Highly skilled people are seen as an important asset for countries and are valued by organizations worldwide. This workforce is educated, has international experience and often possess the skills in demand. Yet, in Sweden, as in many other European countries, highly skilled International people tend to be under-employed. Many have difficulties entering the local labour market, other are employed at a level below their skills and education. Why is this?
Quite often, answers are searched in the people’s profile. It is said that maybe their skills are not exactly right, maybe their experience is too different. Sometimes too, we hear their culture and ways of working are not aligned to the local reality of their new country. All these explanations have something in common; they overlook THE principal actor that grant access to work: organizations.
In this discussion, the focus will be on organizations, and thus the question becomes: why do organizations underemploy international people? Various aspects will be explored – do organizations have a benefit in this? Are there logics at play that lead to this underemployment, even if organization aim at equality? How can organizations recognize this potential discrimination? How can it be addressed? In the meantime, how can highly skilled international people navigate this situation?
These questions along with other relevant ones will be examined with openness and curiosity at this interdisciplinary session. With an introduction drawing on research in management addressing structural inequalities in organizations, this session will explore some obstacles to the equal inclusion of international people in organizations. A discussion of these obstacles will help us see more clearly not just the problems – but also the solutions.