Continuing our Women’s History Month series, we proudly introduce Joëlle Pivato, a dedicated Program Manager involved in planning projects and activities related to the redevelopment of older long-term care homes. Joëlle’s remarkable journey began in 2011 when she arrived in Canada from Mauritius as an international student. In 2018, she became a permanent resident. 

How did you get involved in TRIEC as a Mentor?

Three years ago, during the pandemic and after being indoors for so many months, I really wanted to contribute to the local community (even remotely). I started looking into volunteering with organizations in Toronto, and that led me to TRIEC and the incredible work they do to support skilled immigrants in Toronto. At the time, TRIEC was looking for new mentors, and I immediately saw this as a fantastic opportunity to be part of the organization. I was excited to share my experience as an immigrant myself to Canada. I was filled with eager anticipation as I looked forward to sharing my own personal journey as an immigrant to Canada, an experience that had profoundly shaped my life.

Can you tell us about your career journey as an immigrant woman in Canada?

When I arrived in Canada as an international student to pursue my undergraduate studies, I was determined to find part-time work to cover my living expenses and to gain “Canadian work experience” (a ‘qualification’ that was consistently identified in all job postings at the time). After a countless number of unsuccessful job applications, I eventually secured part-time work and volunteer positions. After graduation, it was another challenge to find full-time work, but after months of perseverance, I eventually landed my first full-time position as an Office Administrator. This is where my career journey in the seniors’ care sector began. Over time, I progressed through several roles across various business units.

Despite more women breaking the glass ceiling many immigrant women are often underemployed. How have you been able to overcome these challenges to be successful in your own career?

Two words: perseverance and resilience. Nikos Kazantzakis said, “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” Despite the many challenges and rejections faced along the way, I continued to believe in my abilities and always reminded myself that things could only get better. Besides, I was lucky to have had leaders who encouraged and coached me along the way.

How has being a TRIEC Mentor helped you become a leader in your community?

Through the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program, I continue to hone key leadership skills by:

  • Gaining new perspectives from my mentees,
  • Learning how to clearly communicate ideas and share knowledge; and
  • Advocating for my mentees to help them achieve their goals and build their career in Canada

What advice would you give to immigrant women seeking to advance into leadership roles in Canada?

Surround yourself with strong and compassionate leaders, who will believe in your potential and provide you with the opportunities to thrive.

Are you looking a volunteer opportunity to give back to your professional community? We are recruiting professionals in several occupations to mentor newcomers. Find out more and how to apply here.