Project Description

We are the Future: Kareema Zahra

July 13, 2022

The experience of a black woman in construction? Discrimination is about age.

According to the International Labour Organization, globally, one in five young people are not in employment, education or in training (NEET). Additionally, a shocking three out of four of young NEETs are women. This means that an outstanding 75% of young women are not given the opportunity to really display their potential, whether that be in the workplace or in school.

The United Nations have taken action, by initiating World Youth Skills Day which takes place every year on July 15. Events happen worldwide to celebrate and raise awareness about how important it is to equip young people with skills for employment which I think is extremely significant if we are to have a bright future ahead of us. Organisations like the UN therefore play a crucial role in helping the rising unemployment rates among young people go down, as many begin to enter the workforce with the proper training and preparation.

As a young woman myself, I find the above statistics very disheartening to hear as I have been very fortunate enough to take part in an internship programme with EY Foundation called Your Future, where I was able to gain an insight into the world of work and develop useful skills such as communication and teamwork . I also learned a lot about networking, what makes a good CV and how to do well in a job interview. Having to turn up to the office every day at 9:30 in the morning has most definitely helped me improved on my time management as well (as I used to struggle arriving to my lessons on time at school). However, I did not choose to attend the EY programme to improve my punctuality, but because I believe I still have a lot of personal development as a young individual who is just at the beginning of a new and exciting stage in life. A well-established business like the EY Foundation has been an exceptional start for me as it has opened even more opportunities.

At EY I met a range of young people, many of whom were from different backgrounds to my own which I found to be very thrilling as I love meeting new people and learning about their cultures and experiences. This experience has even helped me to expand my network and build connections with working professionals as many employees from EY were kind enough to run informative sessions about the world of work.

In my second week at EY, I did work experience placement at a company called The Condor Collective, founded by the lovely Holly and Paula who I was lucky enough to work with during my time there. I learned a lot about how important it is to create happier employment and how to make the workplace a more enjoyable place. I was also able to work on creating posts for the company’s social media accounts which was a good learning experience for me as I was able to be practical and hands on. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me and look forward to what is waiting for me in the future.

#thecondorcollective #workplacehappiness #worldyouthskillsday #youngpeoplearethefuture