The ‘Value diversity, Use diversity’ project in the Austrian city of Linz focused on supporting migrants and those with an immigrant background – especially women and young people – to integrate better into social life and work.
It is a project to spread awareness on cultural diversity, its features and advantages, in particular in work environments. By encouraging cross-cultural understanding and dialogue, its aim was to embed more tolerance into Austrian social and work environments. Learning partnerships with the business sector were an important tool – to encourage enterprises to embrace and manage diversity both in the workplace and the boardroom, helped by workshops for corporate decision-makers.
At regional level, a Commitment to Diversity pact was conceived and approved, for implementation in organisations and businesses in the region. A key driver for the project is the ageing population in the Linz region, a challenge that can be offset if the relatively high migrant population – around 15% of the total – can be better integrated into the regional workforce.
The success of the project can be seen in its membership, which grew from three partners at the start to over 55 within 18 months.
Dr.in Edith Konrad