When the City of Copenhagen was updating its local planning documents and policies for immigrant integration in 2010, it made an important discovery. Policies and planning alone were not having much, impact on the city’s diversity agenda.
The percentage of Copenhagers with an immigrant background doubled in the previous decade, jumping from 11.5% to 22.2%. As an employer, the City of Copenhagen appeared to have been successful in matching the diversity of its workforce to that of the city’s population. However, a deeper analysis showed a troubling reality. The majority of these public employees were working in low skill jobs such as cleaning.
Diversity without equity was not the commitment to inclusion that the City was looking for. The city challenged itself to ensure that its future work force would reflect the city’s diversity across all area, and levels, of work.
The earlier 2006 Integration Plan was comprehensive in its scope and included all the important sectors – education, employment and housing. What it lacked was the actual participation of non-municipal actors, such as major companies, educational institutions and cultural organizations. The City recognized that an effective strategy would require all sectors and all stakeholders to be part of the work of making immigrants feel part of Copenhagen.
Living in Copenhagen must be easy, and Copenhagen wants to be the most inclusive city in Europe. An actively engaged city is a better city. – Engage in CPH
Copenhagen’s new Integration Policy (2011-2014) includes an action plan for engaging all sectors and stakeholders. A key component of this progressive program is a Diversity Charter and Board that actively invites business and institutional leaders outside the local government to assist the city in its ambitious goal of becoming “the warmest and most welcoming major city in the world….”