The employment of Arabs is one of the greatest challenges facing the Israeli economy and society in general. A study conducted by the Bank of Israel found that non-employment of Arabs causes a loss of 31 billion NIS per year to Israel’s gross national income. Despite the economic potential of integrating Arabs into the labor market, many organizations find it difficult to recruit Arab employees effectively. Those who succeed have difficulty managing, maintaining, and promoting them. The "Collective Impact" initiative was established to bring about a significant shift in the advancement of Arab employment. Along with economic, structural and cultural barriers, the project identified a significant psychological challenge in promoting the diversity and inclusion of people from different groups (for example, conscious and unconscious biases, stereotypes and prejudices), and approached aChord Center to help them deal with this challenge, based on the understanding that lasting change would not be possible without addressing the perceptions and feelings of those leading the process.
aChord Center offers several services within this partnership. They include ongoing consultation and support for various processes driving the project, for example, development of an effective campaign to recruit Arab employees that overcomes psychological barriers preventing their application, effective design of joint work spaces, recruiting and consolidating the support of the business leadership community for the change process, and dealing with issues of security tensions in a diverse society. In addition, the Center is developing practical tools based on research, for the recruitment, interview, and absorption process, team management, feedback and evaluation sessions, and also provides diversity training to companies on these tools.
Quotes from managers in companies who have undergone training workshops:
"What I take from the workshop is mainly the tool of perception - I have an Arab senior manager, and I think I'm not trying enough to see things from his perspective."
"The workshop brought me order and organization ... It is especially important to have a conversation about this issue with the employees, we have been operating the same way for years and don’t always talk about these things".