TD Bank Group is the first employer partner with The Mentoring Partnership whose employees have mentored over 1000 skilled immigrant new to Canada. A founding employer partner and financial supporter of the program, TD first got involved with the partnership in February 2005. They conducted a pilot mentoring cycle with 20 executives volunteering as mentor and they’ve never looked back.
“Senior leadership support has helped to drive interest in the program and get us to where we are today,” says Susan Calahan, Manager, Diversity Recruitment and mentoring coordinator at TD. “It is through the involvement across our businesses and across leadership levels from mid to senior management and executive levels that we have been able to grow to be the largest employer partner.
We’re proud to have just initiated our 1000th mentoring relationship.” TD’s involvement with the program ties in closely with their corporate values and long history of volunteerism and social responsibility. At the same time, the bank sees many benefits from participating in the program. “New Canadians represent an important talent pool. Our involvement in the mentoring program has provided us with more engagement in these communities and the best ‘word of mouth’ advertising that money CAN’T buy,” says Susan. “It also helps educate our staff about different cultures and about new immigrants as a key source of talent.”
The program is a unique way to develop TD employees and to prepare them for future leadership roles in an increasingly diverse social and economic environment. The Mentoring Partnership provides opportunities to develop mentoring leadership skills that are valuable outside of the program. “I’ve found my experience with the program enriching both from a personal and professional standpoint,” says Binu Mathai, a TD mentor. “It’s very rewarding to be in a position to have an impact on someone’s life as they seek employment in their field in Canada and it also allows me to enhance my coaching skills.”
Now with over 100 employees mentoring skilled immigrants every year, TD plans to continue its involvement with The Mentoring Partnership well into the future and strongly encourages other employers to get involved as well. “The Mentoring Partnership Program delivers the proverbial (and elusive) ‘Win-Win-win’,” says Susan. “It better prepares newcomers and provides them with tools and resources to gain productive employment, it develops leaders, it builds understanding, it attracts talent, and it builds your brand.” “We challenge any employer or funder considering the program to find another initiative that can deliver so much return for your investment.”