How to reduce gender and race barriers in the career services system

Since 2021, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini is partner of GRASE – Gender and Race Stereotypes Eradication in labour market access, a 2-year EU funded project under the EU’s rights, equality&citizenship programme, focusing on facilitating the access of women with a migratory background to the labour market by reducing barriers in the career services system.

Together with the lead partner, Fondazione ISMU, the role of Fondazione Brodolini is to ensure the scientific quality and coherence of the project by providing the overall scientific supervision of the progress of the project phases and producing the scientific results based on the research. For this reason, FGB skills on gender equality strategies are being constantly integrated throughout the project to develop truly intersectional strategies for the removal of gender and race stereotypes.

The project produced now three toolkits to fight the reproduction of bias and stereotypes against women with a migratory background.

Toolkit 1 - Effective strategies to fight race and gender stereotypes in career counselling services, is an operational tool aimed at those involved in employment guidance and selection to support their daily activities of interacting with women with migrant backgrounds. The toolkit focuses on career counselling services and on their daily work practices to increase awareness of how gender and race stereotypes get wittingly and unwittingly reproduced, thereby enhancing their capability to properly recognize and assess migrant’s women skills and potential. A draft version of this toolkit was tested by 30 career counselling professionals across Italy, Spain and Portugal. 

Toolkit 2 - Raising awareness against gender and race stereotypes in recruitment: training for career counselling professionals, is aimed at all those who are responsible for the delivery of training for career counselling professionals. The toolkit contains training contents and modules that support career counselling professionals in their job, and is designed to implement awareness-raising strategies fighting gender and race stereotypes in recruitment. The toolkit proposes an interactive methodology based on experiential learning to become aware of the existence of unconscious biases to support the activation of behavioural changes towards fairer recruitment practices. A draft version of this toolkit was tested by about 200 career counselling professionals across Italy, Spain and Portugal who participated in a training pathway. 

Toolkit 3 - AI-based gender and race/origin bias detection toolkit, is aimed at those who use artificial intelligence software for recruitment. This toolkit describes a tool that can identify gender or race biases hidden behind the recruitment process conducted using artificial intelligence algorithms. As the introduction of AI into selection processes is becoming more and more prevalent, the assessment of probable biases embedded in machine learning processes is becoming extremely relevant. This tool is flexible and easily adaptable to investigating racial and gender biases in the area of interest. The toolkit can be successfully used by public services or employment companies, allowing them to check for bias in job offers drafted before publication and to test the software used in the selection of applications.

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