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One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, former executives and executives from companies including ISS, Microsoft Poland, PepsiCo and Unilever join the global non-profit network Tent Partnership for Refugees to announce the Tent European Business Summit

This summit, which will take place on June 19 in Paris, will mobilize European companies to accelerate the economic integration of Ukrainian refugee women and other refugees

MADRID, February 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On the verge of a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of more than 300 companies committed to the economic integration of refugees -, has announced the holding of the Tent European Business Summit, a business summit that will bring together leading companies with the aim of accelerating the integration of Ukrainian women and other refugees in Spain and the rest of Europe. The announcement comes when eight million refugees – the vast majority of them women – have fled from Ukraine to Europe, of which Spain has welcomed more than 160,000. This summit, which will be held in Paris on June 19 on the occasion of World Refugee Week, will be attended by large companies that will announce their commitments and initiatives to employ and train tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine and other parts of the world.

Prominent business leaders such as Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of ISS; Dominika Bettman, CEO of Microsoft Poland; Ramón Laguarta, President and CEO of PepsiCo; and Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever; have joined Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and founder of Tent, to jointly organize this summit and make an urgent appeal to major employers across Europe to make tangible commitments in support of refugees.

“European governments have welcomed Ukrainian women fleeing war, but companies must now do their part to help them find work and support themselves. This is the most important step in helping refugees to integrate into their new communities,” says Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Tent and CEO of Chobani. “This is the purpose of the Tent European Business Summit, and together with the companies that have joined the initiative, I would like to urge other business leaders across Europe to keep moving forward, lower barriers and hire Ukrainian refugee women. They will reinforce the business teams and deserve to not only survive, but thrive as they rebuild and restart their lives.”

Tent has always been a pioneer in defending the labor integration of refugees and has already shown in the past that, on the one hand, this group has higher retention rates and, on the other, that companies are more attractive to employees when they hire refugees. In this sense, Tent presents a new pan-European study that delves into business activities related to refugees. Some of the most outstanding results revealed by this survey are the following:

“Hiring refugees is one of the smartest decisions a company can make, yet they often face major challenges on their integration journey: language barriers, lack of social and professional networks, lack of understanding of the local labor market , etc. In the particular case of Ukrainian women, to all of the above we must add greater burdens for child care and housework,” says Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “Tent’s differentiating role is to help companies reduce these barriers so they can hire refugees at scale and we stand ready to offer the necessary support to the European business community in this growing effort.”

Helping Ukrainian refugee women overcome these obstacles and help companies integrate them into their workforce is the focus of Tent’s Sunflower Project, an initiative launched last year. Tent’s European business summit builds on this work and Tent’s new audiovisual piece, “To Whom It May Concern”, focuses on this group to further unite the business community around to this problem. The 60-second ad features illustrations and voice-overs by various Ukrainian artists, conveying the extraordinary strength, skill and resilience of Ukrainian refugee women, who often go unnoticed by potential employers, as they try to rebuild their lives.

Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of ISS, said: “ISS, as one of the world’s largest employer companies, is guided by the firm belief that a diverse and inclusive workforce leads to a more creative, productive and It also enables its employees, regardless of background, to develop a deep commitment and sense of belonging, and I have been moved to witness this among our Ukrainian refugee workers across Europe.At ISS, we are proud to be partners with Tent and invite other business leaders to join us in embracing refugee talent, fostering an inclusive work environment, and giving such resilient people the fresh start they deserve.”

Dominika Bettman, CEO of Microsoft Poland, said: “Poland is the country in Europe that has hosted the most Ukrainian refugees, so at Microsoft Poland we have witnessed their plight in exile on the front lines. As a long-time member Tent Partnership’s time helping refugees around the world, it’s inspiring to see how Polish companies have mobilized like never before to support the Ukrainian people Companies across Europe can and should do more and I encourage their business leaders to Please join us and pledge to support Ukrainian refugee women and all refugees by giving them the work and dignity they deserve.”

Ramón Laguarta, President and CEO of PepsiCo, said: “PepsiCo is proud to continue working with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and this includes the commitment to hire 500 refugees in the United States, as well as supporting this group through of counseling and job opportunities in Europe.We are committed to increasing our impact in the region and know we can make a difference if business leaders join forces to welcome and incorporate Ukrainians and other refugees into their workforce.Because helping those in need, we will be able to create stronger communities.

Paul Polman, business leader, activist and former CEO of Unilever, has noted: “Now more than ever, companies must lead with purpose, act responsibly and come together to solve the greatest challenges of our time. In addition to the moral imperative, It makes clear business sense. With millions of displaced refugees across Europe and a bleak horizon ahead, companies that welcome, integrate and empower refugees will benefit from their talent, support their financial independence and be rewarded by their clients. and society as a whole”.


For more information: Tent Partnership for Refugees – media@tent.org

About Tent Partnership for Refugees With increasing numbers of refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically into their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees organization mobilizes the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 36 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their countries of origin. Founded in 2016 by Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, this global network is made up of more than 300 large companies committed to refugee inclusion. Tent believes that companies can support refugees in a more sustainable way by leveraging their core business operations and hiring, training and mentoring refugees. Tent currently has a presence in ten markets in Europe and America, including the United Kingdom, Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

For more information, we invite you to visit www.tent.org or write to info@tent.org.

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