Women at risk of exclusion enter the waste sector thanks to the latest Ecoembes initiative
The equalization of opportunities between women and men is one of the great aspirations of Spanish society. To achieve this, equal opportunities in the workplace is positioned as essential, which is of particular importance when women are also exposed to the risk of social exclusion. In this sense, programs such as “ Recycle to Change Lives ”, a project which, through training, seeks employment in the waste sector and the recycling of vulnerable groups, strives to promote the presence of women , offering them new opportunities in the workplace.
Thus, thanks to this program launched by Ecoembes, the non-profit environmental organization that coordinates the recycling of packaging in Spain, and which has the collaboration of 450 other social organizations and companies, vulnerable women find their way into the sector. garbage. 38% of the more than 1,100 hires in this program, a percentage that has increased by 17 points over the past three years.
One of the women who found a job in the recycling chain through this program is Isabel Vela, who says that “when I was part of this project I felt recycled and to this day I want to continue to grow and progress in recycling. and the waste sector. This program is doing a great job with people who are going through difficult times and we have to find a way out to move forward ”. And he took the opportunity to stress the importance of focusing on female profiles in this type of profession: “It is a sector that makes women fall in love and of which many want to be part”.
This vision is also shared by Sonia Nieto, who worked for three years as a cartwheel in a recycling company: “There are sectors in which the presence of the female gender is less visible and, for this same reason, the error is made to interpret that This fact is associated with the ability to perform work. Fortunately and as happened in my case, this trend is changing and the professionalism and competence of the person is valued, placing it before any other aspect ”.
For her part, Naomi Borreda, who thanks to “Recycle to Change Lives” has just been hired as a waste operator, explains: “My work excites me and makes me feel fulfilled, the message I am sending is that in this sector there is also room for women who can find their opportunity as I have found it. In this job, I can put into practice everything I have learned, but not only that, but I feel very fulfilled when I see that with my work I am helping to take care of our environment ”.
“Recycle to Change Lives”: the importance of second chances
This inclusive employment project was born seven years ago from the hand of Ecoembes in order to employ people whose chances of finding a job have been greatly reduced for various social reasons. Thus, in addition to the long-term unemployed, victims of gender violence and other groups in difficulty, “ Recycle to Change Lives ” offers training in waste management to detainees, thanks to the collaboration maintained with the Ministry of the Interior through penitentiary institutions.
In 2017, the “la Caixa” Foundation joined the project, through its Incorpora program, extending the initiative to the entire national territory. “Recycle to Change Lives” is aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda, contributing to Sustainable Development Goals 10 (reducing inequalities), 4 (quality education) and 17 (alliances to achieve goals).