Women At The Top Awards: Meet Josephine Goube, The Migration Campaigner

We've scoured the UK to find the most inspirational innovators for Marie Claire's Women At The Top Awards, in association with Windows 10 and Freixenet. Meet Josephine Goube, one of the ten game-changers who have shaped 2015.

By the age of 23, Josephine Goube was director of strategic partnerships at Migreat – an online platform supporting two million individuals through each step of the immigration process. Less than four years later, she’s been named Expert On Immigration for the European Commission. But that’s just her day job. She’s also co-directing manager at Girls In Tech London – helping women to launch careers in technology.

‘The European Commission approached me this year. I’ve been writing about immigration for four years now, so they brought me in to help review their policies. The approach right now is, “We’ve got to kick immigrants out” – but that doesn’t benefit anybody. We need to focus on integration; instead of spending money on sending soldiers, the money could be spent on teaching immigrants French or English and helping them to get a job, which would then put money back into the economy.

I travel a lot to find out people’s stories. Afghanis can only travel to 28 countries without a visa, whereas if you have a European passport, you have more freedom. And it doesn’t make sense that people from outside the EU can’t come here to launch their own business. I want immigrants to be able to come here on an “EU entrepreneur visa”, and not have to worry about renewing it years later. It’s a global society, we should embrace that.

I know I’m young, but I’m not intimidated by people older than me. When I’m in meetings at the EC, I have to speak to 50 commissioners from around the world, Thankfully, I went to a school that prioritized public speaking, and my dad always taught me to treat everybody equally, so I’m not easily impressed. But I do worry I can seem rude – when I believe in something so much, it’s hard to remember to be polite.

At night I work on Girls In Tech. I helped to launch it three years ago because I didn’t think women in the industry were being represented.

We need to stop talking about inequality. Of course it exists, but it’s so negative. I don’t want to hear about how hard the tech sector is for women, and how nobody takes us seriously I want to talk about what we’re achieving already. That is what will get women involved.’

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