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“I get treated differently than white women.”

Focus group discussion, School of Business and Management, QMUL, April 2018

In January 2018, Queen Mary’s School of Business and Management (SBM) awarded a small grant to its Widening Participation officer to investigate why Bangladeshi women alumni are reporting extremely poor levels of graduate level work. In March 2018, the BreakThrough! Bangladeshi Women’s Career Group was created to carry out student-led research and to develop relevant interventions that would seek to address the challenges Bangladeshi women alumni face with regards to their graduate outcomes.

In the UK, Bangladeshi women have dramatically poorer chances of finding work with graduate level or professional employers. They also face persistently hostile workplaces and often report higher instances of discrimination, bullying and harassment. BreakThrough! is a student-led, self-organized group of SBM Bangladeshi women alumni and students, set up as a response to Bangladeshi women’s limited career opportunities. The group’s remit is to tackle the impediments Bangladeshi women graduates face in their careers – and during their degrees – by designing evidence-based interventions aimed at creating equitable opportunities for work, stability and prosperity both in the School and outside it.

BreakThrough! is an intervention that centers Bangladeshi women, their experiences and their knowledge in the way that research is carried out and also in the way decision-making determines the direction of the project and research areas. BreakThrough! is a tool that amplifies the voices of Bangladeshi women alumni by using interviews and focus groups so that previously muted voices can be given centre-stage as the School builds an understanding about how Bangladeshi alumni navigate the labour market.

Find out more about our research, methodology and findings here.

Follow us on Twitter #BreakThroughBangladeshiwomen #BreakThrough!