 Finally, migrant women, again with a legal residence permit, can take exams and obtain a certification proving their knowledge of the Greek language, history and culture. Speaking the Greek language and having the opportunity to obtain a Greek language proficiency certification improve the chances migrant women have to be employed and be integrated in society.70 One of the more well-known projects is the program “Training of immigrants in the Greek language, Greek history and Greek civilization –ODYSSEAS”. Other training programs that are implemented include vocational courses for manual crafts such as courses for craftsmen, housekeeping, electricians, construction workers, etc. These programs are sponsored by the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection and are they largely designed and implemented ad hoc rather than in a structured or regular way.71

69

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM). 2010. “COMPENDIUM OF MIGRANT INTEGRATION POLICIES AND PRACTICE: GREECE”.

HTTP://WWW.IOM.INT/JAHIA/WEBDAV/SHARED/SHARED/MAINSITE/ACTIVITIES/FACILITATING/MI_COMPENDIUM_VER_FEB2010.PDF 70

GENERAL SECRETARIAT FOR LIFELONG LEARNING. 2013. “REPORT 2012 FOR LIFELONG LEARNING IN GREECE”.

HTTP://WWW.GSAE.EDU.GR/IMAGES/STORIES/APOLOGISMOS_GGBM_2013.PDF 71

ANAGNOSTOU, D. & GEMI, E. 2015. “MONITORING AND ASSESSING THE INTEGRATION OF VULNERABLE MIGRANTS IN GREECE.”

HTTP://WWW.ELIAMEP.GR/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2015/03/ASSESSNATL.REPORT.PHASE2_.FINAL_.PDF

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On an EU level, initiatives such as PROGRESS and EQUAL support migrant women social and economic inclusion. The European Social Found (ESF) funds many projects to bridge the gap between migrants and formal employment, social support and its benefits.

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Italy Unfortunately, the national level is not exactly focused on supporting migrant women entrepreneurial initiatives, therefore there are no state-funded action in support of migrant women entrepreneurship in Italy. However, there is a wide network of NGOs and associations that support women entrepreneurs. Alongside to this there are also the “comitati per l’imprenditoria femminile” 73 which are sections of each Italian chamber of commerce working on female entrepreneurship. However, to be entitled to their support, entrepreneurs must pay a membership fee. On the local level there are many initiatives geared towards migrant women, two examples are: ● “FIDUCIA” (Famiglie Immigrate Donne Unite nei Centri per l’Inclusione Lavorativa Anolf) operates in Calabria and Sicily (Reggio Calabria, Cosenza, Crotone, Vibo Valentia, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa, Trapani). It supports migrant women who work on the field of homecare starting up new businesses in the food or housekeeping sector by providing the skills they need74. ● “I SAPERI PER L’INCLUSIONE” is a project developed by the Italian school for foreigners of the department of humanities of the University of Palermo. It offers a sartorial creation workshop for migrant women. More than 200 women participated to the sewing and cutting lessons led by a Ghanaian tailor, Francis Ayim 75.

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION. 2016. “EVALUATION AND ANALYSIS OF GOOD PRACTICES IN PROMOTING AND SUPPORTING MIGRANT

ENTREPRENEURSHIP. GUIDE BOOK.” HTTP://EC.EUROPA.EU/DOCSROOM/DOCUMENTS/18421/ATTACHMENTS/1/TRANSLATIONS/EN/RENDITIONS/PDF 73

IL PORTALE DI UNIONCAMERE PER LA PROMOZIONE DEI COMITATI PER L’IMPRENDITORIA FEMMINILE. 2018. ACCESSED 15 FEBRUARY.

HTTP://WWW.IMPRENDITORIAFEMMINILE.CAMCOM.IT/ 74

HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ANOLFSICILIA/ IS THE SITE OF THE LEADING ORGANIZATION SINCE THE PROJECT DOES NOT HAVE ITS OWN

WEBSITE. 75

PROGETTO “I SAPERI PER L’INCLUSION”. 2015. UNIPA.IT. WWW.UNIPA.IT/STRUTTURE/SCUOLAITALIANASTRANIERI/PROGETTO-I-SAPERI-PER-

LINCLUSIONE-ON-LINE-IL-SITO-WWW.ISAPERIPERLINCLUSIONE.IT-00001/

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United Kingdom In the UK there are no specific support programmes for migrant women entrepreneurship. However, there are many governmental7677 and local funds and grants geared toward either female entrepreneurship or migrant entrepreneurship initiatives. For instance, the start-up support services offered by Sheffield Business on a local level. Iceland In Iceland there are no tailored support schemes and initiatives geared towards migrant women start-ups. However, there are other funding and support opportunities that can be accessed by migrant women. ● The Innovation Centre Iceland, which is a state-owned independent institution operates according to the act no 75/2007 on government support for Technology, Research, Innovation and Industry. It provides support and specialists’ mentoring services to those entrepreneurs who demands it. The institution offers support as well in finding new funding opportunities78. ● Among the other activities that this institution carries out in support of small business, in the spring of 2017 it launched support programme aimed at foreigner women willing to start a business in Iceland. The programme had been developed in partnership with the Women of Multicultural Ethnicity Network and funded by the Development Fund for Immigrant Affairs.79

SUPPORT FOR MIGRANT WOMEN’S EMPLOYABILITY Greece In Greece there are no specific programmes to increase migrant women’s employability, but the government offers some sort of support in order to provide social security. Most migrant women residing in Greece work in the housekeeping/caregiving sector, under informal employment condition and often depending only on one employer. Just the 8.6% of

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"GUIDANCE. ENTREPRENEURS SETTING UP IN THE UK". 2018. GOV.UK - DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE.

HTTPS://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/PUBLICATIONS/ENTREPRENEURS-SETTING-UP-IN-THE-UK/ENTREPRENEURS-SETTING-UP-IN-THE-UK. 77

BURT, LORELY. 2015. "THE BURT REPORT: INCLUSIVE SUPPORT FOR WOMEN IN ENTERPRISE".

HTTPS://ASSETS.PUBLISHING.SERVICE.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/UPLOADS/SYSTEM/UPLOADS/ATTACHMENT_DATA/FILE/403004/BIS-1590_INCLUSIVE_SUPPORT_FOR_WOMEN_IN_ENTERPRISE_THE_BURT_REPORT_FINAL.PDF. 78

NÝSKÖPUNARMIÐSTÖÐ ÍSLANDS (INNOVATION CENTER ICELAND) ACCESSED 15 JULY 2018. HTTPS://WWW.NMI.IS/EN

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ATVINNUMÁL KVENNA. 2017.HTTP://ATVINNUMALKVENNA.IS/UTSKRIFT-FRUMKVODLAKVENNA-AF-ERLENDUM-UPPRUNA/

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employed migrant women is regularly insured to the social security system, a small percentage if compared to Greek women (91.4%)80. In order to give them some sort of social security, migrant women can insure themselves by paying a social insurance stamp per each day worked. The law requires 150 stamps per year so altogether the self-insurance cost would come up to 1400 euros per year. Recently, due to the economic crisis who hit the country, the requirement has been lowered to 120 working days per year. However even self-insured migrant woman are excluded from unemployment support services if they are informally employed81. Furthermore, migrants are excluded from certain professions and economical activities which are a prerogative of Greeks, EU nationals and long-term residents (L.4251/2014, article 97).

Italy Concerning measures to support migrant women integration into the Italian labour market, there are many initiatives and programmes both on the national and local levels. However, the coordination between national, regional and local level is not always clear or being evaluated which makes clear and updated information hard to find. On the national level, the network of employment centres, which is a network composed by associations and private agencies, provides services to migrants in terms of information access, job placements and training activities to improve their employability82: the Public Employment Service (PES)83. The public employment services are provincial-level bodies in charge of matching labour supply and demand, however their impact on helping migrants to work is quite small, as migrants rather find jobs through social networks and personal connections 84 . Furthermore, some of the services are only for the people who receive unemployment benefits, which is difficult for immigrants to obtain as in Italy you can only apply for these benefits after 52 weeks of contribution. The PES, especially in Italian larger cities, sets up a front desk dedicated to migrants in order to help them face job-related issues. In doing so, they work closely with language and cultural mediators. PESs are

80

SOCIAL SECURITY ORGANIZATION (IKA). 2014.

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ANAGNOSTOU, D. & GEMI, E. 2015. “MONITORING AND ASSESSING THE INTEGRATION OF VULNERABLE MIGRANTS IN GREECE.”

HTTP://WWW.ELIAMEP.GR/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2015/03/ASSESSNATL.REPORT.PHASE2_.FINAL_.PDF 82

“SERVIZI PER IL LAVORO” 2018. ANPAL. ACCESSED AUGUST 8.

HTTP://WWW.ANPAL.GOV.IT/CITTADINI/SERVIZI%20PER%20IL%20LAVORO/PAGINE/DEFAULT.ASPX 83

IN ITALY THE PES ARE PROVIDED BY AGENZIA NAZIONALE POLICHE ATTIVE DEL LAVORO: HTTP://WWW.ANPAL.GOV.IT/PAGINE/DEFAULT.ASPX

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OECD. 2014. “JOBS FOR IMMIGRANTS, VOL. 4: LABOUR MARKET INTEGRATION IN ITALY. PARIS: OECD PUBLISHING. HTTPS://READ.OECD-

ILIBRARY.ORG/SOCIAL-ISSUES-MIGRATION-HEALTH/JOBS-FOR-IMMIGRANTS-VOL-4_9789264214712-EN#PAGE92

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subjected to regional and provincial administration therefore some differences could be spotted across the peninsula. For this reason, although all PESs provide information access services, only 40% of them has cultural mediators and 10% of them provide legal assistance85. Although these services exist in all Italy, its specific impact for migrants can be put in discussion. The European Social Fund sponsored training courses are a highly successful national level initiative since 80% of the participants found a job in the same sector within one year form the training completion. The training courses are aimed at developing those skills needed by the local economy (building sector, mechanical engineering, and electronics). However, the structure of these courses (600/800 hours, including 100/160 hours of work experience) requires high levels of commitments from participants and makes it hard for them to study and work at the same time. This has been considered a barrier to those who cannot afford to reduce their working hours. Thus, these courses have been scarcely attended by migrant women since the provision of courses geared towards them has been scarce and focused only on the domestic and caregiving sector86. On the local level Italy offers many initiatives in support of migrant workers. Regional and local level authorities (Municipalities) are assigned an important role in the implementation of national plans for integration87. In the bigger cities in Italy, municipalities have set up desks specially assigned to help immigrants with housing or legal issues. Also, private associations provide migrant support services. In Palermo for instance, the drop-in centre for migrants “Centro Astalli” help migrants with all their questions and issues concerning job offers, matching job offer with their demand and encourage migrants in taking part to professional development and education courses. Most of the job offers that come in to the centre are targeted towards migrant women to work mostly in the domestic and caregiving sector88. Trade unions offer support services to migrant workers as well. In 1989 the CISL set up the “Associazione Nazionale Oltre le Frontiere” ANOLF (national association beyond borders). Another Italian trade union, CGIL, put in place the “Centri Lavoratori Stranieri” (centres for CICCARONE, G. 2016. “LABOUR MARKET INTEGRATION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES. ITALY.” EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

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HTTP://WWW.INTEGRAZIONEMIGRANTI.GOV.IT/DOCUMENTI-E-RICERCHE/ITALYAHR_LMINTEGRATIONOFASYLUMSEEKERS_REFUGEESMAY2016_FINAL.PDF 86

LEA, F., SGARAMELLA, T., DI MAGIO, I. AND NOTA, L. “ITALIAN REPORT: MAIN THEMES AND CHALLENGES IN A HIGHLY DYNAMIC, MULTIFACETED AND

EVOLVING SITUATION”, CMINAR. UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA. ACCESSED DECEMBER 2017. HTTPS://WWW.CMINAR.EU/UPLOAD/FILES/O1-REPORTITALY.PDF 87

MINISTERO DELL’INTERNO. DIPARTIMENTO PER LE LIBERTÀ CIVILI E L’IMMIGRAZIONE. 2017. “PIANO NAZIONALE D’INTEGRAZIONE PER I TITOLARI DI

PROTEZIONE INTERNAZIONALE.” HTTP://WWW.INTERNO.GOV.IT/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/PIANO_NAZIONALE_INTEGRAZIONE_0.PDF 88

"SPORTELLO LAVORO: ORIENTAMENTO ED ACCOMPAGNAMENTO NELLA RICERCA DI UN IMPIEGO". 2018. CENTRO ASTALLI PALERMO. ACCESSED

FEBRUARY 3. HTTP://WWW.CENTROASTALLIPALERMO.IT/SPORTELLO-LAVORO-ORIENTAMENTO-ED-ACCOMPAGNAMENTO-NELLA-RICERCA-DI-UNIMPIEGO/.

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foreign workers) and created a network of migrant units on a regional and local basis coordinated by a union organizer89. These centers offer a wide range of support activities, from job related issues to migrants’ rights and legal advisory services regarding residence and work permits90. SPRAR centers offer employment and professional development services through the PAI Piano di Azione Individualizzato (personalized action plan) which entails coaching activities together with job hunt support and practical trainings including interviews to define migrant own attitudes91. Alongside to this, active efforts are made to make it easier for migrants to see their qualification recognized92. This however depends on individual SPRARs. Other support comes from the NGO sector with project especially tailored to migrant women entrepreneurship such as ARISE93 in 2017-2019. This project aims to support the integration of migrant women and their access to work and develop entrepreneurial capacities of migrant women. The focus lied in this project on food-related enterprises but the training that is offered, focusses both in soft skill and general management skills.

United Kingdom From the labour market integration of migrant women point of view, there are many local initiatives available for migrant women residing in the Sheffield area. Empower is an Inova-run project aimed at increasing vulnerable women employability by achieving the necessary skills to empower themselves. It also has a side programme called “EMPOWER Others” to provide support workers with the skills to give an appropriate response to the needs of their female clients. Moreover, in Sheffield there are many local organisations (Ashiana94, City Hearts95, Together Women96 and Snowdrop97 project) that work with migrant women providing support and 89

CHIAPPELLI. 2016. “MIGRANT WOMEN IN ITALY BETWEEN EXCLUSION AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. A GENDER PERSPECTIVE IN INCLUSION

PROCESSES”. COMPARATIVE CULTURAL STUDIES: EUROPEAN AND LATIN AMERICA PERSPECTIVES 2: 37-48 90

ANOLF. ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE OLTRE LE FRONTIERE. ACCESSED 15 FEBRUARY 2018. HTTP://WWW.ANOLF.IT/

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MINISTERO DELL’INTERNO. 2017. “LE INIZIATIVI DI BUONA ACCOGLIENZA E INTEGRAZIONE DEI MIGRANTI IN ITALIA. MODELLI, STRUMENTI E AZIONI.”

ROMA. HTTP://WWW.INTERNO.GOV.IT/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/RAPPORTO_ANNUALE_BUONE_PRATICHE_DI_ACCOGLIENZA_2017_ITA_WEB_REV1.PDF 92

CICCARONE, G. 2016. “LABOUR MARKET INTEGRATION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES. ITALY.” EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

HTTP://WWW.INTEGRAZIONEMIGRANTI.GOV.IT/DOCUMENTI-E-RICERCHE/ITALYAHR_LMINTEGRATIONOFASYLUMSEEKERS_REFUGEESMAY2016_FINAL.PDF 93

"ARISE - APPETITE FOR ENTERPRISE". 2018. CESIE. ACCESSED JULY 15. HTTP://CESIE.ORG/EN/PROJECT/ARISE/

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ASHIANA SHEFFIELD. 2018. ACCESSED 15 JULY HTTP://WWW.ASHIANASHEFFIELD.ORG/.

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CITY HEARTS SHEFFIELD, HTTP://CITY-HEARTS.CO.UK/.

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TOGETHER WOMEN. 2018. ACCESSED 15 JULY. HTTP://WWW.TOGETHERWOMEN.ORG/CENTRES/SHEFFIELD

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SNOWDROP. 2018. ACCESSED 15 JULY. HTTPS://SNOWDROPPROJECT.CO.UK/

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guidance in employment and other issues. In addition, the European union supports these organisations with a toolkit which gives to those working in the employment advisory sector the skills to work effectively with migrants.98 Iceland Concerning the labour market and employability integration, the W.O.M.A.N. organization (Women of multicultural ethnicity network in Iceland) advocates since 2003 for the interests of migrant women residing in Iceland. Their work is oriented towards achieving actual equality in the Icelandic society by removing all the obstacles that are on migrant women’s way to empowerment and equal opportunities. Another interesting project has been the Red Cross funded course “Empowering migrant women” (Símenntun - SMV). It aimed at increasing migrant women’s confidence and other social skills, setting the route for further progresses. Within the SMV, also an entrepreneurship skills workshop has been offered to unemployed migrants.

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"TOOLKIT. A SET OF TOOLS TO HELP EMPLOYMENT ADVISERS TO WORK WITH MIGRANTS". 2018. ACCESSED JULY 15. HTTP://WWW.MIGRANT-

TOOLKIT.EU/THETOOLKIT_TOOLKIT.HTML.

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6. OBSTACLES FACED BY MIGRANT WOMEN WOMEN’S SITUATION IN THE FOUR COUNTRIES Migrant women from different countries might face different obstacles when moving to a new country. It is impossible to make a comparison between all 4 countries without generalizing migrant women as if they were a homogeneous group (which they are not). It must be kept in mind that all countries have very different histories and current situations. This has a strong influence on the particular situation migrant women live in each country. However, below some of most remarkable similarities or differences are pointed out. For more particular and detailed information about the specific results of the focus groups and interviews, please refer to the national of each country. In all countries, some migrant women end up often in low–skilled jobs with a low salary and no social security. However, in countries like Iceland, low-paid jobs are still better paid than high-skilled jobs in other countries and are therefore maybe still attracting. In Iceland, most migrant women work in low-skilled jobs such as the fishing industry, tourism, caring (in hospitals and elderly homes), cleaning and services, often positions abandoned by islanders and filled up by immigrants. Also, in Greece and Italy, there are many migrant women who work in the domestic sector, as it remained one of the most stable jobs throughout the economic crisis that hit especially those two countries. A problem with the domestic sector is the illegality and irregularity. Often these jobs are without social security and thus increase the chances of exclusion and poverty. The idea of “migrant woman” as a woman fitting the description above, is only one type of migrant women. There are many other kinds of migrant women that do not fit this description: who find themselves in different situations and have different future opportunities. However, since we assume that for women who find themselves in the situation described above a training could be useful, the image of “migrant women” will often refer to this.

LANGUAGE Before mentioning any other obstacle, all women, despite their nationalities, in all 4 countries identified without doubt the language as main obstacle. Being able to speak the language gives confidence and opens the possibility to find a job. In the case of Iceland, the working language does not necessarily have to be Icelandic (although for many jobs it is required), in some cases only English can be enough.

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BEING A FOREIGNER & DISCRIMINATION Another obstacle mentioned in all countries is related to difficulties migrant women face by being a foreigner, closely related to the prevailing assumptions about certain nationalities or woman in general in a particular country. For instance, migrant women in Iceland or Italy felt that they are being looked at first and foremost as a foreigner, and only later judged on their actual capabilities and skills. Icelandic women expressed the feeling that they always have to proof themselves, vis-à-vis men as well as native counterparts, a sentiment that also in the Italian research came forward. Prejudices were present for women from all countries, and they all mentioned that this stand as a wall between them and possible employers, because it hinders the possibility to evaluate women for their real skills and capacities. As is supported by statistics, migrant women in all countries are considerably paid less than their native female counter parts.

“I always put a lot of effort in trying to find a job because there are prejudices, which are the first obstacle. Prejudices of incapability… because it is you. You are not one of us. You are not Italian. And thus it is assumed that you are ignorant. They don’t trust you because they think that maybe you did not even go to school” – KENYAN WOMEN IN INTERVIEW PALERMO In Greece and Italy, the interviews and focus groups showed that these kind of negative attitudes against migrant women could build up to serious forms of discrimination, mostly based on skin colour. Women from African countries experiences various occasions where their country of origin had been a reason for having a job declined. In Iceland however, the negative attitudes are more directed towards women from Eastern European background. Moreover, all countries showed a more negative than positive attitude towards migrant women. However, in some countries this balance tends to vary more than in others. In Greece, although being migrant itself was mentioned as an obstacle, another woman from Albania mentioned that the Greek people she has met and communicated with accepted her and helped her with information she needed especially when she first came to the country. In her words, “The people I met when I first came really helped me and supported me and my children.” On the contrary, Italy is by far the country where women felt discriminated the most and also research into public opinion did not come back positive. According to a research of

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Eumetra Monterosa survey in 201699, the attitude of Italians towards immigrants arriving in our country is becoming less tolerant. Mistrust and hostility are common. For example, in response to the question asked “to what extent we should accept those who come, more or less legally, in our territory”, 26% of the interviewees stated that "we must reject them all because Italy it cannot accept it anymore" and it was emphasized how this percentage had increased compared to what had emerged in previous years. The survey names a number of factors contributing to the spread of hostility towards migrants: the economic crisis and its consequent employment, as well as fear for Muslims after the attacks in Paris or Cologne. However, this fear of Islam did not come forward so clearly during the interviews, rather a discrimination based on race. In the UK although research shows an increasing resentment towards immigration 100, most women did not feel discriminated because of their origins especially at the work place. Greek results are more in line with the Italian ones although on a lighter way as discrimination based on racial grounds was present but at the same time one interviewee from Nigeria stated:

“It’s true that you may not always feel 100% that you belong in this society and you always keep closer to people from your country, but the Greek people are hospitable and willing to help you.” She said, she hasn’t faced discrimination in the workplace and this is probably due to the fact that she works in an educational institution which has an open and receptive culture. Icelandic people’s attitude towards immigrants is in countertendency since most of the participants gave generally positive comments on their experiences. Nevertheless, in Iceland as well there have been discriminating experiences and a study stating the experience of quota refugee women in Iceland, shows that the integration process was difficult, and revealed that the women felt isolated from the Icelandic society 101. There is no research or statistic evidence that migrant women get fewer opportunities and promotions at work, other than the assumption of their general status. As their social capital is low in a new country, they are at risk of stress and depression.

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"L'OPINIONE DEGLI ITALIANI SULL'ARRIVO DEGLI IMMIGRATI". 2016. EUMETRA MR. HTTPS://WWW.EUMETRAMR.COM/IT/LOPINIONE-DEGLI-ITALIANI-

SULLARRIVO-DEGLI-IMMIGRATI. 100

BLINDER, S., AND ALLEN, W. L.. 2016. “UK PUBLIC OPINION TOWARD IMMIGRATION: OVERALL ATTITUDES AND LEVEL OF CONCERN” THE MIGRATION

OBSERVATORY. HTTP://WWW.MIGRATIONOBSERVATORY.OX.AC.UK/RESOURCES/BRIEFINGS/UK-PUBLIC-OPINION-TOWARD-IMMIGRATION-OVERALLATTITUDES-AND-LEVEL-OF-CONCERN/. 101

SKAPTADÓTTIR, U. D. & KRISTJÁNSDÓTTIR, E. 2017. “STUNDUM FINNST MÉR ÞEIR HORFA Á MIG EINS OG ÉG SÉ GEIMVERA”: UPPLIFUN

FLÓTTAKVENNA Í LITLU BÆJARFÉLAGI Á ÍSLANDI.” ÍSLENSKA ÞJÓÐFÉLAGIÐ, 8, P.67-80.

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CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Cultural differences did not come forward as a large obstacle in find employment, however it was mentioned as difficult in UK, as some employers might not understand certain religious holidays and the fear of cultural misunderstanding might women back from applying for a job in the first place. Furthermore, they mentioned that negative attitudes from within the community might hold them back as well, e.g. negative attitudes towards women who want to be successful. In the Italian research cultural differences were discussed as problems of misunderstanding and miscommunication, already at the job interview. One example was the different ways of showing respect between Asian countries and Italy. In China respect is shown with a low and gentle voice, whereas in Italy this could indicate insecurity.

“A cultural obstacle is how to behave with employers. In Asia, the culture is like that that when I respect a persona, I talk more gentle, soft, with soft voice. However, for people from Palermo this means that I am not confident. When I saw this, I got angry and raised my voice and I got the respect. This is the opposite of what for us means respect: respect means lower voice. For people who look for work should not talk too gentle (gentile) because it looks like we don’t have confidence. This is a problem”. A similar situation occurred for the Senegalese women, as she explained about how respect in Senegal is shown by looking down and quietly listening, which in Italy – at least, in Palermo - maybe it is seen as insecure, timid or even respect less. This aspect was also mentioned by the employers, as they had several experiences with different cultures. This was especially brought forward by one business intermediary from the migrant centre. She recalled several cases in which women would avoid eye contact, would not take off their hat when coming into the room, or had other kind of behaviour that came across as shy, low confidence or even rude, when in reality it might have been caused by cultural difference.

LEGAL OBSTACLES Legal status and lack of documentation (e.g. employment contract) have been pointed out as a problem especially in Italy and Greece whereas they are also present in Iceland and the UK. For instance, as women in the focus group in Greece mentioned, “When having to find a job, bureaucracy can be a large obstacle, both to obtain initial residence or work permits and to renew these documents, since the system is not organized and it is difficult to find the

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right person to talk to.” Given also the high influx of refugees in the country, the situation has deteriorated during the last years and the state mechanism is unable to respond fast and effectively. Moreover, all four countries involved in this research tend to point out to degree and other qualification recognition as an impactful obstacle to migrant women inclusion in the labour market. Each country has its own legal requirements as well as processes to recognise degrees and other educational attainments such as training courses which has been completed abroad. Altogether these legal obstacles tend to lead to a widespread exploitation of migrant women especially if employed without a legal contract. Exploitation is a problem especially in Italy, as it came forward in the qualitative research, the difficulty to obtain a regular contract is one of the biggest obstacles migrant women face, especially because it is necessary for them to have a contract in order to renew their documents. It was seen as one of the biggest frustrations and one of the main reasons to leave a job. Related to that, another obstacle mentioned both in Italy as well as in Iceland, is the lack of knowledge of the local system, rules, etc. This knowledge can be useful in negotiation a contract since knowing your rights helps in spotting and avoiding potential exploitation.

OTHER OBSTACLES In the English research, in addition to language, and discrimination, women mentioned the lack of confidence, the lack of specific skills such as ICT or CV writing, and the lack of experiences as obstacles in finding employment. As one woman from the Focus Group in United Kingdom said: ‘being a woman AND a migrant can definitely make you feel less confident’. The importance of confidence was highlighted and the lack of it seen as an obstacle, not only for finding employment, but also in the achievement of other skills that might help to find employment such as speaking English. The lack of experiences was also mentioned, as without experience as well as the recognition of previous experiences or credentials, it is very difficult to find a job in the UK. In addition, it is difficult to get credentials recognized in the UK. This shows in the fact that even though the majority migrant women have finished previous education, they are not in paid employment and if they are, in lowpaid part time jobs for which they are overqualified. This was confirmed by the research conducted in Greece where personal references are the most important features in the search for a job, especially in the domestic sector. Getting a job then relies also largely on personal network and recommendations. Another obstacle that was mentioned by the migrant women in Italy were children, as children often prevent women from working (full-time) and if women work in irregular and not well protected jobs, they are often not entitled to maternity leaf.

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Finally, the economic situation in Greece and Italy and therefore the scarcity of jobs available, was seen by the migrant women in both countries as an obstacle.

OCCUPATIONAL SEGREGATION All the previously described obstacles contribute in generating the preconditions for the widespread and transversal to all four countries occupational segregation. The concept of segregation in the labour market is usually referred to as “the tendency for men and women to be employed in different occupations from each other” 102 often this is complemented with an occupational concentration, which in turn refers to situation in which certain groups are represented in higher proportions that other in certain types of occupations or sectors of employment.103 Below, this phenomenon is further discussed from each country point of view. Greece The majority of migrant women, despite their professional or educational background and the status they had in their countries, had a limited choice of labour opportunities in Greece, including mostly the domestic services, taking care of elderly, sick people or children. So, they mostly work in houses. The result is that although in Greece they might have a higher income, their professional status is lower.

Italy: Occupational segregation came forward both from the focus groups carried out with migrant women and those conducted with employers. The fact that migrant women in Palermo are massively employed in the housekeeping/caregiving sector shaped the idea of what a migrant woman is for employers and surprisingly for migrant women as well. For instance, a business intermediary said that most migrant women who come in the drop-in centre looking for work focus their search mostly on domestic work positions. Their educational background is not considered once they look for a new job since, as the business intermediary confirmed, they look for the easiest job to get. The demand for domestic work is so high that over time it has built a sort of consciousness among migrants that it is easier for women than for men to get a job in Palermo, in countertendency with the actual country figure. The six African women who participated all worked in as babysitters or housekeepers 102

SILTANEN, J., JARMAN, J. AND BLACKBURN, R. 1995. “GENDER INEQUALITY IN THE LABOUR MARKET: OCCUPATIONAL

CONCENTRATION AND SEGREGATION.” GENEVA: INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE. P. 4. 103

IBID

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and 5 out of 6 still are. Only one works currently as cultural mediator but would like to work again as a babysitter. The occupational segregation and concentration can be explained by the history and work demand in Italy and Palermo. Since domestic work is such a ‘stable niche’ which a stable demand of work, many women end up working in this sector even if they are higher qualified.104 Overqualification is thus strongly connected to job segregation. For instance, one of the women interviewed had an accountant background back in Ivory Coast but since she moved to Italy she has always been working as caregiver/housekeeper. When asked what her ideal employment would be she answered working with kids or alternatively that she wanted to start a business, probably a grocery store. Also, other women expressed interests for positions requiring way lower educational backgrounds than those they achieved. This demonstrate low expectations on their career possibility in Palermo. United Kingdom According to the Migration Observatory “a greater share of female migrants is employed in professional (employment), and at the low-skilled end in elementary and processing occupations”105 this includes doctors and teachers and at low skilled jobs such as processing and cleaning. Furthermore, “About 29% of the female migrants in professional occupations are nurses and midwives”.106 Intermediaries identified a set of prejudices which brings migrant towards thinking employers might not be interested in hiring them. Sometimes they might also fear to be mistreated and lack in confidence. This depends on the company though. Another issue identified has been the fact that generally migrant women apply for lower positions because they do not feel confident with their English language skills.

104 105

HTTP://WWW.INGENERE.IT/ARTICOLI/IMMIGRAZIONE-ITALIA-POSTO-DELLE-DONNE RIENZO, C. 2017. “CHARACTERISTICS AND OUTCOMES OF MIGRANTS IN THE UK LABOUR MARKET”, (5TH REVISION), THE MIGRANT OBSERVATORY.

23RD MARCH 2017, HTTP://WWW.MIGRATIONOBSERVATORY.OX.AC.UK/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2016/04/BRIEFING-CHARACTERISTICS-ANDOUTCOMES-OF-MIGRANTS-IN-THE-UK-LABOUR-MARKET-1.PDF, PG. 5. 106

IBID.

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FIGURE 13: OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION FOR FEMALE FOREIGN-BORN AND UK-BORN WORKERS IN 2015. SOURCE: LABOUR FORCE SURVEY, Q1-Q4

Iceland In Iceland, the tendency is to offer migrant women low skilled jobs which give less salary. Those jobs are in the fishing industry, tourism, caring (in hospitals and elderly homes), cleaning and services. These are often positions that Icelanders have abandoned, and immigrants, especially women, have filled. From the focus group, the women who are not working in the field they are educated in, are more or less hoping to get a job according to their education. One of them is hoping to be able to open her own beauty salon but has made some compromises

“This is an ideal place for my fiancé because he can work with what he wants to work with, mainly cook food. I like it here, but I would have liked to be somewhere where I could work in my profession. I made a little compromise, but it is ok.” An Icelandic employer explained a situation in Iceland that is very similar to Italy. He argued that it is easy for migrant women to get job in restaurants, hotels, tourist industry. It is relatively easier for migrant women to get a low-skill jobs with low-income. It seems like they do not have not enough confidence to seek work that they are qualified for. Often it is because of their language skills.

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OBSTACLES ACCORDING TO EMPLOYERS Employers often mentioned the same types of obstacles as the women did, however considerably less obstacles. For all countries, this started with the language, as the language is a way to understand instructions but also to socialize with co-workers and to show confidence. It also is the prerequisite for some jobs, such as jobs that implicate working on a constant contact with clients. Throughout interviews and focus groups with Italian employers, the lack of language skills has been recognized as resulting often in a sort of general shyness which in turns could hinder migrant woman employability in sectors requiring constant contact with the consumers. This has been identified as a problem especially for Italian employers form the food and beverage industry which said that “when they have to be proactive, they sort of miss the chance to do their best, I think because they undermine themselves and are a little shy when approaching customers for instance”. In UK employers recognized the problem women face regarding the recognition of credentials and previous experiences, which often means that migrant women have to start from zero, regardless of their previous experiences. Also, the employers in Greece acknowledged this fact but at the same time for them the most important feature before hiring someone were the personal references, because of the necessity of previous work experience that can be easily verified. Lack of references can prove an obstacle also because of trust. Employers need to know who their employee is so they can trust their business with them. In Italy, employers also mentioned that stereotypes held by employers might hinder the employment possibilities for migrant women. Some stereotypes that came forward anyways were bad time-management and bad quality standards, other were vaguer and named “stereotypes related to the country of origin”. It was also mentioned that the ability of migrant women is often underestimated and they are frequently seen as stay-at-home mum. For employers in domestic work, especially for caregivers, importance is given to the knowledge of Italian habits and food. This is often seen as an obstacle when hiring migrant women because especially older people want Italian food and thus want their helper to have as much knowledge about Italian food (and language) as possible. In conclusion, language is seen by far as the biggest obstacle for migrant women in all four countries. The lack of local language skills seems to affect not only women’s ability to communicate but also their overall confidence and ability to build positive relationships with employers, co-workers and customers. Improving language skills and related social skills appear to be paramount to achieve a full professional growth for migrant women. Another obstacle is the double discrimination towards migrant women as it emerged from our

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research. The double discrimination means that migrant women get discriminated twice, both for being foreigners and women. This negatively affects their chances to find employment, the sectors in which they could find it and their wage levels as well. Cultural norms and customs have been also identified as a potential obstacle if migrant women are not aware of them. This also entails some time management, everyday life courtesy and behaviours that could be misinterpreted both by migrant women and their employers. The lack of ICT and CV writing skills has been considered an obstacle by most of the participants in our research. In addition, all these obstacles cause the high levels of occupational segregation that migrant women suffer (although on different intensity) throughout the four countries.

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7. SKILLS FOR EMPLOYMENT: In order to improve the employability skills of migrant women, it is important to know what are exactly the kind of skills women possess and employers deem necessary to have. In order to avoid going too deeply into a specific profession, the skills are mostly transversal. In each interview and focus group the participants were asked to define, according to them, employability and entrepreneurship skills. Furthermore, the participants were asked what are the skills that a necessary to work, and which of those they though migrant women might already possess or rather had to develop more. It turned out difficult to put down in concrete terms this information due to the fact that the concept of migrant women is very broad and many skills, specific or broad, depend on the education enjoyed by the women and particular experience they might have had. As migrant women refer to a heterogeneous group, so are their skills. Furthermore, it is also debatable if there are skill that are particularly important for migrant women, or if there are skills in general that count for everyone equally. Nevertheless, in the following paragraphs the main ideas of women and employers are presented. The focus is mostly on employability skills, as this concept was more acceptable and often closer to the reality of the interviewees.

FORMAL EDUCATIONAL SKILLS AND OVERQUALIFICATION Concerning formal education, in all countries it is difficult for any foreigner to validate and getting recognized previous education, titles and experience.107 This means that technical and field specific skills are often undervalued and not used. Often, official statistics show that migrant women have high levels of education. UK has one of the highest proportions of highly educated foreign-born residents in the EU and in Greece, around 65% of migrant women have finished secondary education, which is higher compared with Greek women. As said before, in Italy the level of education is closely linked to the legal status, nationality, reasons for migration, and time of stay. Newly arrived migrant women, coming through irregular paths from countries in central and North Africa, tend to have lower educational levels than migrant men and their native counterparts. On the other hand, many female migrants with a regular resident permit and therefore counted in official national statistics, have often secondary education. In addition, the educational levels differ greatly depending on the country of origin. Among migrant women from the Philippines or Ukraine, the educational levels are higher and overqualification is one of the challenges that these migrant women face. This is due to the stable nice of domestic work in which many women

107

For more information, please read chapter 2, section “National policies on immigration�

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work, nonetheless their educational background, and the difficulty to get experiences and titles recognized. It seems that in each country (there is no data from Iceland) the education levels of (some) migrant women are high, even higher than native women (or men). However, due to difficulties to recognize these credits and credentials, the skills those women possess fail in being used as an asset for societal and economic growth. On the contrary, overqualification and low-paid jobs and low social status are common issues for migrant women. In the section Employers and Staff, this topic is further explored.

NECESSARY SKILLS ACCORDING TO WOMEN LANGUAGE SKILLS Related to the biggest obstacle, the most important skills for any migrant women necessary for employment is knowledge of the local language, “spoken, reading and writing” (participant of FG in the UK). However, speaking multiple languages is an asset. In the UK one of the interviewees expressed that the fact she spoke Spanish and English was extremely useful for her job role in hospitality. Also, in Iceland, language (English or Icelandic) is very important. “Either you speak very good English or Icelandic, but it also depends on the job”. In Italy or Greece, the women identified the local language as the most important one to master, in order to be able to communicate with employers and negotiate with them, and consequently integrate in the labour market and the society.

BE INFORMED ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS AND DUTIES A second, important skill is related to be informed about rights and duties of an employee and knowledge of the local system. This was mentioned in Iceland and Italy during the focus groups and interviews.

“I now know talking with you that I have some rights that I did not know about. In Poland we do not talk about this” – WOMAN FROM POLAND DURING THE FOCUS GROUP IN ICELAND In Italy, this skill was also closely related to communication, relation and negotiation skills. Once migrant women are aware of their rights and duties, they must also be able to have a conversation about this with their potential employers and be able to depend themselves and standing up for their rights (however being always respectful).

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CONFIDENCE & RESILIENCE An important skill that came forward during the focus groups and interviews, especially in the United Kingdom, was the importance of confidence, something that for many women was actually lacking. This lack of confidence holds them back in terms of willing to apply for jobs, have aspirations and to succeed in job applications. This counts both for jobs as an employee or as an entrepreneur, the latter not being an field for “women like them”. Even though this skill did not come forward in the same words or strength in other countries, similar sentiments were shared. In Iceland one woman argued:

“You need to understand the culture you are working in. You don’t need to have all the skills, you need to sell the image of that you are confident in yourself.” Another one said that the only skill really needed was “not to give up” meaning the importance of resilience. In Italy for instance, a woman from Senegal advocated that migrant women should be strong and brave and only then they will succeed. It looks clear that the road migrant women have to follow is not always easy anyways confidence and resilience will help them to achieve more.

ICT SKILLS AND OTHER TRANSVERSAL SKILLS Other transversal skills that have been mentioned were ICT skills. These came forward in the research in Greece and the UK as a necessary - but often still lacking – skill. In one of the interviews, the participant kept referring back to a lack of computer skills. She told a joke about how “even coffee shops have fancy tills now, which require a computer-skilled background!” She felt like she had so much to offer personality-wise and with her work ethics but she had a serious lack of computer skills, which she really wanted to learn. Also in Greece, the answers went a little more into depth when it came to skills and women, especially in the interviews, would also mention entrepreneurship skills, technical skills, problem solving and decision-making skills, as useful skills to develop.

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“For a woman to find the job she really likes, she needs to study at university or do a professional qualification since employers look for qualified candidates. All the skills she acquired at university helped her like time management, group work, problem solving” - (INTERVIEW NIGERIAN WOMEN WHO STUDIED AND WORKS IN GREECE IN AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION)

However, these skills might be more for advanced skill development, when someone wants develop more, rather than the first necessary skills. UK focus group with newcomers also listed first technical skills, however after that added soft skills such as listening, timekeeping, communication and being friendly.

KNOWING LOCAL CULTURE AND HABITS In Italy, one of the skills that was mentioned was to understand cultural norms, culture and habits of the local community”. This is especially true for work related to the house and care sectors. Especially in Italy it is important because older people who need help, often want to eat Italian food. But in general, to adapt to a new environment, to be open-minded and to learn from others. However, you need also to be yourself and not lose completely your culture. As the Senegalese woman told us, it is to find the balance between adapting to the new environment and pride of one’s culture. After building relations of trust, other people might be also more open for other cultures. Moreover, during the interviews and focus groups with migrant women in Italy, the focus lied much on communication and behaviour. This includes the necessary skills to make a good impression, to present yourself properly, how to generate trust, how to read people and behave accordingly, how to build positive and trustful relationships with employers, the importance of smiling to facilitate positive communication.

“By the way of talking. She [employer] needs to know how she can trust me. The way in which we present each other is very important. And this creates trust. You need to learn for each person in which speed they want things, or instead rather slowly”. – WOMAN FROM KENYA DURING THE FIRST ITALIAN FOCUS GROUP NECESSARY SKILLS ACCORDING TO EMPLOYERS Employers have confirmed that knowledge of the local language is the most important and necessary skill. However, as it has also been said during the interviews and focus groups with women, the fact that migrant women can speak more than one language is an asset. The

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majority of the Italian employers interviewed put an emphasis on this particular aspect as one of them pointed out “they [migrant women] are usually bilingual, this brought a strong added value to my enterprise”, especially in the restaurant sector. Or in case of specific intercultural environment such as a kinder garden for migrant women’s children, or projects targeting specifically a group from a particular culture or language, having employees who speak the language of the target group is a valuable asset. Confidence is another skill that employers confirmed as being highly relevant. In Italy, employers mentioned that being self-confident is important, and it is something that is often lacking. Italian employers who were interviewed mentioned that migrant women often seem shy and not proactive. Even though this is partly due to the language issue (for which confidence is also necessary): “lack of language skills results in the fact that their approach to the work environment is kind of low profile I think because they feel less confident than other workers”. In the UK, confidence even came out when defining the concept of ‘employability skills’: “confidence, building that up, selling themselves at interview. You need self-confidence for that”. Hence, self-confidence is important to apply for jobs as well as to succeed at the job interview. Also, for Icelandic employers, the focus on self-confidence is important since migrant women often seem more reserved than men:

“It is relatively easier for migrant women to have low-income jobs. It seems that they do not have not enough confident to seek work that they are qualified for. Often it is because of their language skills. Men do not seem to have the same problem. They often apply for jobs they are not qualified for and the demand higher pay.” Furthermore, from the interviews and focus groups with employers it became clear that confidence was seen as important mostly in jobs that included frequent contacts with clients or co-workers. Thus, in the case of domestic work in Greece or Italy, self-confidence was mentioned to a lesser extent. Here the focus lied more on the language and other transversal skills such as time management, punctuality, paying attention to detail and knowledge of cultural habits in order to work at people’s houses in line with the local cultural norms. Household skills, cooking skills, honesty and experience with children were also mentioned as a valuable skill to this specific field of work. Other skills were mentioned regarding transversal skills necessary for any job or any person. In the Italian interviews and focus group were mentioned: communication skills, punctuality, reliability, relational skills with customers or clients, and team work. In addition, adaptability and flexibility were mentioned in relation to the ability to learn something new, to acquire

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new skills and to overcome any particular cultural differences such as serving alcohol as a bartender during Ramadan. In Iceland the need for communication skills was also acknowledged and added with other transversal skills such as a sense of initiative, to understand what needs to be done and when it is necessary to ask for help, selfmanagement, the willingness to learn, ambition, and emotional intelligence. In Greece necessary skills had not been specified in details for migrant women, but rather skills that are necessary for anyone looking for a job: time management, organization, decision making, problem solving. These are especially important to work in other than domestic sector. Despite this being general employability skills, Italian employers mentioned self-care and knowing how to make a good first impression as important things their employees should have. Therefore, also knowing how to behave according to the local culture was deemed important. Related to that, both in the English, Iceland and Italian focus group, the knowledge of the local procedures and system, and rights and duties as an employee was pointed out. One thing that employers from all countries had in common, was the positive view of migrant women as hard working. Maybe hard working to proof themselves as worthy as their male counterparts (UK employer) or in order to take care of their families (Greek employer). In several interviews conducted in Italy with employers, they would mention that migrant women have strong work ethic and they work very hard [quote]. “[migrant women] have a stronger drive to work because the whole process can take a long time, and a lot of pressure” (English employer from the focus group). Employers also listed empathy, resilience and adaptability as skills that migrant women have plenty of.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS Entrepreneurship skills were mainly discussed by employers and business intermediaries. In some interviews and focus groups the topic did not came to the surface, in others the topic of entrepreneurship was too far from the reality of the women for it to be discussed. In the UK focus group with migrant women they never heard of it before, and when explained as self-employment it was said “not for people like them” but rather related to a male dominant area of work. Employers had more experience with the topic. In Iceland an employer defined entrepreneurship skills as

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“Seeing and understanding the opportunities ahead of others. Valuable individuals are those that have ambition and can see when some things can be done better. They want to be successful”. In Greece employers focussed more on the business side:

“The ability to run your own business and take care of all the tasks, communication with customers and suppliers, being polite and organized” or “The skills to run a business and grow it to be healthy and survive, like budgeting, customer service, problem solving, sales”. In Italy, some women would give some definition for entrepreneurship skills such as selfemployment and given others employment, being a fair boss, which includes all characteristics that they would have liked to see in a boss: entrepreneurs have to have respect for their employees, make a contract for their employees and have patience. However, from the employer’s side, one employer who is a partial owner of a restaurant mentioned in the focus group that entrepreneurship is becoming a hype and that people have the idea that having a talent is the basis of the business. However, according to him, the talent is the least important thing of starting a business and all other parts of starting and running a business such as budgeting skills and organization are far more important and more difficult to find. The Senegalese woman who has her own restaurant seemed to be more positive about being an entrepreneur, as she saw it as the possibility to create her own work when there was none. However, her restaurant is not completely fully licenced and thus she has to find a way to work without complying with the many rules of the municipality. To conclude, language skills of course need to be improved as it has been argued in the previous paragraphs, however migrant women multilingualism could also be an opportunity. Their ability to speak both the local language and a foreign one could bring a strong added value to a wide range of enterprises in which they could be employed. This has been confirmed by some migrant women and employers both in Italy and the UK. A helpful skill for migrant women could be to have some solid knowledge on their rights as well as employment and social security legal framework in order to avoid exploitation in the first place but also increase their negotiation power. Another key improvement area is Technology. Especially ICT skills are becoming more and more integrated in each employment sector’s required skills therefore migrant women as well should familiarize with

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ICT in order to improve their success. CV writing skills and job application process are also sensitive issues for migrant women as it came out of this research. Providing a solid understanding of what needs to be done in order to write a good CV, successfully go through a job interview and the whole job application process has also been identified as an important area for improvements. Moreover, social and customary behaviours knowledge have been pointed out, especially by employers, as something migrant women should definitely deepen their knowledge on. Social skills are indeed a complementary skill, together with language skills, to achieve positive and respectful relationship with employers, co-workers and customers. Finally, although migrant women generally show a lack of confidence, they are strong and resilient individuals who can easily adapt and be flexible. Employers often tend to refer to migrant women as hard-working people with a strong work ethic and high commitment to the company’s mission. Concerning entrepreneurial skills, what emerged from the research is that entrepreneurial skills cover a wide range of competences, from a knowledge of local legal and bureaucratic processes to licences law, form foreseeing opportunities and competitive business areas to managerial skills such as budgeting.

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8. CHALLENGES AT THE WORK PLACE This chapter aims to further explain how discrimination that migrant women face, affects their relationship with employers and co-workers as well as their ability to integrate themselves in the work environment. Discrimination is double-faced by being both a migrant and a woman and it entails worse pay conditions, working hours, pay-gap, occupational segregation, overqualification and exploitation. Italy appears to be the country where discrimination against migrant women at the work place is by far worse, according to the personal stories in the interviews and focus groups. However, viewed from statistics, Greece suffers a large inequality both on the front of women as on the front of migrants. The UK showed a double-faced discrimination as well against migrant women, but results of interviews and focus groups identified a more open-minded work environment, more opportunities and higher respect for workers with a diverse background. However, they also expressed the need for more intercultural training and support for those migrants who do not feel confident enough to get a job in the UK. Regarding Iceland, most of the respondent did not feel discriminated, some of them experienced some difficulties in finding a job according to their qualification, but overall the majority of them has had career advancement. A problem that has been identified is the lack of language skills that hinder the possibility for employers to hire migrants.

CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN DOUBLE DISCRIMINATION In Italy, discrimination towards migrant women has two faces since they suffer inequalities by being migrants and inequalities by being women as well. Italy scores 62.1 in the gender equality index, which means that the situation is improving (it was at a 44.9 level in 2005). However, even though Italy is catching up with its European partners (EU average being 66.2) the gender gap intensifies for those who achieved lower educational attainment108. Overall, Italian men earn more than Italian women which are also less employed and working mostly in certain area of the labour market such as education, health and social works. Women are underrepresented in scientific and technical professions, managerial position both in the private and the public sector. Discrimination towards immigrants at the work place takes form of sensibly lower earnings (TCNs tend to earn 25% less than nationals, EU-nationals 19.9% less than Italians). This paygap gets even wider (up to 28.1%) if disaggregated by gender. Furthermore, since domestic

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GLASSDOOR. 2016. “RESEARCH REPORT: WHICH COUNTRIES IN EUROPE HAVE THE BEST GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE?�

HTTPS://WWW.GLASSDOOR.COM/RESEARCH/APP/UPLOADS/SITES/2/2016/05/GLASSDOOR_GENDEREQUALITY.PDF

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work is such a ‘stable niche’ and women are less employed than men in any other sector of the Italian labour market, many women end up working in this sector even if they are higher qualified109. The situation seems to tend towards the same direction in the UK, even though to a lesser extent. Migrant women who live in UK face double discrimination as well, but the paygap they suffer is less sharp than the one of Italy. The pay gap is 9.4%

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, 1 in 10 women

have experience sexual harassment in the workplace and the UK scores 71.5 on the Gender Equality Index111. Migrant women face discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity as well, unemployment rates for white being 4%, 7.8% for BAME groups112. In Iceland, little is known about migrants’ experiences of gender-based or ethnic-based discrimination in the workplace. Recent, public debates following the #MeToo movement indicate that many women in Iceland have been affected by gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Although no statistical data demonstrate how migrant women experience that discrimination, it may be assumed that their status is even more vulnerable than among women who are born and raised in Iceland from native parentage. However, there are several laws in place to ensure the equality between men and women, as well as native and foreign employees. In January 2018, a new legislation on equal pay for women and men was implemented, enforcing companies and organisations with 25 or more employees to systematically demonstrate equal pay for equal work. Furthermore, according to the Act on Working Terms and Pension Rights Insurance, No. 55/1980113 all workers in Iceland enjoy the same rights and obligations. They all fall under collective agreements that stipulate basic rights and obligations for all workers and it does not matter if the worker is a formal member of a Trade Union or not. In Greece, research shows that migrant women participate less in society due to child and household responsibilities, which leads to an even lower representation of their needs and interests.114 This in turn affects their possibility to be informed on issues that affect them such

109

DEMAIO, G. 2015. “QUAL È IL POSTO DELLE DONNE IMMIGRATE IN ITALIA? RISPONDONO I DATI DEL DOSSIER STATISTICO IMMIGRAZIONE 2015,

APPENA DIFFUSO”. HTTP://WWW.INGENERE.IT/ARTICOLI/IMMIGRAZIONE-ITALIA-POSTO-DELLE-DONNE) 110

THE PRINCE’S RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS NETWORK. 2017. “WOMEN AND WORK: THE FACTS”

HTTPS://OPPORTUNITYNOW.BITC.ORG.UK/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/WOMEN_AND_WORK_THE_FACTS.PDF?WIDTH=500&HEIGHT=1000&IFRAME=TRUE 111

"UNITED KINGDOM | INDEX | 2015 | GENDER EQUALITY INDEX | EIGE". 2015. EIGE. HTTP://EIGE.EUROPA.EU/GENDER-EQUALITY-INDEX/2015/UK.

112

BROWN, J., 2017. “UNEMPLOYMENT BY ETHNIC BACKGROUND”. HOUSE OF COMMONS LIBRARY. BRIEFING PAPER 6385, 21ST NOVEMBER 2017,

HTTP://RESEARCHBRIEFINGS.FILES.PARLIAMENT.UK/DOCUMENTS/SN06385/SN06385.PDF 113

“ACT ON WORKING TERMS AND PENSION RIGHTS INSURANCE NO. 55/1980”. 2018 ACCESSED FEBRUARY 15:

HTTPS://ENG.VELFERDARRADUNEYTI.IS/MEDIA/ACROBATENSKAR_SIDUR/16012012_ACT_ON_WORKING_TERMS_AND_PENSION_RIGHTS_INSURANCE_NO_55_1980_WITH_SUBSEQUENT_AMENDMENTS.PDF 114

UNFPA AND OXFAM. 2016. “A SUMMARY OF ASSESSMENT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, THE SITUATION OF REFUGEE AND MIGRANT

WOMEN, GREECE”. HTTPS://DATA2.UNHCR.ORG/EN/DOCUMENTS/DOWNLOAD/53261

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as legal rights or access to available services. Moreover, when women also face a language barrier, their participation is even more low. Furthermore, the Greece scores 50.1 on the Gender Equality Index115 which shows especially a high gap in power between man and women. Eurostat data on Greece shows that 35.7% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, more than half of this is made up by foreign born persons. In addition, the average income of migrants in Greece between 25-54 is lower compared to the average income of native Greek people. When migrant women are formally employed they enjoy the same rights to access to services as Greek nationals. However, since many women are employed in informal or uninsured labour, even if they are formal residents in the country, they face discrimination and limited access. In the interviews and focus groups in all countries, the forms of discrimination seemed less present than the statistics indicated and if discrimination was mentioned, it was mostly in relation to the fact of being foreign rather than being a woman. For example, in the United Kingdom, interview respondent had not experienced discrimination at the work place in the UK. When asked about gender discrimination, one participant said: “I don’t think there is a difference in this country. Opportunities are the same for men and women.”

Another

interviewee however responded: “being a woman AND a migrant can definitely make you feel less confident.” Another respondent found an open-minded and collaborative environment where she had it easy to find her place into. Despite the positive experience, both interviewees expressed the fear of being discriminated for being a foreigner, even if the reality was different. The focus groups (mostly included newcomer women, without much working experience in the UK) showed different results since most women felt they had been often treated suspiciously unless the employer was a migrant himself/herself. Another issue that came out was the relevance of cultural misunderstanding in leading some migrant women away from the labour market. Migrant women living in Greece did not mention problems with the local population. Greek people where seen as friendly and helpful. They also did not mention the difference between men and women in Greek society. Employers seemed open minded and treating people for their actual skills, personality and character rather than their nationality. There was no distinction made between Greek or foreign employees as long as they have the credentials. However, in a different focus group, women especially from African decent experience discrimination based on race.

115

“GREECE | INDEX | 2015 | GENDER EQUALITY INDEX | EIGE". 2015. EIGE. HTTP://EIGE.EUROPA.EU/GENDER-EQUALITY-INDEX/2015/EL.

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This came also forward in the Italian focus group and interviews with migrant women in which reveal an alarmingly frequent rejection and prejudices especially against black people. Many negative experiences came out during the focus group and interviews.

“Sometimes I’m on the phone with an employer who has work to offer but they ask: where do you come from? Africa? Si Africa! From which part, Tunisia or Morocco? No, Ghana. Ah, no sorry I was looking for an Italian” – WOMEN FROM GHANA IN THE FIRST ITALIAN FOCUS GROUP

Most of the discrimination was due to ignorance and fear according to the women. Nevertheless, this led to feeling to always needing to proof herself as a valid working since she felt underestimated by most of her previous employers as well as other co-workers. During another interview with a Kenyan woman she said about relationships with other colleagues:

“There exist also bullying at work between colleagues: you will come always after me. [...] Colleagues will let you feel that you always come after them. Even if you work the same” or later she added “someone can know you, know your capacity and know what you can do but refuse to accept that” [and therefore treat you as less]. The discrimination face for being a woman came forward in the second focus group in Italy, in which women from Ukraine, Vietnam and China participated. They mentioned, rather than their nationality or ethnicity, the comments or assumptions they experienced that were related to being a woman. Examples were the idea that they came to Palermo only for marriage or in case they were not married, some employers would hit on them.

In Iceland, however, the lack of statistics on discrimination seem to reflect the experience of the women in the focus group. All had a different but positive story to tell:

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“I have never faced racism here, just the language barrier and being a foreigner. For example, I know a lot of Philippines here who have lived for 30 years or more, and nobody of them has a high position. I don’t know if they are not searching for it or have not had the opportunities.” They all mentioned that they did not experience discrimination or racism in Iceland. In the interviews both positive and negative experiences with the job market were expressed. Two of the women have jobs according to their education and one who holds a degree as a kindergarten teacher is working as an assistant teacher in primary school today. One of the women was very surprised being the only woman in the working place, and she was treated equal to the men. No one expected her to do the typical “woman’s work” like cooking or cleaning. Discrimination happens in certain occasions according to the migrant women in the focus group:

“Unfortunately, people believe in stereotypes and migrants are often grouped in certain ways or people make assumption about how they are. Migrants often get payed less than Icelanders. If they complain to the union, they lose their job. No one is complaining or talking about the situation”. EXPLOITATION Especially clear from the participants in Italy was the exploitation of female migrant labour. From personal stories in the interviews and focus groups it came forward that women are often supposed to work long hours for a low wage. Since low-paid labour often includes work in the domestic sector, women are asked to move into the house of the person, house or children they take care for. This might be far away from the city. In addition, rarely are they given a legal contract with the right amount of hours and wage. Finally, as described before, the knowhow and courage to negotiate the contract is often lacking, making the women prone to exploitation.

“[Employers] take advantage of the problems that women have. They need work in any case so whatever I ask she will do because she needs work.” One other woman responded to this: “yes but you cannot complain too much [...] for me, work is work and the money I can put in my pocket. But yes, there is exploitation” (TWO WOMEN (KENYA AND IVORY COAST) IN THE FIRST FOCUS GROUP IN PALERMO)

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“You work, or you go. So you always feel restricted to go to work, also when you can’t, also during the holiday. You cannot ask, you are always “the lowest” – KENYAN WOMEN IN INTERVIEW PALERMO

As a solution to this kind of exploitation, it was argued to have information sessions on the rights and duties of employers and employees (because in Italian research in came forward that both sides might not know what is expected of them), as well as courage and confidence which could help the women to defend themselves and stand up for their rights.

EXPERIENCES OF EMPLOYERS When asking employers about their experiences with women, they would almost always respond positively. In Italy employers said that women were “bringing diversity to the work floor”, “intercultural dialogue”, “bringing new languages”, “work hard” and are “humble”. Iceland employers talked about migrants and their work ethics in comparison with Icelandic workers. “Migrant women (and men) have high work ethics. It might be because they don’t know their rights to have sick leaves, make doctor’s appointment, etc”. English employers said that from their experience, the migrant women they hired were the best person for the job and it was not about where they were from or their sex. This would be the same response in the Italian focus groups or interviews with employers. However English employers acknowledged that there are prejudices but it depends on the company or employers how much influence these prejudices have on the possibility of hiring women. In conclusion, migrant women face double discrimination in all four countries although this phenomenon has different degrees of intensity depending on each country. Italy is the country where double discrimination is definitely at its highest level, followed by Greece, United Kingdom and Iceland. Even though double discrimination is transversal to all four countries, it appears that in UK and Iceland it does not affects the work environment which tends to be more open. On the contrary, migrant women working in Italy are constantly discriminated, this could go as far as ending up in straight-out racist behaviours against migrant women and even types of sexual harassment. The situation in Greece is milder but sadly still tending towards the same direction. Another transversal issue migrant women face in all four countries is occupational segregation. Again, its intensity varies considerably along the four countries. In Italy and Greece for instance the large part of migrant women work force is employed in the housekeeping/caregiving sector. In UK roughly 30% of employed migrant women work as carers, nurses and midwives. In Iceland, migrant women tend to take on those jobs which

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Icelanders do not consider appealing anymore. These occupations are low-paid and lowskills, this in turn leads to a widespread overqualification among migrant women in all four countries. Exploitation of migrant women came out as an issue particularly in the case of Italy. Migrant women there are exploited both in terms of working hours, way too many if compared with the legal standards as well as their Italian colleagues and in terms of wage levels which are again way lower than those of their Italian counterparts. This issue is further worsened by the widespread illegality of most of migrant women employment condition. Most migrant women are or have been employed under the table. Employers however tends to have mostly positive experience with migrant women. This is partly also to specific employers that were interviewed for this research. But it also seems that women’s stronghold (their high work ethics) are exactly at the basis of their exploitation.

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9. FEEDBACK AND RECOMMENDATIONS The section will present all feedback obtained by research participants in the four countries and, on this basis, provide recommendations. The feedback received on the training and the coaching circles has been remarkably positive from both the migrant women and the employers from all four countries. Below are listed their detailed feedback grouped per issues.

LANGUAGE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE Since lack of language skills and confidence resulted as the most relevant and widespread issues throughout the four countries involved in the research, most of the received feedback had been on these two issues. Confidence building activities have been identified as particularly relevant to both migrant women and employers’ opinions. Each country however focused on different methods to achieve increased confidence. Both British employers and migrant women suggested confidence lessons and psychological skills as a valid method. Italian participants stressed the importance of storytelling and icebreaking activities to ease groupwork and achieve an environment where confidence can be built as well as trust. Icelandic employers suggested also to use short video in which social skills are explained through practical examples. These methods could also help in the acquisition of language skills since migrant women will have a chance of practicing the local language in a comfortable and open environment. The British participants pointed out as well the possibility to do some simulations or role-play based on networking situation to improve at the same time language skills, confidence and social skills.

JOB APPLICATION PROCESS Another key skill area which needs improvements has been identified in those skills needed to successfully go through the whole job application process, from the CV writing stage to the job interview one. British participants put an emphasis on the importance of “fun” exercise to improve those skills. Italian participants as well all agreed on the validity of practical exercises. Migrant women residing in Iceland highlighted as well the importance of acquiring CV writing skills as well as sustaining a job interview.

NEGOTIATION SKILLS Lack of negotiation skills has been recognized as another highly relevant problem migrant women face when meeting potential employers. This linked to a scarce knowledge of their rights and the country labour legislation could lead to exploiting work conditions. All

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participants, both employers and migrant women expressed the need for more knowledge on the rights and legal framework. As Greek and Italian participants pointed out, knowing their rights will help migrant women when negotiating employment condition (e.g. working hours, salary) with their employer.

ICT SKILLS ICT skills are becoming more and more relevant as technology progresses and new technologies are increasingly integrated in each profession and other employments. The widespread lack of ICT skills among migrant women therefore needs to be addressed. Since the training will include an online platform, it is important to make sure it will be easy to use and accessible from a smartphone so that those women who do not have easy access to a computer can still use it. Especially in the UK, migrant women expressed the need to learn more ICT skills during the focus groups. Whereas other countries’ participants only mentioned the lack of ICT skills.

STRUCTURE OF THE TRAINING COURSE All participants gave positive feedback on the training course structure. An Italian employer who owns a kindergarten and employed several migrant women suggested to swap unit 3 and unit 4 and unit 5 with 6. This way the order of the units seemed clearer and more functional to her. She argued that before personal branding, it was important to know what someone’s points of strength are. The same for the entrepreneur units, before knowing that entrepreneurship is something interesting, it is important to know what you can do with it.

OTHER FEEDBACK /RECOMMENDATIONS GIVEN BY EMPLOYERS The following bullet points list all the additional feedback and recommendations provided by employers in the four countries. Surprisingly enough, most of the comments has covered the same issues. ● Highlight the advantages of the training: promotion is very important, and women might not see the necessity of the training if the highlights are not clearly indicated. The results and goals must be indicated clearly, and the exercises must include practical examples related to real life problems and situations ● The presence of a cultural mediator could be useful in order to avoid problems and misunderstandings, especially in case of poor language capacities. ● Practical exercises are very important because they are most effective. This has been acknowledged by all employers.

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● Homework although useful, could be tricky to assign and when working with materials (books etc.) better to keep the materials in the classroom in order to make sure that all women always have their materials ● The platform is a nice idea, but it must be accessible from the

mobile

phone

(migrants have more access to phone than to the computer). Furthermore, migrant women are often very busy so not sure if they will check the platform after the workshops ● Group workshops are a good way to learn from each other and to give women the opportunity for mutual exchange. ● Games and simulations can be useful, but one must keep in mind the cultural differences. For some cultures games are seen for children and thus participation in games might be minimal. ● Ice breaking activities are very important. ● One activity in particular that one person during the focus group of employers pointed out was the picture identification exercise. In this activity each participant picks one picture (that are on the table) that represents his/her personality the most. Then this person explains why he/she feels that this picture represents him/her to the group in max 2 minutes. ● In Italy, the employer of the food market (among others) mentioned that women can be shy or underestimate themselves, therefore, activities to develop their ability to invest in themselves and to be proactive are useful. This was also mentioned by another restaurant owner who stressed that often the passions or wishes of migrant women are not heard because the niches of work are so clear and limited. Therefore, paying attention to migrant women’s passions and interests could help them realizing themselves to their full potential and to go away from the everyday reality in which women look for jobs they think they can easily get instead of jobs they would actually like to have. Lack of confidence and self-esteem has been recognised evenly throughout all four countries. ● Stress equality: the more women feel equal, the more they will naturally achieve their goals and learn new skills. It is therefore important to avoid any kind of different treatment to make them understand that they have the same opportunity as other workers. ● Mixed methods like “Learning by doing” and distance learning is certainly something of value regarding education for this target group. ● Apps and online courses would be time saving for companies.

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● Employers could then use the dead time at work to educate their staff. It is especially good for companies in the rural areas.

OTHER FEEDBACK /RECOMMENDATIONS GIVEN BY MIGRANT WOMEN Concerning Migrant women as well, feedback and comments have been focusing mostly on the same issues throughout the four countries involved in this research. Here a bullet point list including those which have not been previously mentioned. ● Mix up women from different background in a way that they learn how to communicate beyond their national group and to work in a team ● Trainers should be able to rephrase and summarize the questions and information given by the participants in order to overcome language barriers ● Trainers should be straight to the point ● Practical activities ● Easy wording to achieve clearer communication ● Practice social skills

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CONCLUSION All countries that are part of the AMW project host migrant women as a part of their migration history. However, those countries as well as the different migration flows, nationalities and trends in those countries are obviously different. The 4 countries included in the project and therefore the research, all are geographically located in Europe but have consistently different histories when it comes down to migration due to their country history, their geographical situation, their obligation to European law, etc. However, without any doubt, the gendered aspect of migration is important to be pointed out and dive into, as it shows the specific difficulties that especially women face when moving and building a new life in another country. At first sight, statistics shows that parts of the female migration have had education in their home country. This often means secondary education, but, in some cases, also higher education or university degrees. Although formal education provides a basis of necessary skills and competence, this is not enough for a real chance of getting an employment. In all countries the difficulties regarding recognition of titles and experience were pointed out. This situation brings women back to square one, where they have to start with completely new experiences and the general feeling of always having to proof themselves towards employers. When going more deeply into what kind of obstacle women face and what are the kind of skills that they, and employers, deem necessary for employment, different aspects came to light. First and foremost, the language was seen as the biggest obstacle and therefore also the most necessary skills to acquire. Languages are necessary in any case, and multiple languages (especially European ones such as English or French, or specific language for a specific need) is seen as an asset. Migrant women face an obstacle here when they do not speak the local language, but can bring forward their skills of multiple languages. Other obstacles that came forward in the interviews and focus groups with migrant women were the lack of confidence, discrimination and cultural differences. However, these all have something to do with each other as the lack of confidence influences the ability to learn the language faster or to deal with other obstacles that might come on the way. Discrimination and cultural differences might be the cause of the lack of confidence, as the reality of stereotyping (or the fear alone) does not increase the self-confidence of women. Furthermore, there are obstacles related to the legal situation of migrant women: the bureaucracy of the country can be slow and inefficient (Greece), the recognition of credentials is a long and difficult process in all countries, making it difficult for highly educated women to find a job that fits their educational background, or other legal obstacles such as in the case of Italy where employers are not keen on employing women with a

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regular contract. Women also mentioned technical and social skills related to the basics of job application and working, such as behaviour skills for interviews, negotiation skills, CV writing, and ICT skills. In order to face these particular obstacles as well as to increase employability of migrant women, some skills were pointed out as necessary. This includes the acquisition or promotion of language skills, to be informed about your rights and duties in order to negotiate contracts and avoid exploitation and to increase confidence. Although on the one hand women and employers indicated that self-confidence is often low which could be a problem, both to apply for jobs as well as on the job in working with clients and being proactive, migrant women are seen by employers and also self-assessed themselves in some cases as resilient. According to some women and employers, in order to deal with the difficulties that have been on the path of migrant women as well as the obstacles they might face in the new country, being strong and resilient is both present and necessary. Related to the obstacles, ICT skills were seen as necessary for employment, together with some communication and behavioural skills that are attuned to the local traditions and behavioural norms in a way that miscommunication and wrong impressions are avoided. Also, when talking about skills, many women and employers would mention both technical as well as soft skills as being necessary for employment. In most of the interviews and focus groups, much emphasis has been put on employability skills rather than entrepreneurship skills. This might be due to the specific profile of the participants in the research. Many of the women looked for work within the lower segments of society in which entrepreneurship might be too far away from the realities of those women. In some cases, women did not even know what entrepreneurship meant, in other cases it was seen as a men’s world, or in others as an easy way of creating employment. However, the climate for female entrepreneurship in all countries is favourable and might give the right space and incentive for more migrant women to create their own business. In all four countries, does not only exist support for entrepreneurship, but also for employment in general. There are several supporting projects and funds in each country and on different levels (local or national). However, the knowledge or reach of these programmes is not always clear. An important aspect of the Advancing Migrant Women project, as well as this report, is the special role of employers. The chapter on Employers and staff is a contribution to the understanding of the specific dynamics between employers and migrant women, based on statistics and data on discrimination as well as on what came out of the qualitative research such as stereotypes, exploitation and particular view of women held by employers. Although employers seemed to be very positive about migrant women’s work ethics due to their hard

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work and motivation, and thought that they were not lead by or hold any stereotypes that might have gone against migrant women, migrant women themselves seemed often less positive. Stereotypes, prejudices, exploitation and discrimination were common practices in all countries. As one Kenyan women during an interview in Italy said:

“The fear of not knowing, creates a wall. This wall can only break down if we know each other. Trust is created by dialogue. […] Integrating is two sides that meet each other. [..] It is based on the will to get to know each other, from both sides. In this way you can create trust” All women and employers agreed that a training programme with coaching circles could be helpful in increasing the employability of migrant women. The preliminary structure seemed mostly logical and plays well into the obstacles and necessary skills identified by the migrant women. Since both technical skills, soft skills and confidence came forward as important for women and employers, the AMW programme seems fitting and responding to those special needs.

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PARTNERS Haskolinn a Bifrost – Iceland Coordinator www.bifrost.is

INOVA consultancy LTD – United Kingdom http://www.inovaconsult.com

Simenntunarmidstodin a Vesturlandi – Iceland www.simenntun.is

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AMW-Employability and Entrepreneurial Competence Framework - Development and Integration  

Advancing Migrant Women is a Erasmus+ programme. The project responds to the situation of migrant women in Europe, in which migrant women f...

AMW-Employability and Entrepreneurial Competence Framework - Development and Integration  

Advancing Migrant Women is a Erasmus+ programme. The project responds to the situation of migrant women in Europe, in which migrant women f...

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