Breaking Barriers to The Labor Market

Q&A with László Juhász

Laszlo Juhasz leads the Budapest office of the Boston Consulting Group. The Integrom Program is a social experiment initiated by The Boston Consulting Group, bringing together the civil and corporate sector to build the missing bridge between Roma job seekers and the corporate labor market.

What inspired you?

We submitted the proposal because we are very passionate about helping the Roma population in Hungary get corporate jobs because the issue with this population in Hungary is that they are not integrated into a society at all. [...] We know it’s impossible to change this in one step, but we believe the program is one step in the right direction.

What are you trying to achieve?

The impact of the program, we imagine on three layers. One layer is to have impact on individuals. We want to help individuals with access to job opportunities. [...] Second, we hope that by participating in this program, corporations get more open for this target group and we can achieve a mindset shift in the employers. And third is that hopefully there is change achieved in society [where] it will be normal [for] Roma people to have jobs in corporations, in mid-management, in different white collar positions, and hopefully at the end, also in the top management of companies.

What challenges have you faced?

On the side of the target groups, of the Roma population, I think the obstacles is first the lack of mobility. Sometimes it’s difficult to get them to come to trainings, for example. It’s the negative power of the community where they are living, [...] so it’s difficult to take the talent out of the community. On the corporate side, we have some situations where employees are not open to working with people coming from this background. We can face this, we can bridge this, with a lot of communication, with a lot of cooperation on both sides and that’s an essential element of the program we are doing.

What are some takeaways from the Symposium?

I’m amazed by the whole event, actually. I think the 11 propositions are coming from very different backgrounds; they are facing very different situations. And I think it’s a very rich agenda. I think it’s the right agenda and a great facilitation by the organizers… I was amazed by the passion of the all the participants, how they want to answer the issue of which they are facing in different situations. And also by the similarity of the approaches they chose, like cooperation between different parties, like strong power volunteers had from different stakeholders in society. It’s really encouraging… And also the quality and openness of the dialogue the people do have here today is amazing.