Behind the Scenes: Rate Your Employer! The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Social Fights

20 Mar 2018 | Calling for a fair share | by Yo!Fest

Are you ready to rate your current and former employers? For this edition of Yo!Fest, we want to bring you behind the scenes of the festival and the social fights we care about. One of them touches millions of young people across Europe: unfair internships. We interviewed Marine Dufour, campaigning for Transparency At Work with InternsGoPro, fighting against precarious and abusive internship practices. Marine represents one of the 40+ partners who are shaping Yo!Fest, shedding light on important issues affecting young people today. By 2020, Transparency at Work aims to help 1 million young people to access better employment across all industries. How? By tapping into the potential of the sharing economy and allowing young people to rate their work experience just like you would do with a restaurant or service.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Marine, I’m 24 and live in Paris. In June 2017, I graduated after 6 years of studying and working in marketing as an intern and then a trainee in big media companies. Perfect career path: all I ever wanted. But something wasn’t quite right. As many people my age, I felt the time had come to put my skills at the service of meaningful causes.

Change, right, but what? How? Where do I start? Easiest thing for me to do was to begin with a subject I knew well, something I had already experienced myself: internships.

I founded the movement #StagiairesPrécaires (#PrecariousInterns) to fight for fair internships in France and to promote equal opportunity for all students. My petition addressed to the French Minister of Labor on Change.org was a big hit and we collected 49.000 signatures. In my opinion, it was the best way to raise awareness in a short period of time and get some help from a huge online platform with more than 10 million French users. Very quickly I was answering interviews, we went on strikes with other activists and we met representatives at the National Assembly. We obviously tried to communicate with the Minister but quickly realized that when politicians have the power to avoid discussion, they do.

I also understood something distinctive about Youth rights and internships, that differ from other social fights. Fortunately, in most cases, you don’t stay an intern your entire life. As a result the problem becomes gathering enough people at the same, unique moment. When you finally drop your ‘intern status’ you might not see the point of joining the fight. So how do you bring about change? Well, you approach the problem through a different lens: instead of changing the law, you put pressure on companies directly, you RATE!

Can you tell us about your work with the Transparency At Work campaign and how you are using a rating system to create a better job market for young people?

With the Uberization of society, you can rate absolutely anything: your hotel, restaurant - even public restrooms. People today evaluate anything they do or experience. This is the best way to promote good companies and force bad ones to improve the quality of their services. What’s the first thing you do when you’re traveling and look for an hotel to stay? You go on TripAdvisor and check the ratings. And who is ever going to choose to sleep in one with bad reviews? If you’re only relying on sanitary control to know if a restaurant is good, you won’t know much about the food will you? Same for employers: if you’re waiting for State controls to determine the quality of companies HR policy towards young people, you will be retired by the time you get that information.

Unfortunately, most internships, apprenticeships and other first work experiences which are now a prerequisite to employment are badly designed, precarious or unfair. That’s why our campaign Transparency At Work makes so much sense. Taking part in the sharing economy allows us to be on the internet where our audience - Millenials - is, and to create a real community where everyone feels like they are part of the project. When people gather to fight for what they believe in, they have much more strength and power. The number of citizens' empowerment platforms is increasing dramatically and it's a really good indicator that people start to believe in their capabilities to make the change they want to see.

Why did you get involved in the Transparency At Work campaign and what do you plan on achieving?

The first time Régis Pradal, CEO at InternsGoPro, told me about their project and asked me if I wanted to join the adventure to take care of the communication for the campaign, it didn’t take long before I accepted. InternsGoPro, the European Youth Forum, Brussels Interns NGO and more than 25 partners around Europe (NGOs, Universities and companies) created this online rating platform to allow any intern, trainee, young worker to rate anonymously their employer and help create a transparent job market that ensures equal opportunities for young people and a better transition from education to work.

The rating criteria and quality indicators (remuneration, offer & contract, career development, work environment, supervision, learning content) are derived from the European Label for Best Internships and the European Charter for Quality Internships & Apprenticeships, developed respectively by InternsGoPro & the European Youth Forum. They represent a unique standard endorsed by the European institutions and considered a reference for all industries.

By 2020, we aim to empower 1 million young people to access better employment, internships and apprenticeships, internationally and across all industries.

Rate your current and former employers on Transparency at Work now and help us make the change we all wish for! Want to know more about our campaign? Please see our website or send us an email at community@internsgopro.com