When a culture of inclusion is embedded in an organization, building links between employees and skilled immigrants can bring benefits for all involved. Working with TRIEC, Scotiabank, an active partner in both The Mentoring Partnership and the Professional Immigrant Networks initiative (PINs), has definitely seen this first hand. 
“Working with TRIEC has been transforming,” says Deanna Matzanke, Director – Diversity & Inclusion at Scotiabank. “We’re a global company and cross-cultural intelligence is really important so a program like The Mentoring Partnership, which gives Scotiabankers the opportunity to develop their competencies in this area while giving back to this community, is gold.”

Scotiabank has made over 300 mentoring matches in just over 3 years but that is only one of the ways the bank is engaging with skilled immigrants and TRIEC. Through its Global Employment Strategies department in collaboration with the Multicultural Banking division, the bank is also sponsoring PINs.

“We want to be both an employer of choice and a bank of choice,” says Deanna. “Through PINs we have a focal point through which we can reach out to diverse communities and our employees can get involved with and support skilled immigrants.”

In 2011, Latin American internal employee resource groups from Scotiabank, IBM and CIBC, held a joint networking event with three Latin American professional immigrant networks. The event gave employees and skilled immigrants a chance to connect with each other in a new way. Like mentoring, PINs is building positive connections between Scotiabank and immigrant communities. Now the bank is expanding on the success of these initiatives nationally.

“We are getting requests for similar programs all over the country,” says Deanna. “Through ALLIES, a national project that supports local immigrant employment councils, we’re now exploring how we can implement these programs in other regions.”

This story first appeared in TRIEC’s 2011-2012 Annual Report.