Every month, ENW holds two events with employers in specific sectors: a Recruitment event and a Coaching event. In October it was NGOs. The Recruitment event featured OXFAM and Cooperation Canada gave the coaching session to a group of ENW women with relevant backgrounds who had expressed interest in working for NGOs.
Cooperation Canada is the ideal organization to give them an overview of the myriad NGOs in the international development and social justice sector. It is a coordination hub for more than 95 Canadian non-profit organizations, including religious and secular development groups, professional associations, co-operatives, labour unions and groups devoted to literacy, education and youth.
Most visibly, it hosts a job board (https://cooperation.ca/jobs/) to recruit talent for its member organizations as well as Cooperation Canada itself.
The ENW participants had the benefit of two coaches, two managers leading programs that resonated with them:
o Noelia Ruiz, Program Officer, Canadian Centre of Expertise on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
o Barbara Nzigiye , Program Coordinator, Anti-Racist Cooperation (ARC) Hub
Even more powerful was the fact that both managers are newcomer visible minority women whose personal job/career search stories closely match those of the ENW women.
Noelia and Barbara were a great tag team, taking turns giving general career coaching and specific job search tips and advice. For example,
- Be sure your resume is in Canadian format; have someone review it and get feedback.
- Let people know you are looking for work.
- Always apply for a job you want and believe you can do – even if you are missing some of the less important requirements.
- Know your worth! You have a right to negotiate.
- Be prepared to leave an employer that is not treating you well. BUT have a plan for your next step.
Noelia wrapped up by reminding the women that, “Canadian office culture takes time to learn and adapt to.” To which Barbara added, “Share your experiences with your friends/mentors. This will help you stay positive and keep your spirits up.”
“I think the fact that Barbara and I are immigrants made a higher impact on them,” Noella said in her feedback after the session.