26 July 2021
Research – Project Grase
8 September 2021
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Communities of Practices – COPs – Project Grase

GRASE implements and develops Community of Practices (COPs) composed by career counselling professionals, as spaces of reflection where their knowledge and skills are mobilized in order to identify race and gender stereotypes in their work.

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Italian COP

The Italian Community of Practice is composed by professional working in public and private entities in Lombardy dealing with career counselling services and/or policies directed to improve the employability of migrants and/or women. COP participants meet at regular intervals to discuss problems, solutions, worst and best practices aimed at identifying and eradicate race and gender stereotypes in order to deliver fair job market guidance for disadvantaged groups. Their different backgrounds offer a plurality of viewpoints that enriches our understanding of the problems faced by migrant women in the job market.

Map of best practices

Over the course of six months, the Italian Community of Practice (COP) identified 5 main “nodes” that represent potential obstacles that, on the one hand, migrant women may have to face and, on the other, could generate stereotypical thoughts and actions in the operators of career counselling services.

The map therefore associates each node to a problem, and to each problem an induced / unconscious prejudice of the operator. For each problem, the map proposes a solution in the form of possible methods to counter it such unconscious prejudice.

Spanish COP

The Spanish Community of Practices is composed by some public sectors actors in the filed of career counselling and training, and a number of not-for profit actors working in different domains: support to migrants and asylum seekers, support to disadvantaged women, support to disabled persons and their families, support to trafficked women, contrasting poverty.

The plurality of experiences and standpoints offered by this variety of actors allows a rich and informed exchange about race and gender stereotypes as well as about strategies to deconstruct them.

Map of best practices

The Spanish Community of Practice (COP), over the course of six months, has focused on the figure of the job counsellor, holding a central position and a vantage point in providing support to migrant women, especially in relation to five different environments identified by the COP: Personal, Family, Legal, Social and Work.

This requires a high level of specialization and qualification on the part of the job counsellor, as well as a strong effort to make unconscious prejudice conscious, to eradicate one’s own gender and race stereotypes.

Portuguese COP

The Portuguese Community of Practice is composed by professionals working in public and private entities dealing with career counselling services and/or policies directed to improve the employability of migrants and/or women in vulnerable situations, while advocating to reinforce their fundamental rights. COP participants meet at regular intervals to discuss problems, solutions, to pinpoint room for improvement based on best practices towards the eradication of race and gender stereotypes.

The goal is to deliver fair job market guidance for disadvantaged groups. The Portuguese Community of Practice is composed by different professionals with different backgrounds which offer a plurality of viewpoints that enriches our understanding of the problems faced by migrant women in the job market.

Map of best practices

Over the course six months, the Portuguese Community of Practices (COP) emphasized 5 main points, which are intertwined: Access to information, Clear language, Self-Assessment Tools, Training, Cooperation between institutions. Neither career guidance professionals nor the migrant women have access to clear and objective information. The use of opaque language is a major barrier for migrant women to know their rights and how and where to claim them. Professionals also do not have access to clear and objective information that would help them improve their performance.

Good practices in this domain consist in self-assessment tools and training/workshops that help career counselling professionals deconstruct their unconscious biases. Collaboration between associations that work with migrant women and enterprises towards the establishment of partnerships and protocols is also seen as good practice.

International COP

The partners of the project form an international-level COP to regularly exchange about the outcomes of the meetings of the three country-level COPs and to assess the knowledge produced by each COP. The international COP finalizes the three maps of critical and good practices elaborated by each national COP and the members activate a process of mutual learning to coordinate the work of three national-level COPs. The exchange among the members continues throughout the duration of the entire project concerning the definition of the Toolkits and the testing of the Training Toolkit.

 

Study Visit

The Grase partners have met through study visits to exchange working practices of career counselling professionals in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The aim of the study visits is to reflect about effective strategies to avoid the reproduction of race and gender stereotypes and to support migrant women’s labor market access.

Italy

7 May 2021

Portugal

8 July 2021

Spain

23 September 2021