Immigrant women receive work opportunities

In Finland, slightly more than 50% of immigrant women are employed. Poor employment prospects for immigrant women affect their families’ financial situations. The Zonta Club of Vantaa II and the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women (FFGW), Vantaa Branch partnered for the Let’s Work Together project, which helped find jobs for immigrant women.

With a US$5,000 grant from Zonta International, FFGW worked with senior citizens who were willing to employ immigrants in house cleaning, window washing or caretaking. The seniors were instructed to communicate with the immigrants, improving their Finnish language skills and cultural knowledge.

The FFGW staff was surprised at the discrimination they faced, with some employers not wanting to hire people from certain places. While some overcame their prejudices after working with the immigrants, FFGW has still encountered potential employers who could benefit from this project but have no courage to open their doors to immigrants.

The project directly benefited 58 women and one man, indirectly affecting up to 300 people—including their families, their employers and the families of their employers. FFGW received feedback from the employers about how the immigrant women have succeeded in their work.

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