TELUS is establishing a corporate history of supporting newcomer talent and building an inclusive workplace for immigrant professionals. As the second employer partner to join the National Mentoring Partnership, they have made the decision to contribute to the growth of occupation-specific mentoring across the country.
The National Mentoring Partnership is a partnership between regional mentoring partners (i.e. immigrant employment councils) and national employer partners – like TELUS – to increase access to mentoring for immigrant professionals. Whether in the field of engineering, marketing, law, or in this case, telecommunications, occupation-specific, professional-to-professional mentoring partnership helps newcomers gain insights into the Canadian labour market and build their professional network.
For many years, TELUS was involved with mentoring programs with ERIEC in Edmonton, CRIEC in Calgary, and IEC-BC in Vancouver, as well as with TRIEC in Toronto. As such, “the opportunity to share our best practices and learn from other employer partners was a natural next step for us”, says Cindy Laporte, TELUS’ senior HR advisor. As a member of the Partnership, TELUS employees are currently mentoring newcomer professionals across the country, from Quebec to Ontario to British Columbia.
When asked about how the Partnership supports TELUS’s Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) goals, Laporte responds, “Providing our [employees] with opportunities to engage with international professionals from around the globe through mentoring provides us with the ability to learn more about other cultures and how we can be a more inclusive employer.” She adds that TELUS’ involvement allows the company to provide relevant support and give back to its communities.
Employer partners participating in the Partnership know that their involvement is not just charity – it’s good business. For example, customer service is a top priority for TELUS and addressing the needs of multicultural segments is about knowing and understanding the clients. TELUS’ employees gain coaching and leadership experience all through a cultural lens in their roles as mentors. They appreciate and gain empathy to the challenges that newcomers – often from different cultures – face when settling into their new home country and searching for meaningful employment. As TELUS employees develop in their own careers, this kind of engagement results in knowledge and insight that can only help build them into strong leaders at TELUS. The end result is TELUS becoming an even more stronger and high-performing organization.
Laporte says she believes that more Canadian employers should consider joining the National Mentoring Partnership. “Being an employer partner allows you to engage your employees at a greater level,” she said. “The Partnership allows your organization to share best practices with other employer partners who are looking to continually grow from the shared knowledge of the group.”
If you’re an employer with offices in two or more cities in the country, perhaps you’d like to join TELUS and other national employers. You, too, can start changing the lives of Canadian immigrants, while offering a wonderful volunteer-professional development opportunity for your employees.
For more information, reach out to the program lead: Karen Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org