This international women’s day, meet some remarkable women advancing their careers after leaving displacement behind

Amy, Enas, and Samar are living in communities across Canada, in New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Ontario. All arrived on skilled visas from refugee situations.

On International Women’s Day, we’re spotlighting the talent, courage and strength of three remarkable women within our TalentLift community: Amy, Enas and Samar. All three left refugee situations after they or their partner received a job opportunity and pursued a skilled visa to Canada under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.

We’re grateful to them for sharing a glimpse of their experiences here.

“Never give up, there is a great future waiting for those who are ready to work for it.” – Amy

Amy recently completed her studies as an independent broker and views her career as an opportunity to empower others, by helping them to better understand their financial situations. Her journey through displacement and relocation to Canada involved many challenges and took a lot of perseverance. Amy is originally from Cuba and was living displaced in Trinidad and Tobago before relocating to Canada with her family. “But the point is not giving up,” she advises. Amy attributes her strength to her faith and family. They’ve helped her follow her own aspirations; she dreams of making a positive impact in her new career and community by assisting others find economic security. She encourages others to think of the wealth of opportunity in Canada and the possibility of gaining, with hard work, and also giving back. “Canada is a country with a lot of opportunities, so take advantage of it, help build up this society to be much better than what it already is.”

“On a day like today, where some women enjoy great rights while others suffer, for all the women and especially survivors, resistance and persistence are the only hope.” – Enas

Enas said she dreamed about her current life and all that she has now when she was little. She added, “I’m grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here. It’s been a journey with many stops, and I believe this isn’t my final destination.” Enas is from Syria and was living in Lebanon in a refugee situation when she interviewed with a Canadian employer and obtained a job offer in British Columbia.  Enas is a social work professional and has experienced great advances and growth in her career. She thinks she has left a positive impact in the communities where she has served too, including here in Canada. Not everything has been easy for her of course. Balancing the stress and emotions that come with being a newcomer alongside work and other demands is challenging. However, “the significant changes in my life have fueled my perseverance.” Next, Enas hopes to pursue drama therapy in continuing education, to build her career in a direction where she can keep working closely with people while nurturing her artistic side. She is creative, empathetic and warm. It’s easy to see how she’ll continue lifting up those around her.

“Don’t despair. We need patience. And to walk step by step. Good work will be seen by everyone.” – Samar

Samar, meanwhile, has ventured into entrepreneurship with her crochet business, alongside her dedication to teaching Arabic. Struggling with English proficiency, she enrolled in Sheridan College to enhance her language, recognizing its crucial role in navigating life in Canada. Despite this challenge, Samar didn’t let it deter her; instead, she seized opportunities by starting her own crochet business and teaching Arabic language classes via Zoom.

Samar is Palestinian has lived in Syria and then Lebanon in a refugee situation. There were significant challenges across her family’s journey. Here in Canada, maybe the hardest one is language. But that’s part of starting somewhere new, she knows.  Samar draws inspiration and support from her husband, and emphasizes the importance of staying positive and securing a stable income to provide a good life for their children. All of this takes hard work, but she’s sure hard work gets recognized. “Always, develop yourselves,” she encourages others. This beautiful philosophy is alive in her dream to open a private school for children, to help them develop and thrive too.

These are some incredible women. And there are many other talented folks like them, across all skill sets, in need of opportunity. Start hiring with us and meet them.

Join a community of pioneering hiring teams across Canada. Start hiring with TalentLift.

With the support of the Scotiabank ScotiaRISE initiative, TalentLift has built a talent platform for displaced job seekers to self-register, develop job-readiness, and connect to transformative job and relocation opportunities to Canada. Learn more.

New-hire identity fraud: Experts share ways to safeguard during remote hiring

The rise of virtual hiring has brought both opportunities and challenges. On the upside, virtual hiring is deeply inclusive, opening up global talent pools including those living in refugee circumstances. On the downside, teams could face a challenge with identity fraud if they don’t have safeguards in place. 

“Employment fraud was ranked the second riskiest scam in Canada in 2022, resulting in a loss of $7 million, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. And with advances in AI technologies, I think it’s likely to get even more sophisticated,” said Kathyrin Tremblay, CEO and Co-Founder of Altis Recruitment & Technology.

As organizations increasingly embrace remote hiring, some have grappled with instances where the individual who shows up for the job differs from the one who interviewed. To better understand this issue, we welcomed two expert speakers at our recent Tech Talent Welcome Council meeting, Jehan Jamaluddin, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Giatec, and Susy Martins, Founder & CEO of Advise2Rise.

Jehan shared three eye-opening examples of new-hire identity fraud. Two of them were a method called “Bait and Switch”. In these instances, candidates who were different from the individuals interviewed would show up for work, leaving the organization in a compromised situation. A third case involved fraudulent employment information. 

In response to these incidents, Giatec took proactive measures to enhance their recruitment process, including:

  • Transitioned from phone interviews to video interviews, which provide a more reliable means of verifying a candidate’s identity.
  • Enhanced background screening, including criminal, employment, and educational verification.
  • Conducted independent research on candidates via platforms like LinkedIn and GitHub.
  • Actively watched for red flags, such as resistance to background screening, typos in official documents, or refusal to participate in video interviews.

Susy, the CEO of Advise2Rise, initially perceived new-hire identity fraud as a cybercrime issue. However, she soon realized that this was a more widespread problem that extended beyond the tech industry. When she reached out to her professional network, she discovered that others had encountered similar challenges.

Susy emphasized the importance of video interviews and having a photo on file to compare appearances. She encouraged consulting experts in the field of identity verification and fraud prevention and highlighted that this issue affects not only large corporations but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which may lack the resources to detect patterns in fraudulent hiring. Another strategy is working with trusted recruitment partners like TalentLift that build in safeguards to virtual recruitment.

TalentLift has a unique mission to support talented folks living in refugee circumstances globally. We have a few closer degrees of connection to candidates through our employment-readiness services, and often through local partners who work closely with candidates including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In addition, TalentLift has an identity verification mechanism available to interviewers on our employer portal. It enables interviewers to compare visuals of their video interview with photo ID for additional security. 

Both speakers emphasized the importance of reporting incidents: If you encounter new-hire identity fraud, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Also, you can see what’s trending in the background check industry from the ISB website.

We would like to thank Jehan and Susy and the whole Tech Talent Welcome Council community for their contributions to this important topic. If you’re interested in being part of this community of peers who are piloting and embedding recruitment from within refugee populations in their talent strategy, please follow our Tech Talent Welcome Council page on LinkedIn. 

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.