We hear the term systemic barriers being used fairly often. However, do we know what it means? Systemic barriers are policies, procedures, or practices that unfairly discriminate and prevent individuals from participating fully in a situation such as, finding jobs, getting health care, the education system, etc. Systemic barriers to equality and employment can be the function of geographical and racial background, class, gender, and ability. For example, Daily Work has a large population of immigrant job seekers from Ethiopia who came to the United States as an adult. They are English learners and therefore, the language barrier could cause difficulties in socialization and communication with others such as employers and coworkers. Due to these barriers, Daily Work is in place to support the job seekers with building upon their skills to find suitable and long-lasting jobs.
What is Daily Work’s Overall Role?
Daily Work provides employment support and mentor services that lead to financial stability for our job seekers. As stated on the Daily Work website, “Daily Work directly advocates for job seekers with employers, building relationships and chipping away at systemic barriers with education and awareness.”
What are NOT Barriers to Employment
- Desire to find a job
- Differences in perspectives, ideas, and backgrounds
- Variety of skills and knowledge
What ARE Barriers to Employment
- Language and communication
- Limited social and/or professional skills
- Unstable housing and food
How Daily Work is Helping with these Barriers
Acknowledging the barriers listed above, Daily Work supports job seekers by providing resources including but not limited to transportation, clothing, housing, food, and childcare. Furthermore, Daily Work locates training programs for job seekers to participate for them to acquire skills and certifications, as well as to improve their English proficiency.
For example, there is currently an elder job seeker who is working with a case manager to build on their computer skills alongside their English skills. The case manager found a free program online that helps with sentence structure which supports the job seeker in learning to type on the computer as they build their English skills. While the job seeker practices on the program, the case manager is present and helps the job seeker understand both English and navigating the computer system.
Daily Work understands that aside from the barriers listed above, racial barriers and discrimination also could play a role in employment. Daily Work continues to push for social justice in the workplace pertaining to bias, racism, and discrimination. “Throughout the past 20 years, Daily Work has provided tactical support aimed at mitigating the policies, practices and procedures in the job application process and the workplace that limit access and opportunity for job seekers”. Click here to read more about Daily Work’s commitment to building equity.