More Than 20 Major Companies Join New U.S. Initiative to Help Refugee Women Advance Their Careers

Career Climbers / 11th May 2023

The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of more than 300 companies committed to creating economic opportunity for refugees – has announced a new U.S. mentorship initiative in partnership with Catalyst that will help refugee women enter the workforce and advance in their careers.

Complementing its wider mission of connecting refugees to work, Tent’s Refugee Women Mentorship Program will engage employees at leading companies – primarily through women’s employee resource groups – as mentors, with the goal of providing professional mentorship to at least 1,500 refugee women in the U.S. over the next three years.

At a virtual event moderated by PBS NewHour’s Jane Ferguson, an inaugural cohort of 21 companies announced their participation: Accenture, Aimbridge Hospitality, American Airlines, Chobani, CIBC, Etsy, Globant, Gordon Food Service, Henry Schein, ICL, Indeed, Ipsos, ISS, Merck, Motorola Solutions, Pfizer, Philips, PUMA North America Inc., Schneider Electric, Sodexo, and Tyson Foods. Each company has committed to mentor 50 refugee women or more over three years, collectively reaching at least 1,050 of the initiative’s 1,500 goal.

“The companies stepping up today will help hundreds of refugee women across the U.S. receive the personalized support and guidance they need to build meaningful careers, and we urge even more businesses to join in these efforts,” said Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “Too often, refugee women face a ‘double disadvantage’ professionally, as both refugees and women, leading employers to overlook their potential; mentorship can be invaluable to open doors as refugee women seek to restart or advance in their careers. We’ve seen the transformative results of this first hand from our ongoing refugee women mentorship program in Europe.”

Refugee women participating in the program as mentees will each be connected with a dedicated mentor who will champion their career growth and provide 1:1 guidance on topics such as navigating the U.S. job market and workplace norms, crafting an effective resume, practicing for job interviews, growing their professional network, and more. The program will provide essential support to refugee women to help address the steep barriers they face when trying to succeed in the workforce. Mentors will also help their mentees better understand and navigate the systemic challenges which may inhibit their workforce participation, such as disproportionate childcare and domestic responsibilities, lower wages, and negative gender stereotypes.

“We know that mentoring relationships can foster a sense of connection, care, and competence that helps women to thrive in the workplace,” said Lorraine Hariton, president and CEO of Catalyst. “We’re proud to partner with Tent to ensure that refugee women can benefit from mentorship and learn from the experiences and expertise of women in the U.S.”

Shari Eaton, Chief People Officer of Chobani said: “I am so proud of Chobani for pledging once again to support refugees through mentorship in the U.S. Tent’s new refugee women mentorship program will not only help refugee women build confidence and gain skills needed to succeed in the workplace, but it also offers the Chobani employees who will serve as mentors a great opportunity to give back and develop their own leadership skills.”

To help companies successfully implement their programs at scale, Tent and Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service (LIRS), have jointly developed a practical step-by-step mentorship guide which can be viewed here.

This initiative builds on Tent’s suite of mentorship programs around the world, including ones supporting Afghan refugees in the U.S.; LGBTQ refugees in North America, the UK and Germany; and refugee women in Europe, which collectively have mobilized more than 100 companies to mentor more than 6,100 refugees.

Companies interested in joining the Refugee Women Mentorship Program in the U.S. can find out more by emailing info@tent.org.

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