This international women’s day, meet your new colleague

Aya* is a fullstack developer. She studied communications engineering in undergrad in Syria and launched into front-end programming, and then back-end programming in the few years since, shadowing more senior developers through a bootcamp and in her own family. In the same period, she lived through a war and fled one. Now, she’s in southern Türkiye, and had to leave this new home briefly too after last month’s destructive earthquake. She’s someone who smiles easily, who listens, who you know right away is a lightning-quick thinker.

Some lucky team is going to meet this one and watch her do wonders.

We’re supporting teams across Canada to meet talented job-seekers like Aya. Teams get to bring on needed talent, and extend that job and relocation opportunity to someone in a refugee situation.

It’s a deeply impactful way to hire, and it can’t grow quickly enough. 

There are more than 100 million people living in refugee or displaced situations around the world, and about half of any displaced population are women and girls. They’re often living in countries where they don’t have basic rights. We work with women who can’t open bank accounts, send their kids to school, study, or lawfully work. And yet they find ways to keep going – to keep their skills current, to make a living, to reinvent themselves, sometimes all at once.

Here are just a few of these stars already joining teams and communities across Canada.

Dilruba is a healthcare professional from Afghanistan who told us her favourite thing in Canada is “everything.” She was midway through her nursing studies when she and her family had to leave the country to India for safety. She couldn’t study or work while living as a refugee but held onto the dream that she would one day. Last spring, she joined the team at a long-term care facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Dilruba is working again in her field, in a community that’s in acute need of her talent. 

Sisi graduated with a bachelor’s in nursing in her home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before she had to leave for safety to Nigeria. There, she was able to keep working in healthcare but only informally, and without a secure path forward for herself or her career. Her next stop, however, is also St. John’s on Canada’s East Coast where she’ll be a Personal Care Attendant and work towards her Canadian nursing license.

Ranim is a music teacher. There are photos of her with children sitting at keyboards during a group lesson. Another photo shows her with one of her students, both smiling and giving a peace sign. She looks happy and the kids look at home with her. Ranim and her partner taught music together for eight years at their school in Homs, Syria, that they built, before it was ruined by bombing. They and their young son are now in a small town in Canada, and that music school is going to be rebuilt.

M. is a researcher who specialized in anthropology and archaeology in Afghanistan. She taught as an Assistant Professor before the Taliban took power in August 2021 and put an end to careers like hers. M. arrived in Canada in January to begin a new role, as a Research Assistant at McMaster University in Hamilton, under a remarkable initiative led by the university’s Committee on Students and Scholars in Crisis to relocate students and scholars from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and beyond.

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. 

*Name changed for anonymity. 

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.