Impact North Shore hosted a virtual Employer Forum on February 28, 2023, Rethinking Assumptions: Unpacking Canadian Work Experience. Over 45 participants attended, including employers and organizations that provide services to newcomers and im/migrants.

Project Researcher Wafaa Zaqout presented a summary of the project’s research undertaken in 2022, which found that the requirement for Canadian work experience is oftentimes arbitrary, functions in ways that are inherently exclusionary, and disproportionately affects racialized im/migrants. Ruth Mojeed Ramirez, Chief Equity Officer of The Inclusion Project emphasized the importance of identifying and eliminating and or mitigating unconscious biases. A panel comprised of Patrick Mackenzie from the Immigrant Employment Council of BC, Manu Varma from Uncommon Purpose and Shirin Saleh from 88 West Realty, discussed current employment practices and the importance of focusing on newcomers’ talents rather than their “lack of Canadian work experience”.

In upcoming weeks, Impact North Shore will distribute a summary of the research findings and recommendations, along with an Employer Resource Toolkit. The toolkit is a curation of actionable online resources and strategies that assists employers in making more equitable hiring decisions, especially for racialized im/migrants. Currently, the toolkit is being tested by a cohort of small, medium and large organizations.