Empowered Perspectives: Interview with Natalya Nepomnyashcha from Netzwerk Chancen

In this short interview with Natalya Nepomnyashcha, Founder of Netzwerk Chancen, we talk about how diversity can be strengthened in Germany and the role an inclusive workforce can play in tackling the current skilled labor shortage
Photo Copyright: Daniel Hardge

Born in Kiev in 1989, Natalya Nepomnyashcha grew up in a socially deprived area in Bavaria. Without ever having obtained her A-Levels, she got a Master's degree in Great Britain in 2012. After studying international relations, she worked for one of the world's largest management consultancies and an NGO from West Africa, among others. In 2016, she founded Netzwerk Chancen as a side hustle. Since its foundation, Natalya has been running the company on a voluntary basis alongside her full-time job. In 2023, Natalya was one of the winners of AmCham Germany's Female Founders Award.

1. Where does Germany currently stand in terms of diversity in the labor market?

"This totally depends on the industry and the company or organization. Some live diversity, equity and inclusiveness, others are taking steps back. All in all, I think we are moving in the right direction. More and more companies are signing the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt). When it comes to socioeconomic diversity - the dimension I fight for - more and more employers look into this and try to implement measures.

Having said that, on a European level, it seems Germany isn’t doing that great. A recent study we conducted at EY showed that Germany scored lowest compared to the other 8 countries we looked at."

2. Do you see diversity as a path to tackling the skilled labor-shortage?

"Definitely. There is so much untapped potential - be it women, people over 50 or those from disadvantaged backgrounds. So many of them are talented and skilled, but never get the opportunity to show this at work. They need more opportunities and support from open-minded employers."

3. Apart from business opportunities, what else encourages companies to strive for a diverse company culture?

"It’s definitely the shortage of talent. They don’t find enough people and thus start questioning the profiles they’ve been looking for and also asking themselves why people from underrepresented communities might not want to join them or leave shortly after joining."

About Netzwerk Chancen:
Netzwerk Chancen is a social start-up that improves career opportunities for people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. We provide free career support for over 2,300 young adults incl. coaching, workshops, mentoring and jobs. We also push for social change and campaign for equal opportunities for children, youths and adults from underprivileged families. Additionally, we support companies in their endeavours to internalize social diversity.

For more detailed information please contact:

Heather Liermann

Head of Department

Membership Engagement & Development