Published by Omroop Brabant

Highly Educated Internationals Sidelined in Eindhoven

EINDHOVEN: Brabant is filled with highly educated foreigners from India and England.  However, their partners – mostly women – are mostly unemployed. Two women, Kavitha Varathan and Anne Yianni, are trying to reverse this.

Diana Macovei has two Masters degrees and years of experience in international roles at large corporations. Despite her background and expertise, she had difficulties finding a new job for over a year. But thanks to Varathan and Yianni’s Expat Spouses Initiative, Macovei now works for Eindhoven-based company Jakajima.

“It’s like I finally found myself again,” says Macovei , clearly relieved about her new job.  Unfortunately, 98% of the unemployed expats’ spouses are women. But now twenty of these women have found a job through Expat Spouses Initiative.

“They’re not seen as professionals,” explains Varathan, “just as their working partners’ other halves. This image –  ultimately due to a lack of personal branding – greatly contributes to the problem. We try to bring them in contact with the labour market and explain what employers are looking for in Eindhoven.”

Eindhoven’s Reaction

The city of Eindhoven is pleased with this initiative. City councillor Staf Depla commented: “We should make an effort to attract talented foreigners to Eindhoven. But they will only be positive about our city if their families can also lead a happy life in Eindhoven.”