Cohort 2 of the #cueWIT program orientation got off to a great start with interesting conversation about the experiences of immigrant professional women in IT navigating their way through the Canadian job market. We have 11 participants from 9 countries (Iran, Djibouti, India, Ukraine, Colombia, China, Israel and Brazil).We look forward to an inspiring and knowledge filled journey with them through the next 12 weeks!
“It’s Only Crazy Until YOU DO it!” - Nike
The Civic Participation session was facilitated by former Senior Citizenship Judge Renata Brum. The participants had an interactive session on Civic rights, duties, Immigration, Citizenship and Employment. The women also had the opportunity to be mentored by Louise H Reid. These were great opportunities for the women to reflect on the barriers Professional immigrant women face in regards to civic engagement, the benefits of civic engagement and ways of overcoming theses barriers.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein
The legacy maps session of the #cueWIT program was facilitated by the amazing Magdalene Cooman. The participants had an interactive and creative session on creating possibilities, adapting to new cultures and employment. The participants had the opportunity to carry out tasks like starting conversations with total strangers and also finding inspiration on the streets as a great exercise to build confidence for professional and social networking.
The program participants were formally matched with their mentors at a networking and engagement session where the mentors shared their career journeys as immigrants with their new mentees and also give valuable insight.
“If you don’t LEAP, you’ll NEVER know what it’s like to FLY !’ - Guy Finley
The excellent session on career coaching and helping the women and find their unique professional voices was facilitated by Doris Haddad. Here the participants had the opportunity to review their resume and fine tune their elevator speech. These amazing ladies had the opportunity to present their hashtag#globalskills to the class and get feedback from the professional and fellow participants.
International Women’s Day
The program did not miss out on the International International Women’s Day Celebrations with the theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. We were thrilled to witness our very own participant from cohort 1 of the program, Rwobahirya Gloria, as guest speaker at the event sharing her inspiring story of challenges and determination as a 12 year old girl in Burundi having tragically lost her father, her journey as a professional working woman in Asia and Africa, and eventually landing in Canada with her son as a refugee claimant.
The women got together for the Community Conversation Circle with the purpose of creating an open dialogue between employers and newcomer women in IT to discuss the challenges and solutions to successfully integrate newcomers into the Canadian workforce. It was also a great opportunity for the participants to ask questions about the Canadian work environment, and for the employers, and community partners to share their experiences and challenges with hiring newcomers., intense discussion and many useful take home points.
“The day you find out who you are, is when you look back and realize that it was never the words, rather your actions that defined you”. - Shannon L. Alder
Actions indeed speak louder than words and for newcomers volunteering is an excellent way to build networks, integrate and also gain work experience. The participants had the opportunity to volunteer at The Salvation Army as a way of giving back and also civic participation.