Project EUMentorSTEM – Promoting mentoring to prevent waste of talent and competences for highly skilled migrant women in STEM across Europe.

According to Eurostat (2011), almost 30% of all tertiary-educated migrants in Europe (around ten million people) are over-qualified and de-scaled women in their working age. In spite of increasing numbers of vacancies for highly-skilled jobs in the innovative sectors of the economy, highly-skilled migrants are often discriminated against their qualifications.

7 October 2019     By Eric Wijmenga
Coaching News Press Release

The EUMentorSTEM Erasmus+ project aims at supporting the labour market inclusion of highly skilled migrant women with a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

At the final conference of the project, hosted by the University of Bologna (12th-13th September 2019, Bologna, Italy), researchers, policy makers, national officials, company and civil society representatives, and project partners met to discuss the challenges as well as the opportunities of this matter. The event featured the following keynote speakers:

  • Rosella Celmi, International Organization for Migration, Italy
  • Iris Bjorg Kristjansdottir, UN Women Regional office for Europe & Central Asia, Turkey
  • Giovanni Di Dio, Italian Ministry of Labour, Italy
  • Yvonne Riaño University of Neuchatel, Switzerland
  • Sian Webb, Gapsquare, United Kingdom
  • Linda Törner, Women on Wednesday Network, Sweden
  • Narges Mofarahian, Agrishelter, Italy

The conference hosted an academic paper presentation session where 12 scholars from Germany, Iceland, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, and The Netherlands, presented their studies on the topic.

The conference highlighted both differences and similarities across European host countries in terms of the challenges and opportunities for the skilled labour market inclusion of highly-skilled migrant women:

  • Highly skilled migrant women face deskilling due to the intersection of different social characteristics, such as being migrant, woman, caregivers, or belonging to a visible minority;
  • Training programmes and recruitment methods focusing on soft skills and networking are beneficial for highly-skilled migrant women in their journey to find skilled employment in the host country.
  • Policy-makers, scientists, companies, civil society, and professionals from a variety of backgrounds need to collaborate to solve the “invisibility” of highly-skilled migrant women and to work against brain waste.

For more information please visit the EUMentorSTEM website:

by Eric Wijmenga

Co-Director/Finance Manager

Eric is Inova’s Co-Director and Finance Manager. He is also the founder and director of our subsidiary Inova Education, an educational marketing and recruitment agency, established in 1996 and working across LATAM. Inova Education delivers services in partnership with UK HEIs, British embassies, national funding bodies, the British Council and Chevening teams across LATAM.

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