Rotman School of Management University of Toronto
November 26, 2009

Ken McGuffin

Toronto, — The Rotman Initiative for Women in Business is among 16 new bridge training programs funded by the Government of Ontario. The $2 million in funding to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, as part of an announcement made Wednesday in Mississauga, will support Business Edge, a program for internationally trained women professionals.

“There has never been a more critical time to invest in internationally trained women who are working in Canada,” says Professor Beatrix Dart, Associate Dean, Executive MBA Programs and Executive Director, Rotman Initiative for Women in Business. “Not only are these women, for the most part, still highly overqualified for the positions they hold, but they are also having a more difficult time advancing in their careers. With the looming talent shortage in Canada, women – and especially those who were trained outside of Canada – are a group we can’t ignore. Until now, there has been little support for internationally trained women who aspire to career growth in Canada. With this seed funding from the Government of Ontario, and support from Corporate Canada, we will make a big impact on the workplace experience for both employers and employees.”

The Business Edge program is designed to support internationally trained women professionals as they navigate their careers in the Canadian workplace. It will help them build professional confidence and acquire relevant business skills in order to advance within their firms. The program will help participants develop a better understanding of the subtleties of the Canadian workplace and help them adopt new approaches that can make a positive difference on their professional work experience.

A pilot of the Business Edge Program was offered in the Summer of 2008. Participants from the pilot program have reported outcomes that include: job promotions, improved professional relationships, improved interview skills, self-realization and improved self-confidence, the motivation they needed to pursue professional licenses in Canada, inspiration to take on volunteer positions in the community, new mentors and improved problem-solving skills.

“Business Edge helped me bridge some of the communication gaps that I did not even know existed. It helped me understand cultural differences between corporate Canada and my home country,” says Anjali Seth, Contract Analyst, Business Support Centre at Xerox Canada and former Business Edge participant. “As a direct result of this program, I have started to ask questions that will help me move up in my career. I have also realized the value a mentor can add to my career. It was incredible to meet, and study with, talented women from so many different parts of the world.”

The next offering of the Business Edge Program will run March 26 to May 29, 2010. It will be delivered in modules on weeknights and Saturdays to make it convenient for participants to attend without having to take time away from work. Through teaching, coaching, and interaction with peers, participants will work to develop their own career strategies and action plans. They will gain tools and strategies they can use immediately at work. Ideally, participants will have already entered the workforce through a full time or part time job or internship position. For more information on the Business Edge Program, please visit

The Initiative for Women in Business at the Rotman School of Management empowers women to advance in their careers. It provides programs that refine management skills and help women develop the tools they need to be effective leaders and senior executives. The Rotman Initiative supports women from the classroom to the boardroom by offering continuing education, mentorship and networking opportunities. Its vision is to be the leading voice on issues facing women in management.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions. The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure Canada has the world-class business school it deserves.

Reference: Rotman School of Management University of Toronto