A strengthening support to the diversity and creativity in the company

Visiting the tech-department at Karnov for the first time, many are often surprised.  In addition to the tech-department making up a third of the total staff at Karnov, there is a high level of diversity with more than 15 different nationalities, and eight women.

Karnov is committed to diversity in the workplace and is a sponsor of HackYourFuture. An organization that helps e.g. refugees who come to Denmark with an education in IT, or experience in coding, entering the Danish labor market. And they are needed!

At Karnov, we are often looking for front-end developers for our tech department, and they can be difficult to find,” says Peter Riise, Director Software Engineering at Karnov Group.

Through our sponsorship of HackYourFuture we get the opportunity to support a good cause, help skilled and willing people into the Danish labor market – and at the same time we get access to skilled candidates in an early stage of a hiring process.”

HackYourFuture was founded in 2016 in Amsterdam. Today, the organization has offices in Brussels, Toronto and Copenhagen and offers, for example, coding training for people with a foreign background, who have difficulties entering the labor market. The majority of those who are admitted to the program are refugees or newcomers who already have an IT education or experience in coding, an education which often is not in line with the Danish education system, and where the language challenges make it even more difficult to get a job.

The education at HackYourFuture is based on volunteer teachers. One of them is Zoey Zou, who came to Denmark from China, and with HackYourFutures support was able to step into a new career and eventually joined Karnov. Today, Zoey pays it forward by working in her spare time as a volunteer teacher, which Karnov encourage.

“I am very happy that Karnov supports HackYourFuture. I have seen what it means to people when a company believes in you. A lot of those who participate in the program at HackYourFuture, have almost lost their hope of finding their dream job. When tech-companies open their doors to welcome them for visits and participation in relevant workshops, their hopes are re-established`. Especially when they see other people working there, who have been in a similar situation”, Zoey Zou explains.

HackYourFuture does more than retraining and help finding jobs: They also help creating social relationships between people, across gender, culture, social background, and religion. As a sponsor of HackYourFuture, Karnov helps to ensure that new teams start up every year in e.g. full-stack web development; with a focus on Javascript, which is something that is needed in Karnov’s own tech- department.

For quite a while, Karnov has been a multicultural company with skilled employees from various cultural backgrounds. Years ago, Karnov decided that English should be the primary language spoken internally. In a multicultural environment like Karnovs, it has been easy for Zoey and those who have joined through HackYourFuture to be integrated.

“It requires some adjustments of a company to integrate so many different backgrounds and cultures, but it is our experience that it brings along high work ethics, it contributes to great team spirit, and it is amazing to see how we all evolve together. I can only recommend other companies to enhance creativity through diversity”, concludes Peter Riise.

Read more about HackYourFuture here: https://www.hackyourfuture.dk/