“Because I am an immigrant myself, and been through the process of getting established in a new country, I understand the challenges that new immigrants can face. That’s why it was so important for me to be involved with LAMBA and to get involved in diversity and inclusion with my employer, RBC.”
To say Emiliano Mendez supports new immigrants is an understatement. Both inside and outside of work, all of his spare time is dedicated to supporting diversity and immigrant inclusion in the labour market.
From meetings in coffee shops to radio interviews to speed-mentoring sessions, Emiliano Mendez spends a lot time advising newcomers on finding a vocation in Canada. An immigrant from Mexico, his counsel comes across as honest and useful.
Moving to Toronto as a fresh MBA graduate from HEC Montreal, Emiliano knows first-hand the barriers newcomers face getting established in Canada. One of the barriers Emiliano faced when he arrived in Toronto was a lack of a well-established professional network. After meeting other MBA graduates from Latin America facing similar challenges, Emiliano decided that strength lay in numbers.
Together with his new contacts, he co-founded the Latin American MBA Alumni Network (LAMBA) in 2010, to connect Latin American MBAs with each other and with employers in Canada. “Individually, our networks from our business schools were limited and being newcomers we did not have family networks to rely on,” says Emiliano. “So we decided to connect our individual networks to form something bigger.” Led by a committed group of volunteers, LAMBA quickly took off, growing to over 500 members in just three years.
Emiliano led the charge to secure sponsors and employer partners for the network. His peers in LAMBA credit him for being a key pillar for the network and he recently took over the role of President. Emiliano’s work with diversity and immigrant inclusion extends beyond LAMBA. His employer RBC asked him, along with a colleague, to launch the visible minority committee that is part of his RBC unit’s Diversity Leadership Council. As Champion he has helped develop the committee’s mandate and strategic plan, as well as recruiting committee members globally.
In addition, Emiliano created an internal website and mailbox to raise awareness about initiatives around visible minorities at RBC. As his peers at LAMBA attest, all of Emiliano’s spare time is dedicated to supporting new immigrants. He finds time to volunteer outside LAMBA and RBC, including serving as President of the HEC Montreal MBA Alumni Network inToronto, yet another role where he supports MBA graduates from his business school, many of of whom are newcomers to Toronto.
Emiliano looks for the day when immigrant inclusion is a non-issue inCanada. Until then, he has a vision for LAMBA: for employers to look to LAMBA as a source of great talent from Latin America in Canada.
- Co-founded the Latin American MBA Alumni Network (LAMBA) to connect Latin American professionals with each other and with employers
- Serves as Champion of his RBC business unit’s Diversity Leadership Council, visible minority committee to enhance diversity and inclusion in his workplace
- Secured sponsorships and partnerships for LAMBA with major employers including CIBC, KPMG, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank
- Helped to grow LAMBA from just 15 members to over 500 in three years
- Helped establish the mandate and strategy of the visible minority committee at RBC
- Developed resources to address the needs of visible minorities at RBC