The aim of OPSIZO WP2, coordinated by the University of Naples Federico II, is to develop the innovative corporate welfare model in micro-enterprises for diversity and inclusion in gender and sexual orientation in the Countries involved in the partnership: Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Germany.
The scenarios that emerged in the international post-COVID landscape have further exacerbated the state of marginalisation of the gender and LGBT+ communities, stressing exclusion mechanisms at various levels, including the professional one.
7 Reports in English language on the various dimensions and dynamics of D&I in enterprises were created by partners and an Innovative Model “D&I for Corporate Welfare in Microenterprises” is being finalized.
The EU Investment Bank estimates that in 2021, 23 million micro-enterprises (with up to 9 employees) made up 99% of all businesses and 75% of all jobs in the EU. Exclusion dynamics severely impair the ability of microbusinesses to compete. Some papers (EaSI Report “Gender Equality & Industrial Relations in EU” 2021) refer to “occupational segregation”. The need to transform small enterprises into inclusive spaces that value diversity as a vehicle for economic growth, personal and professional achievement of individuals at risk of exclusion is expressly mentioned in EU plans. Employees and management of small and microenterprises should be trained with “educational and upskilling initiatives” on diversity, according to the “EU Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-25” and “EU SME Strategy 2020”.
Gender equality is closely linked to social justice and is one of the key objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda represents an important opportunity to unite efforts at the global level and develop coherent policies for achieving gender equality. Moreover, diversity management is important because it contributes to enhanced economic and social performance, to build up a better adaptation to demographic and organizational changes and to compliance with the law.
The main goal of the OPSIZO project is to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of microenterprises, through innovative training and operational tools, to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion as corporate welfare tool, to contribute through innovative training courses to equality in the world of work.
OPSIZO is tailored to the specific needs of selected target groups:
Managers and owners of microenterprises;
Staff and employees of microenterprises;
Users and customers who use the services offered by the enterprises;
Families of the enterprises’ employees;
Policy makers responsible for social inclusion policies.
The Project has 5 main Work Package:
WP1: Project Management;
WP2: Innovative corporate welfare model Diversity & Inclusion in microenterprises;
WP3: OPSIZO Toolkit. Training and operational tools;
WP4: Provide training and OPSIZO tools and build the Digital Warehouse;
WP5: Guidelines and Manifesto for Diversity & Inclusion in microenterprises.
Servizi per l’inclusione Attiva e Partecipata degli Studenti, Italy (Lead Partner)
Longford Women’s Link, Ireland
Internet Web Solutions, Spain
Mindshift Talent Advisory Ida, Portugal
IHK – Projektgesellschaft mbh, Germany
Institut de Haute Formation aux Politiques Communautaires IHF, Belgium
The OPSIZO Project has started on the 1st of November 2022 and its end is on 31st October 2024.
On 9th November 2022, the Kick-Off Meeting of OPSIZO, a Project co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission, which brings together 7 partners from 6 different countries (Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium) was held in online mode.
OPSIZO – OPSIZO Diversity & Inclusion in Microenterprise - aims to eliminate access obstacles and contributes to the development of welcoming environments that promote equity and equality. The project seeks to eradicate discrimination and microaggressions that hinder the socio-educational and professional development of employees (Women and LGBT+), as a non-inclusive organisation does not support participation in civic and social life as well as the dynamics of personal and collective growth.
As a matter of fact, that the European institutions, which established the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination as a fundamental premise for the realisation of an open, cohesive, inclusive, and sustainable society, have played a vital part in the process of asserting the rights of LGBT+ persons. The prohibition of discrimination is clearly expressed both in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which states that the Union shall aim in all its activities to combat discrimination on the grounds of various factors, including sexual orientation, by taking appropriate action (Articles 10 and 19), and in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Furthermore, numerous millions of people experience discrimination at work. In addition to violating fundamental rights, this unsettling phenomenon also has important economic and societal repercussions. Discrimination exacerbates social tensions and inequities while stifling opportunities and wasting the human talent needed for economic advancement. Promoting good work necessitates combating discrimination. Despite the advancements made in recent years, discrimination against women and the gender pay gap still exist in many developed nations. Recent ILO estimates show that women are still far from achieving gender equality in the workplace and are frequently stuck in low-skilled professions that pay less than those held by men.
During the meeting, the consortium as a whole discussed about the overall project implementation schedule, defining timelines and respective duties. During the project lifetime, partners will carry out research and analysis activities aimed at the development and delivery of the OPSIZO tools to develop and implement.
In the Project, IHF asbl brings its expertise and experience as a key social player in international and European projects. In particular, IHF asbl ensures the “European Dimension” of the Project as it carries out all the technical tasks from a “European Perspective”, i.e. carrying out analysis of relevant EU policies and initiatives; extrapolating EU relevant case studies, lessons learned and best practices.