‘If Ernst & Young can do it, so can you’

Toronto Sun
June 1, 2006

Sagal Ali

Businesses that see the benefits of hiring foreign-trained immigrants were recognized at the first Immigrant Success Awards yesterday.

“The idea (of the award) is to give a sense of passion, good examples and to celebrate,” said Ratna Omidvar, executive director of Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), a local organization dedicated to improving access to employment for immigrants.

Four awards were presented to businesses and two to individuals who have made hiring skilled immigrants and workplace diversity a priority.

Ernst & Young took the top prize in the large employer category. Almost a quarter of its 3,400 Canadian employees are skilled immigrants.

“We want to send the message that if Ernst & Young can do it, so can you,” said Omidvar at the ceremony in the Royal Bank tower on Bay St.

Diversifying the workplace is beneficial not only to the employee but to the organization as well, said Yves Savoie, executive director of the Family Service Association, another recipient.

One of its newcomer employees, Pushpa Kanagaratnam, 43, said it’s important for Canadian companies to give newcomers the chance to prove themselves.

“I’m a psychologist. I have my doctorate, but I’m a counsellor here. It’s good that I work in my field,” said Kanagaratnam, who’s from Sri Lanka.

Reference: Toronto Sun