Where talent knows no boundaries, opportunity doesn't ask for status and work is rewarded with fair pay

Our Story

WorkAround was started by Wafaa Arbash, who wanted to find a more sustainable solution to the refugee crisis than perpetual aid. There are constantly crises happening around the world and humanitarian aid can’t keep up. Wafaa, who wrote her Master’s thesis on barriers to employment for refugees and displaced people, began to see an opportunity for the highly-educated and internet-connected Syrian refugee. She realized that with little or no training, these refugees could engage in “micro-work” a growing need of companies needing human intelligence tasks to, organize, and prepare data for machine learning algorithms. Wafaa believes that economic opportunity is one of the key solutions to make people feel valued and engaged by using their skills and earning income.

Our Values

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Inclusion and Diversity

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Inclusion and Diversity

We believe every person deserves the opportunity to succeed. Our platform is open to everyone and we provide training and support to help our WorkArounders reach their full potential. We are committed to seeking talent that brings unique perspectives, backgrounds, knowledge, and personality to our team.

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Empowerment

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Empowerment

We believe that respect is not tied to status but is earned through actions, commitment, and follow-through. We also believe in the power of tools and support to help people achieve success.

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Efficiency

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Efficiency

We cultivate a culture of getting it right, which means empowering our workers to ask the right questions in order to deliver the right results. We build in quality control measures through initial screenings, ongoing training, and self- and peer- checks.

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Fairness

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Fairness

We believe in fair wages, and understand that treating everyone fairly does not necessarily mean treating everyone equally.

Our Team

Wafaa Arbash

Co-Founder and CEO

Wafaa Arbash

Co-Founder and CEO

Wafaa has six years of experience working with refugees and development programs, building partnerships and strategic management. Wafaa has an extensive network in both the Middle East region and with US corporations. Prior to WorkAround, Wafaa worked in social development programs where she spearheaded several projects to empower local citizens, increase their leadership skills and provide refugee advocacy. Wafaa holds dual master’s degrees in Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution from the Heller School, Brandeis University and a BA in education and curriculum design from Damascus University.

Jennie Kelly

Co-Founder and COO

Jennie Kelly

Co-Founder and COO

Jennie Kelly has worked in education for over seven years, but has dabbled in industries as different as publishing and construction. She has lived and worked on four continents and craves the challenges and inspirations the result from working across cultures. She has an MBA in nonprofit management and an MA in sustainable international development from the Heller School at Brandeis University, a BA in Interdisciplinary studies from the College of William and Mary, and an Associates of Art and Science from Cottey College.

Severin Ibarluzea

Co-Founder and CTO

Severin Ibarluzea

Co-Founder and CTO

Severin Ibarluzea has experience leading product development, raising investment, establishing partnerships and leading a machine learning team as an executive officer at College AI Inc., an artificial intelligence-based college matching service. Severin is a seasoned web developer, backend operations engineer and product manager. Severin has experience developing systems at TripAdvisor and has worked at several startups in a wide array of fields including: manufacturing computer aided design tooling, cryptocurrency applications, online software development and software prototyping consulting firms. Severin was previously the lead mentor and coordinator at Rensselaer’s Center for Open Source, the largest open-source university organization in the United States. Severin holds BA of Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Partners

Help when you need it from those who help the most

Paper Airplanes

Paper Airplanes connects refugees with tutors who help them improve their English Language.

Talent Beyond Boundaries

Talent Beyond Boundaries is working to connect this often excluded talent pool with employers around the world who are searching for skilled workers.

The Tent Foundation

The Tent Partnership for Refugees is mobilizing the private sector to improve the lives & livelihoods of the more than 20 million refugees around the globe.

MIT React

MIT ReACT is a center seeking to design and deploy new learning opportunities for displaced populations around the world.

Rainbow Street

Rainbow Street is an international NGO that provides a lifeline for exceptionally vulnerable LGBT people in the Middle East and North Africa. Rainbow Street works with local activists and partner organizations to provide shelter, food, clothing, health care, migration services, community support, and other essential resources to people facing extreme discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender expression.