SISTECH – Greece

EducationInclusion

Inclusion

Refugee women, one of society’s most vulnerable groups, face discouraging odds when entering labour markets. Years after arriving in Europe, they are only about half as likely to find a job than their male counterparts. When they do find work, it is often in low-skilled and temporary positions. The non-profit Sistech recognises the struggles – but also the potential – of  refugee women. In Greece, the organisation has been empowering them through access to jobs in the tech and digital sectors since 2021. Sistech’s training and career mentoring programmes were co-designed with refugee women, to meet their real needs and set them on professional paths of their own choice.

Sistech‘s History

Sistech was founded by French social entrepreneur Joséphine Goube in 2017 as a spinoff of the organisation Techfugees. She was inspired to create Sistech based on a few, critical observations. Refugee women face high unemployment, even years after arriving in their welcoming country and at rates twice that of their male counterparts. Furthermore, in order to secure a paycheck, they are often forced to accept jobs for which they are overqualified. Former lawyers settle for jobs as cashiers; engineers wind up cleaning houses. At the same time, the rapidly-expanding technology and digital industries struggle to recruit and retain talent. This is especially true when it comes to hiring women.

Sistech’s first programme started in Paris, with a simple pilot. It equipped a group of 12 women with the technical skills and local job-market knowledge to start a job search. And a majority of the women found a professional opportunity! Sistech repeated the experience the next year with a new group in France, and achieved similar results. Confident it could replicate the same programme with more women, the organisation diversified its programme offering and expanded geographically. Sistech launched its first programmes in Greece and Italy in 2021.

Throughout this time, the NGO has been building relationships with tech executives who believe that diversity makes their companies more robust and innovative. Partner businesses hire graduates of Sistech’s programmes, help fund operations, and take advantage of volunteer and mentoring opportunities for their employees. Today, Sistech supports more than 300 refugee women each year, organising mentoring sessions, certified training and networking events.

Mission

Sistech

Sistech exists to advance the economic and social empowerment of refugee women by facilitating their access to sustainable employment.
It does this while contributing to the tech & digital sectors’ recruitment objectives in Europe.

2024-2025

Think Human Foundation & Sistech

The two organisations began their collaboration in Greece in September 2023, around the shared value of inclusion. Think Human Foundation and Sistech believe in providing vulnerable communities with the educational and professional tools that empower their journeys.

Starting that year, WebHelp funded a programme scholarship and sent recruiters to Sistech’s networking events. As a result, WebHelp hired two women who had completed the mentorship programme. With the support of the Think Human Foundation, Sistech continues delivering its innovative programmes in Greece. Besides technical training, funds provide participants with access to computers, internet, language classes, and transportation, as well as mental health support when needed.

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