Leadership. Empowerment. Employability. Diversity.
These are the four pillars that uphold LEED; an initiative founded by Nosra Ayari and Jörg Schäffer, which links tech and digitalization with empowerment and international development.
The same values which now underpin LEED Initiative were fostered in Nosra from an early age. Her parents instilled in her a passion for social justice and from the age of twelve she began doing community service at old age homes, singing at orphanages, and taking part in beach clean-ups. She quickly realised how some people had more privileges than others and committed herself to building equality.
“People who are living in conflict zones or in fragile regions in the world must work so much harder to prove themselves and build a career. Our mindset at LEED is to build equality and ensure that we leave no one behind. I have never believed in borders because I think all cultures are rich and unique in their own sense and when we connect, we can enrich each other.”
TAP believes that people in underserved communities, like Palestine, deserve equal career opportunities and that there is a great need to bridge the gap between untapped potential in the MENA region and talent shortages in Europe. Nosra and the team at LEED Initiative share this mission to ensure equal career opportunities for all and therefore they have combined their ‘leave no one behind’ principle with socioeconomic prosperity through the tech industry.
“We are working on a project for the socioeconomic inclusion of youth from Tunisia through tech sector jobs. Right now, there are about 20 000 tech jobs in Tunisia that are vacant because there is not enough supply of technically skilled workers to match market demands. Jörg and I are constantly brainstorming, and we plan to combat this shortage through our e-learning platform, LEED Academy, an in-person IT Academy.”
It’s been only two years since the launch of LEED Academy, and the platform already boasts a myriad of programs from cyber security, data management, online collaboration tools, to leadership, and more.
“We need to look at the market and assess what jobs will be available in the future. A large chunk of these jobs are going to be tech jobs and even the ones that are not 100% tech, are going to require digital skills. That is why we’ve enlisted the help of two private companies to assess market needs and they found that two of the tech industry’s greatest demands will be in DevOps [development operations] and project management.”
Nosra shared that economic empowerment is a cornerstone of international development and is perhaps the most important factor in ensuring that people can live a decent life. She pointed out that the support of the private sector is necessary to achieve socio-economic inclusion of all unemployed people across the world. This reaffirms TAP’s company model of driving sustainable development by ensuring both economic success as well as social impact.
“The future for LEED is one where we make a larger and larger social impact on youth, vulnerable communities, and women. We’ve been uncovering the extent to which women are doing jobs related to care that they’re not paid for, and we want to change public policies around this so that the care economy is recognised in the job market.”
Nosra is an incredibly passionate and purpose-driven individual. She is an innovator, a strategic thinker, and one of the most empathetic, kind, and humble people we, at TAP, have had the pleasure of connecting with. This is what leadership at LEED looks like and these are characteristics which we know will inspire our TAP students and graduates. This is the advice that Nosra shared with our TAPers:
“Your career growth will be a combination of competence and networking. On the one hand, I’ve always been someone that loves a challenge and so in every environment, I aim to learn and grow as much as possible. And on the other hand, I recognize the high importance of networking. You need to build your own support system, both professionally and personally.”
The way that Nosra, Jörg, and the team at LEED are driving leadership, empowerment, employability, and diversity through their LEED Academy and digital advocacy is inspiring. We cannot wait to see what the next few years have in store for LEED!