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Stand up and be counted

Stand up and be counted 1280 960 SKANDINAVISK

Stand up and be counted

On World Refugee Day, a call to companies to do the right thing

Have you ever employed a disadvantaged person simply to give them a chance?

Have you ever looked at your organisation and recognised you could add another person for ethical, rather than business, reasons?

Have you ever felt bad you are not doing enough for the refugees fleeing something you will never experience, who must be desperate to start a new life, despite the obvious barriers in their way?

Have you ever thought that helping someone else will not only help them, but it will also give you a sense of fulfilment, and it may create more commitment within your organisation?

It’s easier to ignore these feelings than act on them.

“It wouldn’t work at our place… we have other priorities… we can’t afford it right now… I’m not sure if I could trust them… I’m sure there are other companies more suitable… there’s a pandemic going on… I don’t have the time.”

That’s why next to no European companies offer a job to refugees.

That’s why there are thousands of employable people waiting in transit camps hidden in the European countryside.

And why it takes years before the average refugee is considered integrated. (And that’s after their often extended, perilous journey to get here).

At Skandinavisk, we celebrate Scandinavia through fragrance and design and export to 50 countries, so employing refugees has nothing to do with our business model. It just has to do with our responsibility as a global citizen, and as a Danish company that tries to live up to the Scandinavian ideals of leaving no one behind.

Since the refugee crisis, and we felt those same painful feelings, our small company has given a chance to one new refugee per year. Two of them are now regular employees. That’s two out of twenty staff in Denmark.

They haven’t compromised our business, they’ve contributed to it. Three consecutive growth awards, a B Corporation certification, and high employee loyalty are testament to this.

So, if you’ve read to the end of this article, and something inside you has woken up, then act on it.

Make an effort, just like they have.

https://www.unhcr.org/world-refugee-day.html
For Danish companies: https://www.kk.dk/bif

Shaun Russell, founder
Skandinavisk SR ApS
June 2021

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