Harnessing Collective Power to Address Our Global Challenges
Read Yvonne Mastenbroek's blog about the global RGF Connect program:
For more than 15 years I have worked in the staffing industry. Over those years, we helped thousands of people into employment through RGF Staffing. And in that way into a better life, which makes me proud. But there’s even more. Over the years I have become increasingly aware of the inequality within our society and the lack of opportunities some people have. I experienced a growing sense that more could and must be done. It was and is important to me to do something. How could I personally help tackle this? So, when I had the opportunity to address inequalities through our new RGF Connect initiative, I didn’t hesitate. I jumped at the chance.
Through RGF Connect, we’re on a mission to help those who need it most. Whether this is supporting women experiencing inequality back into employment or helping disabled people to find a meaningful job. Our global program is helping fight inequality to create a better society for everyone. This is something I strongly believe in and am hugely proud of.
By joining forces in this global program we’re more powerful.
Although all countries are different and are dealing with different inequality challenges within the labor market, it has been and continues to be an amazing journey, seeing our operating companies, including their brands, come together as part of RGF Connect. It’s this kind of global collaboration that can truly make an impact.
However, getting this program up and running was no mean feat. For our company this was the first global social program with external exposure. Yet, this allowed me to draw on my passion for progression and for taking on challenges that push me both personally and professionally. Part of RGF Staffing’s mission is to become the most sustainable staffing company by 2030. While this might feel overly ambitious, I strongly believe that we have a big role to play to drive change. And while we may not have all the answers yet, I’m committed to listening, learning and growing so we can ensure we have the greatest impact possible.By teaming up with our operating companies within RGF Connect, we have been able to create local initiatives that focus on tackling the issues most relevant to the communities. This way, we can ensure that we create a series of local ripples that make one global wave.
For me, this is paramount. In both my working and personal life, I have witnessed and experienced bias and prejudice.
Whether it’s ageism in the interview process, inflexibility for single mothers, or discrimination of people with a different background. It is always the most vulnerable who suffer. It’s my personal mission to contribute to a world free of these biases and discrimination. A world where everybody has access to fair and equal opportunities. Where we can be ourselves and where we celebrate differences in every area. This would be a better world! To contribute to this, even a little, is hugely rewarding for me.
Just look at our work in Australia and Japan, where we’re helping (single) women flourish in the workplace. Two important initiatives dedicated to empowering women experiencing inequality and supporting them into meaningful or better work. Because we know that enabling women to become independent through steady income and employment is one of the best ways to enhance equality.
The same applies to young people facing barriers. In the Netherlands and the US, we are helping young people kick-start their careers by supporting them with training and opportunities to help them get a foot in the door. We’re building job opportunities for the elderly in Germany. In Belgium, we’re working hard to create workplaces suitable for individuals with hearing challenges, while in Japan we’re supporting students with disabilities. Furthermore, in the US, we’re working with individuals leaving the US justice system to reintegrate into society through meaningful work. All these vital initiatives are making a real difference to local communities and organizations all over the world.
So we’re just at the start of this journey. But… we’ve already come a long way!
Our local brands are already creating an impact and making a difference to participants. I recently met jobseekers who had benefited from our work in Japan and the US. They talked candidly about the self-confidence, drive and ambition that this program helped instill in them, and how important it is to give everyone a helping hand in their career. They spoke about the importance of these initiatives in connecting underserved communities to education and training, and how having the support of our local brands to break down barriers into work was life-changing for them. This inspired these participants to be passionate about creating greater awareness just by spreading the word and sharing their experiences.
RGF Connect is not only creating an impact for participants, but also for our employees and clients. Other companies honesty intended to do better in terms of inclusion and helping underserved communities, but they were struggling in terms of where to start and didn’t have the knowledge on how best to adapt. Now we’re running RGF Connect, it’s my belief that by working together with both employees and clients, we’re able to change mindsets and processes to help close the gap and put people at the heart of decision making.
I therefore thank all our participants, employees, clients and partners for making us stronger and helping us to maximize our impact. It’s only together that we can create a stronger, more inclusive society that works for everyone. And though we’re on a journey that has only just begun, I'm looking forward to updating you on the impact our RGF Connect initiatives are having around the globe. Keep following our journey to find out more.
RGF Connect – Bridging opportunities for all.
Chief Sustainability Officer RGF Staffing