Page 1

The woMen’S iSSue

go your own way tips for

+

safe travels

&

Women on the wire // explore endless career opportunities in telecom Global perspectives // consider a master’s in development studies

| november/december 2011 |


BUSINESS DEGREES 4-YEAR DEGREES THAT ARE BUILT FOR BUSINESS. Accounting e-Business Marketing Fashion Management Human Resources Management International Business International Development Tourism Management

business.humber.ca


nt the stude y f o % 1 ly On abilit n has the io t la u p l. o p epreneuria r t n e e b to

YOU KNOW

WHO YOU

ARE You have the conďŹ dence and skills to be your own boss. Next Summer, make your own rules. Employ yourself and others. We have been developing leaders and entrepreneurs for 40 years. Find out more — take our entrepreneurial test at assessmentquiz.collegepro.com

collegepro.com

Now interviewing for limited internships and manager positions. For more info call 1-877-900-5627 ext.221 or email nlaurie@collegepro.com


17 who’s

hiring

GO YOUR OWN WAY

1 9 15 22 22 22 26 29

yay! more school IFC 3 5

industryinsiders 6

is? No? Neither did we. CN's Chelsea McLeod explains. Brought to you by Rogers Wireless.

8

Career Cupid

— When it comes to careers,

choosing one is a lot like picking a flavour of

Trading Up More and more organizations are sprouting up across Canada to support women in trades.

ice cream.

10

Interview Smarts

to come up in your next interview.

13 14 30

Start Up — Learn how one young entrepreneur

The Changing Demographic Of The Insurance Industry Did you know women make up 61 percent of the insurance industry?

is taking her fashions to a global playing field.

Soft Skills

— What exactly does "business

Women On The Wire

self at work.

The options for careers are endless in the telecom and digital media industry.

with a Master's in Development Studies.

32 2

OBC

JobLife — Life doesn't always allow for red car-

Connecting To Careers In Technology

pet ease. Here are some tips to help you work

You don't always need a degree in computer

the room at any event.

science to establish a career in technology.

Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) Humber, The Business School: Event Management Humber, The Business School: Global Business Georgian College, Canadian Automotive Institute Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology Centennial College Brock University Niagara College Queen’s University Ross University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Sheridan College Humber, The Business School Algonquin College

who else? 11

casual" mean? Plus tips on how to carry your-

Edu-ma-cation — Gain a global perspective

30 31 31 31 31 31 31 IBC

— Canon Canada's Ma-

rina Lichtenberg tackles a question that's sure

29 30

Success Story — Do you know what a culvert

College Pro The Home Depot CBC Radio-Canada Magna Electric Corporation Federated Co-operative NAV CANADA The Source CGI

16 21 26

Wood Manufacturing Council ACE Canada Insurance Institute of Canada The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council

stuff to buy 7 12 25

Rogers Wireless Excel Brisk

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image: © iStockphoto.com/Josef Muellek

If you're a student or recent grad thinking of embarking on an international sojourn, you're not alone. Many people are opting for work and volunteer experience overseas, before settling down with a career. However, the journey may not always be easy when you throw in external expectations. One writer shares her story with us.

Hey. Did you know that these companies have lots of entry level positions? Visit their websites to see a full list of positions available.


EVENT MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From trade shows to cultural festivals; from sporting events to fashion shows; from conferences and meetings to weddings: this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career as an: • • • • • • • •

Event Coordinator Marketing Assistant Special Events Organizer Promotion Coordinator Account Representative Trade Show Planner Conference Coordinator Corporate Meeting Planner

business.humber.ca


jobpostings publisher Nathan Laurie nlaurie@jobpostings.ca

associate publisher Mark Laurie mlaurie@jobpostings.ca

acting editor Simone Castello scastello@jobpostings.ca

art director Sonya van Heyningen svanheyningen@jobpostings.ca

editor’s

NOTE

When I was asked to step in as acting editor for November's

issue of jobpostings magazine, I was a bit nervous. Although

I began my career as a print journalist, my most recent expe-

riences have, for the most part, been online. But when the team decided to make November our first 'Women's Issue,' I found myself unable to turn away. I became excited at the potential of what we could deliver.

contributors Katie Edmonds, Christine Fader, Ross Harrhy, Alima Hotakie, Marina Lichtenberg, IN THIS PHOTO: SIMONE CASTELLO AT THE ANNUAL HAMPYEONG BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL IN SOUTH KOREA.

From highlighting the role of women in various industries such as trades, telecom and technology, to reading about the

up shift of women in leadership positions within the insur-

ance industry, I was left with a constant sense of awe. We've come a long way, baby!

Mitchell, Kevin Nelson, Emma Woolley

assistant sales manager Sarah-Lyn Amaral

choose to work in fields that run the gamut, from aerospace engineering, to publishing, to everything in between. Ladies, it’s

national account manager Mary Vanderpas

truly a great time for us, so please make the best of it.

sales intern

Our cover story resonated with me on a personal level. In fact,

Shannon Tracey

it felt as though the author was telling you a bit of my story.

I took off for a year after school as well, to teach in South Korea. And I spent time (and funds) travelling to neighbouring

countries. It was difficult getting on the plane that would

eventually take me across the planet, but looking back now,

Editing this magazine has been nothing short of inspiring.

Emily Minthorn, Allison

I believe Go Your Own Way is a story that will speak to a lot

Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9

students are choosing to expand their learning by pursuing

jobpostings.ca 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221

I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

of new graduates — and not just to women. More and more

volunteer and work opportunities overseas. I think this is

fantastic! And I encourage you, if at all possible, to take some

However, none of the luxuries we have today would have been possible without the work done by women before us.

The pioneering women who broke the moulds, and gave us the freedom of choice and possibility.

As Career Cupid reminds us, literally a generation and a half ago,

women were given the option of secretary, nurse or teacher as career choices. Now, the opportunities are endless. Women can

time to experience life as a global citizen; it’s incomparable to anything you’ll ever learn inside a classroom.

Be open to new experiences and expand your horizons to em-

brace endless possibilities. You have one shot at your life, so live it the way you want. Go your own way. 

HIS T IN SUE IS

pg. 8

pg. 23

pg. 30

You’ll never look at ice cream flavours the same way again.

If you’re into flipping houses, you should read this story.

Problem solving skills: global citizen style!

pg. 32 Say goodbye to your days as a wallflower.

jobpostings is published eight times in the school year. Issue dates are September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. Copies of jobpostings are distributed to over 105 universities and colleges across Canada. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers. I'm due for a vacation. You?

on the cover: © iStockphoto.com/ Vladimir Maravic

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From marketing to finance; from advertising to international trade; this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career in: • • • • • • •

Marketing Finance Advertising International Trade Retail Wholesale Supply Chain Management

business.humber.ca


successstories

Chelsea McLeod Engineer Assistant @ CN WHAT DREW YOU TO YOUR CURRENT FIELD?

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR POSITION?

My dad was an engineer as well, and when I was growing up, we would drive around the neighbourhood and he’d point out the bridges, buildings and various structures he had worked on. Also, in school, I had always been interested in math and science. I just had a knack for it. I think both those things had a lasting impact on me and helped shape my career choices.

I think it’s the same for many people undertaking new jobs or careers; there’s just a lot to take in. Engineering is a specialized line of work, with a language, a dynamic, and processes of its own. The transition between learning at school, in a more predictable and controlled environment, and applying that knowledge to real-life situations can be as challenging as it is stimulating.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES: As a member of the Bridges and Structures team, I am currently responsible for organizing and facilitating culvert inspections all over Eastern Canada. Simply put, a culvert is a pipe located under the track, perpendicular to it. Its purpose is to drain water under the track, to prevent it from washing out the track. I’m in charge or coordinating when sections of track need assessing, and then I communicate with my team of inspectors to dispatch them to the required locations. My job takes me on field trips all over Eastern Canada, to see firsthand what my teammates are up to. This way, I’m able to learn from them. Once the job is completed, I review the inspection reports to make sure all the work was done according to policy.

and to accept input from your coworkers. And as much as engineering requires precise and calculated work, you must show some flexibility as well, and learn to roll with the punches when something doesn’t happen exactly as planned.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE CAREER ASPIRATIONS? To be honest, I’m not quite sure about that yet. I really enjoy where I am and what I’m doing right

“Some of my colleagues have been working at CN for over 30 years. They have a lot to teach and they do so gladly.” WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB? How much there is to learn. I gain on-the-job experience every single day to help keep me moving forward. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of the people I work with. Some of my colleagues have been working at CN for over 30 years. They have a lot to teach and they do so gladly. It is so inspiring to see people like them still enthusiastic about what they do, and it makes me want to learn even more about the different skills and opportunities in my field.

WHAT SKILLS HAVE YOU LEARNED THROUGH YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE? For starters, I learned what a culvert actually is and how to inspect it! In order to do that successfully, you must also be able to apply mathematical calculations specific to the job. Working at CN has taught me a lot about time and priority management too.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS CAREER? I believe that to be a successful engineer, you have to be someone who likes to get the job done. You also have to be willing to work hard

now. I’ve been working as an engineer for less than two years, so I’ve yet to master all the elements of my job. For the moment, I’m concentrating on obtaining my professional status (similar to how residents must undergo on-the-job training before they can become doctors, I must work alongside an experienced engineer for 4 years in order to obtain my own professional status). While I’m very much open to future possibilities, I’m still undecided as to which direction I would like to take my career in. There are countless opportunities within engineering at CN, and I’m only starting to learn about some of them.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR STUDENTS LOOKING TO LAND THEIR FIRST JOB? Talk to people, put yourself out there and build your network. Forge relationships with people in your field of interest, and they may be able to help your career advancement. In addition, be mindful of applying for jobs that actually match your skill set; submitting your resume for positions you are clearly over or under-qualified for can lead to disappointment. Read the full interview on our website at jobpostings.ca/rogers-success-story-chelsea-mcleod

LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT: 16 MONTHS DEGREE: MATERIALS ENGINEERING PROGRAM, THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA.

6

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Vanilla, chocolate or straw-

meant for women,” but

make because there were

road, mocha almond

berry ice cream—which

the vast majority chose

a finite number of options.

fudge, caramel swirl,

would you like?

from those three flavours

I could easily prioritize my

chocolate ripple, etc, etc.

of career: secretary, nurse

path: I’d choose chocolate

or teacher. And, whether

first and if they were out of

or not those women ulti-

that, then vanilla and only

mately found their work

as a last resort, strawberry.

Try some raspberry crunch.

Don’t get me wrong, I

It’s probably not realistic

am grateful that there’s

to assume that every ice

more than just chocolate

cream store (or career) will

now — in ice cream and in

have chocolate ALL the

careers. I feel blessed to be

time. And, you limit your

able to enjoy all the variety

opportunities for growth

I’m a chocolate girl all the way but, as much as I like chocolate, it’s weird to think that if you were starting your adult life a generation and a half ago, these were pretty much your only ice cream flavour options. Peanut butter cup or toasted marshmal-

CAREER CUPID

the time was that the idea of approaching a career through the lenses of choice and happiness was still a long way off.

low flavours were still a

Thankfully, many young

and options, but choosing

and exploration if you stub-

long way from entering

women (and men) today

a career path from the lit-

bornly refuse to consider

the mainstream ice cream

have been brought up with

erally thousands of known

anything BUT chocolate

chains or grocery stores.

the idea that they can “do

— and as yet unknown

on your journey. There are

anything” they want. They

— possibilities can be very

times when you’ll need to

are lucky to be able to con-

daunting for some.

or have the opportunity to

Whether you think you

go in a completely different

know exactly what career

direction. Instead of fixating

you want or you are trying

on the lack of chocolate,

to figure it out, there are

why not embrace the

lessons from ice cream

chance to try something

that can help:

new and different, like rasp-

It’s even stranger to realize that if you were a young woman buying one of these three flavours, your career choices, at the time, were equally limited: secretary, nurse or teacher—which

by Christine Fader

satisfying, the reality at

would you like to be?

sider secretary, nurse or teacher as career options, but also to think about the many other incredibly diverse jobs available, including firefighter, ortho-

A TRIPLE SCOOP OF CAREER GOODNESS!

berry crunch? You might find a whole new area of ice cream — and career — that

Find your chocolate.

opens up to you.

Even if you know exactly what you want to do (and

Of course, there were some

pedic surgeon, chemical

especially if you don’t),

pioneering women who

engineer, chef, genetics

being able to articulate

counsellor, public relations

a theme(s) or keywords

Introducing… bacon ice cream.

specialist, welder, mother,

about stuff that fascinates

Believe it or not, the career

and make-up artist… just

you is a valuable ingredi-

options visible to you

to name a few. Just like ice

ent to help begin bulding a

today will be different very

cream, careers have come

career “flavour” you’ll like.

soon. Jobs we can’t even

a long way.

Can’t figure it out? Seek

conceive of yet are being

help from friends, parents,

created at this very min-

teachers and career

ute, and, just like bacon ice

practitioners. And, don’t be

cream, they might seem

afraid to try things out!

strange and far-fetched

ventured into fields “not

But perhaps, like me, you have been to modern-day ice cream stores that have many, many flavours to

right now. Starting with

choose from. Faced with such a bewildering array

“chocolate” and variations

of choices, I often hesitate,

Be open to caramel swirl.

debating my choice and

Chocolate is not just a

doubting myself. Is choco-

flavour or career option

late really what I want?

unto itself, but is also a key

Am I making the right

ingredient in many other

decision? Am I missing out

flavours/careers. Once

on something better?

you know that chocolate

Sometimes, I long for the

is something you like, you

simple days of vanilla,

can explore variations on

chocolate and strawberry.

that theme in flavours —

That decision, while lim-

or, in the case of careers,

ited, felt easier for me to

job titles — such as rocky

of that will help you seize opportunities as they appear down the road. So, what’ll it be for you: secretary, nurse, teacher, or one of the many other options available to lucky students today? Grab a metaphorical spoon and give some work a try. You’ll be amazed at what unexpected flavours you find. 

CHRISTINE FADER WORKS AS A CAREER COUNSELLOR AT QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY AND IS THE AUTHOR OF “CAREER CUPID: YOUR GUIDE TO LANDING AND LOVING YOUR DREAM JOB.” VISIT HER WEBSITE AT CAREERCUPID.COM

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


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*

with Marina Lichtenberg Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist

@ Canon Canada Inc.

*

interview

SMARTS

}

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR LAST PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR SCHOOL?

Find more intervew Q&A online at jobpostings.ca/interview_smarts

So you screwed up in the interview, huh? They asked the ol’ “What’s your greatest weakness” question and you responded with “cupcakes,” hoping to get a laugh. Awkward. Lucky for you we have friends on the inside — recruiting friends (the people who’ll be interviewing you). It cost us a few favours, but they finally agreed to explain why they ask what they ask, and what the best answers are. It’s a cheatsheet for interviews. Good luck!

Whether I’m interviewing someone who has years of work experience, or is a recent graduate, this question provides significant insight into what they consider to be important and why. The answer can be related to their work; a school project; something they did as a volunteer, or an extra-curricular activity. It also provides information on what they accomplished during the project. When answering, be prepared to address follow-up questions, such as the ones listed below: What was your contribution/project? What was its significance; what were the outcomes? Why do you consider it to be your most significant contribution? Did you lead the project or were you a part of a team? If you were a team member, what role did you play? How did you influence the project? How was success measured? What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them? What deadlines were set and did you meet them? Knowing your successes and why you were successful is critical in addressing these types of questions. In preparing for any interview you should always write down some of your key accomplishments and what you would like any prospective employer to know about them. You may even want to role-play the interview with someone from your career centre or another trusted advisor. Remember, for most us, selling ourselves (interviewing) is not natural, so practice, and more practice will lead to success and possibly, land you the career you want.  november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum

WERC In Advanced Wood Manufacturing ENTRY-LEVEL CAREERS FOR FIRST NATIONS, METIS, INUIT, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND NEW IMMIGRANTS The WMC WERC Skills Development program is designed to prepare individuals for entrylevel occupations in advanced wood manufacturing and recruits specifically from groups including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, new immigrants and persons with disabilities. Participants of the program are provided with skills upgrading in the following areas • • • •

Job Readiness Essential and Life Skills Introduction to Basic Wood Manufacturing Safety Training, Job Shadowing and Job Placement

Successful candidates of the minimum 8 week program will be better able to seek long term career opportunities in cabinet making, furniture, manufactured housing and other advanced wood sectors across Canada. If you are interested in participating in the WERC program in your area or a manufacturer looking for new entry level woodworkers, please visit www.wmc-cfb.ca or contact: Wood Manufacturing Council 1016 -130 Albert Street Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5G4 Tel: 613-567-5511 * Fax: 613-567-5411 Website: www.wmc-cfb.ca

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Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program


ZAP AWAY BAD BREATH EXCEL IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE WM. WRIGLEY JR. CO., OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES.


Maryanne MATHIAS

startup

Interviewed by Katie Edmonds

Z

What inspired you to start your own business? I had done Fashion Design at school in Montreal

The 411 on Osei-Duro

and then took some time off to travel around the

world. I started out doing a capsule collection in

Osei-Duro is dedicated to

Ghana and seeing the rich textile industry made

creating socially responsible

me want to learn more. I wanted to participate

and sustainable clothing that

in something more exploratory, encompassing

encourages international and

and interesting, and so my friend (Molly Keogh)

intercultural cooperation. It

became my business partner and we got started.

provides employment opportu-

What was the biggest challenge you faced when

nities and job training to West

getting your business off the ground?

African women who would

otherwise be underemployed.

For me, it was giving up artistic control when I

started working in a partnership instead of on

oseiduro.com

my own. I had been used to designing clothes by myself and working with another person is always a challenge. Nowadays, our challenge is capacity. We are getting more and more orders and we have

had to change the way we operate a bit to keep up with the demand.

You started the business and then went back to do your MBA. Why do it in that order?

FULL-TIME MBA STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, AND OWNER OF HER OWN CLOTHING LINE, OSEI-DURO. ACE 2010 STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR, BRITISH COLUMBIA CHAMPION.

Well my degree was in Fashion Design, and after

four years of running my own business it was clear that I needed more skills that my prior education just didn’t provide. So I went back to school and

Molly really stepped up in terms of production and kept the business going.

After winning the title of ACE 2010 Student Entre-

ceed. In Ghana, it’s a bit of a different story and I

some practice presenting your business plan to

ously because they usually work with other men.

preneur, British Columbia Champion, you’ve had

critics. What advice would you give current stu-

What surprised you most about starting a business?

dents doing the same thing?

I think I didn’t really know the risks associated with

Preparation is key. I can’t say this enough; be pre-

hard it would be. During my MBA, I learned a lot

asked. If you are doing a PowerPoint presentation,

cial plans for the company. We had zero expecta-

the questions you think might be asked.

starting my own business, and I didn’t know how

pared. Try to predict the questions you might be

about how to strategize and make better finan-

have some extra slides at the end that will answer

tions going into the process and we didn’t think

What is the culture like for young, female entrepre-

anything would be all that difficult. If I had done

my MBA first, I might not have gone through with

starting the company, so maybe it’s just as well that I went in the order I did.

jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

neurs in Canada?

Fortunately, I have never had any issues being a young woman in business. In Canada, we have a

think businessmen have a hard time taking us seriWhenever I am in Canada, I am amazed and grateful at how smoothly things run for us.

What advice would you give to another student entrepreneur?

People always say you should work for a company and then start your own, which I agree with on

one hand. But I also think that if you have a great idea, it’s worthwhile to take a look at the business and see if it will work. Try it on a small scale before you go bigger. And if you believe in it, don’t listen to others if they don’t. Stick to your guns.

lot of support from people who want us to suc-

13


softskills // by Allison Mitchell

your WORK self HOW DO YOU GAUGE DRESS CODES IN VARIOUS WORK ENVIRONMENTS? AND WHAT EXACTLY DOES “BUSINESS CASUAL” MEAN?

Do you know who your work self is? Relax! I am not suggesting that you need to pull a Clark Kent/Superman switch-aroo on your way to work to become your work self, but rather

that there should be a distinction between the hang-out-

with-your-friends you and the work you. Your work self is simply a polished version of the authentic you, with professionalism as the polish that makes you shine.

Trying to fit into any work environment has become increas-

ingly difficult over the past few years because they range from formal to casual. When starting a new job, you need to

assess the work environment and figure out what is appropriate in terms of dress code and employee conduct. Since it is expected that people will change jobs and companies several times over their career, the ability to assess a specific work en-

vironment, and learning to adapt to it should be a well-honed skill in a job seeker’s toolbox.

Dress code and employee conduct are good barometers

of how a specific work environments function. Although a company’s dress code policy can range from formal business attire to casual jeans and hoodies, you should ensure that you keep your level of professionalism high.

It can be challenging for people in casual work environments to exude the same sense of ‘work mode’ as those who wake

up every morning and put on business attire. Something inherently shifts when people wear suits; they tend to carry

themselves differently and act more professional. That is not

to say that people who wear casual clothing to work are not

professional; rather that some people have to work harder

to carry that same level of professionalism with them when they go to work in jeans and a hoodie.


A common piece of advice that job seekers are given is to dress more professionally when they have a phone interview; even though the interviewer can’t see what they are wearing, changing clothes may help a person convey a more professional tone than they might if they were wearing pajamas.

CARRY & PRESENT YOURSELF WELL

Yes, even your walk can speak to your professionalism. Your walk at work

shouldn’t mimic your walk when you first wake up in the morning ...Possibly slow and sluggish?

When you’re sitting through a meeting, make sure your posture and facial ex-

pressions convey that you are engaged and interested. Everyone has attended a boring meeting, but slouching in your chair and zoning out on the conversation

is not the best way to handle this situation. If you have suggestions on how

to improve the interest-factor of the meeting, then you can share those ideas with the meeting chair once it’s over. By zoning out, you run the risk of missing

pertinent information or being caught not paying attention if you’re called on to answer a question, and you have no idea what the discussion was about.

COMMUNICATION

Although you may have friends at work, it’s important to remember that your

business communication at work needs to be professional. The ways in which you communicate at work should not mimic the texts you send to friends.

REACTIONS

How you react in a situation can say a lot about your professionalism. There will be difficult and stressful situations at work, so it is always important to take a step back and think about your response before actually responding. The

old adage that cooler heads will prevail is true: it is difficult to think rationally when you are upset, so take time and react professionally.

DO YOU LOVE A CHALLENGE? Do you love to work behind the scenes with leading edge technology?

Discussions involving performance feedback, whether it’s a formal performance

review or an informal discussion can be particularly difficult for some. Regardless of the discussion’s formality level, you have to ensure that your response is professional (even if the feedback is delivered in an unprofessional manner).

Crossing your arms and mentally shutting down when receiving constructive

feedback or criticism does not convey professionalism; neither does getting

defensive and angry. Listen to the feedback and try to understand where the other person is coming from. You will constantly be striving to improve your

The “Media Engineering” group, part of the CBC Media Operations & Technology team, is responsible for planning, designing and implementing all of the CBC’s Television, Radio and New Media production facilities across the country. These facilities include studios, control rooms, mobile production vehicles, and digital archives.

performance throughout your career, so it’s best to look at feedback as a gift

We are seeking Engineering & Network System Designers to join our team.

Remember: you need to be authentic, so if you don’t agree with the feedback,

As a Systems Designer you would be part of a multi-functional project team to develop technical solutions and conceptual engineering design specifications that meet customer requirements for complex media broadcast and networking systems.

because it will often guide you to become better at what you do.

then you should respond. And doing so in a professional and succinct manner will give you a better chance of being heard. We’ve established that employ-

ees need to remain true to who they are, while maintaining a lev-

el of professionalism. There are a variety of different work environ-

ments that people will experi-

ence in their quest for success. A person needs to be a chameleon

and adapt to whatever environment they are in. Whether it’s

formal or casual, if you ensure that you convey professionalism,

you will be seen as a professional.

jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

a cautionary note on dress code If a company’s dress code is “business casual”, then ask for

Your role would involve designing, developing, testing, commissioning and project management of media broadcast system projects.

clarification of what exactly that means. I have seen some business casual dress codes include jeans, and others that don’t. Be sure that you under-

Inage: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it?

stand what “business casual” means at your new place of employment.

CONTACT

Iris Singh, Senior Administration Manager, Iris.singh@cbc.ca, 416-205-2370 15


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«

by Alima Hotakie

WITH THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THE RECENT ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, MANY NEW GRADS ARE CHOOSING TO VENTURE OUT ON JOURNEYS OF SELF-DISCOVERY AND PERSONAL GROWTH BY TRAVELLING AND FINDING WORK ABROAD. BUT WHAT EFFECT CAN TRAVEL HAVE ON A WOMAN? ESPECIALLY IF SHE CHOOSES TO EMBARK ON THE ADVENTURE ALONE? ONE WRITER SHARES HER JOURNEY WITH US »

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

GO YOUR OWN WAY Visit jobpostings.ca/blogs for some awesome leads on work and volunteer opportunities abroad.

jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011


I KNEW IF I JUMPED STRAIGHT INTO A CAREER, I WOULD LIVE A LIFE AWASH WITH REGRETS”

CHICHICASTENANGO, GUATEMALA

reconnect and find my inner voice, which I felt was getting

lost amidst different opinions

KONG, CHINA GAGE STREET MARKET, HONG

from family and friends. My par-

ents, for example, were encouraging me to continue with my

sides a career to worry about, I still had many

I WANTED TO MEET MY TRUE SELF.

would live a life awash

What better way to find yourself than to take off

passions.

straight into a career, I with regrets.

It’s easy to follow in the footsteps of

others. Most of my friends were firm in their

t

undertakings.

They already knew that they wanted to

continue with grad-

he mounting pressure on recent gradu-

uate school, law school or teachers college. Oth-

university, to immediately secure a ca-

money right away. And there were those who

ates, whether fresh out of high school or reer path is growing. The stress of know-

ing your exact career can often lead to the wrong choices. We succumb to pressure and end up mak-

ing quick and regrettable decisions. Given that we

live in a rushed society — from fast food and fast

results to quick thrills and quick decisions — it’s not surprising that we apply these same speedy tactics when it comes to our career choices.

If you feel hurried and confused about your career path, you’re not alone. I too was confused about my

future, and unsure about whether or not to con-

tinue my education with a master’s degree, or take

ers were excited to enter the workforce and make

wanted to get married, buy a home and start

a family. I was tempted to do the same. I even thought there must have been something terribly wrong with me for not knowing what I wanted to

do with my life. I thought uncertainty before university was typical for students, but not after.

As expected, I came very close to applying for a master’s program to continue building on my undergraduate degree. I had even researched some schools and

was about to get started on the application process, when I started having episodes of recurring doubt.

Is this really what I wanted? Maybe I did, but not

now. I needed a break and some time to think these matters through. At this point, I needed to

18

unrealistic expectations for a 24 year old.

I knew if I jumped

unrealized

HALONG BAY, VIETNAM

get married and start a family. Everyone had these

for a year and travel? Travelling had always been a

passion of mine. A passion I knew I had to fulfill before settling down permanently. But before setting

the foundation, I had to find the material first. I had to seek and rediscover myself. I also didn’t want to

7

look back at this moment 30 or 40 years from now

and silently say to myself: What if? What could have been? What did I miss? And besides, the tim-

ing seemed ideal because I was free of any major

commitments and responsibilities that came with marriage and children.

The impetus to follow my dream was finally real-

ized when I headed to Europe right after finishing university. But before I got there, I had to deal with

the task of convincing my traditional parents that it was a good idea. I was only 24 years old when I

first told my parents I wanted to single-handedly travel the world. Their immediate reaction was one of utter disbelief. “But you’re a woman,” they said. “Women don’t travel alone!” my mother

and father said in unison. They believed women

should wait until they were married and then travel with their male companions.

What ensued were a series of lectures with my mother as the guest speaker. In typical Afghan

fashion she advised me to wait until I was married november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Images (Clockwise from top left): Eileen Bach/ Digital Vision/Thinkstock, © iStockphoto.com/Holger Mette, iStockphoto/Thinkstock, © iStockphoto.com/Josef Muellek, iStockphoto/Thinkstock

a year off to travel. Be-

studies, and my relatives were pressuring me to


tries and cities I intended on visiting. Now it was my

turn to lecture them on the benefits of travelling. and then safely travel the world with my husband, who would protect me if I fell in harms way. I tried to

I wanted to submerge myself in European art, history and culture. I told them that I intended on visiting major cities, and that I planned on visiting art galleries, museums and the most important sites.

remind her that we were

I remained firm in my quest. I didn’t budge and I

Arabia, where, by law, wom-

was an adult now and that I had to learn to take

without a male chaperon.

over. And what a sigh of relief that was, because

worried about what the rest

some doubt in me. Realizing that my desire to

would whisper behind my

A month after graduating from university, I

in Canada and not in Saudi

was unwilling to compromise. I told them that I

en can’t leave the house

care of myself. Eventually, I finally won my parents

But really, she was more

their cloud of fear was slowly beginning to instil

of the Afghan community

travel wasn’t just a phase, they reluctantly agreed.

back, were I to travel solo.

In stark contrast to my mother, my father was less of a traditionalist and more of a protector. He

stepped onto a plane bound towards Europe. I got

so caught up in my travel plans that I even missed out on my graduation ceremony.

In the meanwhile, my parents couldn’t comprehend why a summer of travelling wasn’t enough.

They kept referencing my family and friends. “Look at your cousins,” they would say. “They’ve completed university and now they’re settling down and getting married.”

My mother would add that the longer I waited, the lower my chances were of getting married,

because I was getting older — and no man would possibly want to marry a woman in her late twenties. My attempts to explain that late twenties and

early thirties were acceptable ages to tie the knot seemed to calm her fears no less.

Essentially, my parents believed in the following

linear path of progress/evolution: university, job,

feared for my safety. He feared that I would be-

marriage, children and more children (all possibly

a brothel somewhere in Eastern Europe or in Thai-

from this course you were doomed. »

before you hit the age of 30). And if you deviated

«

MACHU PICCHU (PERU)

75%

THE AVERAGE ADVENTURE TRAVELER IS NOT A 28-YEAR OLD MALE, BUT A 47-YEAR-OLD FEMALE. AND SHE WEARS A SIZE 12 DRESS.*

OF THOSE WHO TAKE CULTURAL, ADVENTURE OR NATURE TRIPS ARE WOMEN.* SURIN, THAILAND

land. Conversing with my father was nothing short of fear mongering. He would present me with the most cliché of examples; namely that the world

was a place to be feared, and that it was not as safe for women travellers as it was for men.

WAN·DER·LUST (WNDR-LST) N. A VERY STRONG OR IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE TO TRAVEL.

IT WASN’T “JUST A PHASE.”

My parents initially reckoned that my travel plans

Over the course of the next few days, my parents

serious case of wanderlust. I now wanted to catch

was a phase that would just subside just as quickly

Asia. But I faced a serious dilemma; I was running

I visited the local bookstore and brought back a

working part-time during my university years, and

wouldn’t extend past the summer. However, I

returned home from my travels in Europe with a

forgot about my zealous travel plans. To them it

a glimpse of the east, and to explore parts of East

as it had appeared. But to show them I was serious,

out of money. I had used up all my savings from

small stack of Lonely Planet books of all the coun-

found myself at an impasse.

jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

{

come a victim of human trafficking and end up in


% 0 8

OF ALL TRAVEL DECISIONS ARE MADE BY WOMEN *

WEAVING, QUECHUA WOMAN LEY,PERU URUBAMBA VAL

But even then it wasn’t easy.

Since I didn’t return home with a pocket full of savings, some of my relatives considered travel-

Images (Clockwise from top left): © iStockphoto.com/© The Power of Forever Photography, Hemera/Thinkstock, iStockphoto/Thinkstock

A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES... My father often said that I couldn’t possibly see the entire world. Despite my repeated attempts to clarify that my plan wasn’t to travel indefinitely,

he still wouldn’t listen. I simply wanted a year or two to travel. I didn’t understand why it was com-

pletely alright to spend the same amount of time

ling a complete waste of time

and energy. To them, the worth of something could only be measured in tangibles.

Many of us live sheltered and insulated lives. We usually don’t venture out beyond our comfort

zones or outside our spheres of work and school. Our only encounters with the rest of the world occur through the news, Internet, and every so often, by dining at ethnic restaurants.

ue of travelling. They can’t comprehend that it’s a les-

“PHYSICALLY VENTURING ABROAD OPENS YOU UP TO A WIDE ARRAY OF CULTURES AND ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES.”

Second World War, for example, visiting the Dachau

For me, travelling alone was one of the most re-

many than I did in all my high school history classes.

humbling train conversations I had with strang-

It was then that I decided to work abroad for a year

encounters helped shape me in much larger ways.

on a master’s program or double that on a PhD, but not on travelling.

Most people, my parents included, don’t see the valson in history and culture. I learned more about the concentration camp as well as the museums in Ger-

and teach English in South Korea. Teaching would fund my travels and provide me with an opportunity to explore other parts of the world during

my breaks. My parents were skeptical at first, but slowly started supporting my endeavours.

warding and enriching experiences. From the ers, to the small talks in coffee shops, these short

There’s a reason musicians, artists and chefs travel

for inspiration. From Jimi Hendrix spending time in

Morocco, to Jamie Oliver touring the Italian coun-

TREE ROOTS AT TA PROHM , ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA:

tryside — you deserve no less. So jump on that plane and live your life as a global citizen.

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


Travel Notes While concern for women travellers is both widespread and legitimate, and travelling alone isn’t without its dangers, it’s also considerably exaggerated. The world isn’t your enemy because of your gender — in fact, it’s considerably accommodating. You just have to be aware of your surroundings, and of the cultural sensitivities associated with different parts of the world. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

What is accepted in one culture may be frowned upon in another. In East Asia, for example, bare legs (clad in

booty shorts) turn less faces than a bit of cleav-

age and exposed arms (think of tube tops, tank

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS VOLUMES. This is true, especially around men. Don’t appear overly friendly or flirtatious. Non-verbal cues are perceived differently across the world. From my own experiences, men in Southern Europe, North Africa and East Asia are often under the false impression that western women are generally more sexually liberal than their counterparts in the rest of the world. Feel free to ask children and women for directions if you feel uneasy asking men.

tops and halter tops). So do your research and

respect the local cultural codes to avoid trouble.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

IN ALL FAIRNESS, NOT EVERY MAN IS LURKING AND WAITING FOR A WOMAN TO PREY ON; THAT IS A GROSS GENERALIZATION. IN FACT, FROM MY OWN TRAVEL EXPERIENCES, MANY OF THE MEN I MET TOOK ME UNDER THEIR WINGS AS PROTECTION FROM THE ADVANCES OF OTHERS. THEY TREATED ME LIKE A SISTER. AND OF COURSE, IF YOU PLAN ON HEADING OUT AT NIGHT, ALWAYS EXPERIENCE THE NIGHTLIFE IN A GROUP. THERE’S MORE SAFETY IN NUMBERS.

DRESS CODE IS KEY.

I learned my lesson the hard

way. While visiting the ancient city of Fez in Morocco, I made

the terrible mistake of wearing

shorts on a hike. If the glares and constant whistling wasn’t uncomfortable

enough,

the

participation of the local police

proved more worrisome. Now,

LET YOURSELF LEARN.

of course, shorts don’t elicit such extreme reactions in all regions of Morocco. In the more liberal

coastal city of Essaouria, for inTravelling can be one of the most empowering experiences for anyone. Not only does it encourage self-growth, but it also helps you make connections across the globe. It lets you be a student outside the classroom. For me, travelling was a three-dimensional experi-

stance, the exposure of excess

skin and women clad in bikinis

are common sights and you’ll rarely fall victim to heckling or

sexually suggestive comments.

ence. It impacted me physically, intellectually and spiritually. I can confidently say that my travel experiences were some of the most incredible moments in my life — moments that truly took my breath away. jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

*Source: The Pacific Asia Travel Association, gutsytraveler.com/2010/12/31/women-travelstatistics-the-latest/

21


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november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


industryinsiders

trading

up

A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS HAVE SURFACED ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO HELP WOMEN ESTABLISH CAREERS IN TRADES.

school has to offer. “Of course, in just a couple of

Soft skills aside, we’re also experiencing what

days you don’t really get a sense of the trade in

Archer describes as “a worker shortage of levels

a big-picture way, but we do give a good sense of

unknown to us in this country’s history. It’s just

the typical work environment,” says Training De-

demographics. People are retiring. That’s good

velopment Coordinator Karen McNeill. Chances

news for women.”

are you’ll find yourself hanging drywall one day,

SO WHAT KIND OF GIRL DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A TRADESWOMAN?

The cool thing about being a girl in the 21st

and learning to wire a home the next.

century is that you can be whatever you

Once you’ve discovered which trade suits your

choose to be when you grow up: an astronaut,

talents, you’re on your way to becoming an ap-

an F-1 driver, a molecular gastronomist. You

prentice — the trades equivalent of an entry-lev-

can even be… a plumber?

el position. “You spend 10 months a year work-

And a carpenter. And a welder. And a pipefit-

ing, and two months in school, and you alternate

ter. The skilled trades, long considered the sole

back and forth, until you have your work hours

province of only the manliest of men, are finally

accumulated,” explains JudyLynn Archer, Presi-

opening up to women workers in a big way. And

dent and CEO of Women Building Futures. That’s

while men do continue to make up well over

right, ladies: you’ll be getting paid to learn.

90 percent of workers on sites across Canada,

Helping to bring about this shift are the dozens

SPEAKING OF MONEY, YOU’LL BE EARNING IT AS WELL.

of programs available across the country, de-

“This is definitely a high paying world,” says Ar-

ers big time. Having an undergraduate degree

signed specifically to get women ready to pick

cher. “The money you can earn in trades is much

gives you a pretty good foundation for a strong

up a trade. At Women Building Futures, an Ed-

greater than the money almost anywhere else.

career,” Archer explains. “We see lots of women

monton-based organization that helps women

You’ll earn good money fast — like, right away.”

who have a degree, and then decide to get into

things are starting to shift.

develop careers in trades, it’s the Journeywoman START Program — a 17 week course that teaches basic worksite skills, while allowing students to get a taste of the different trades available. Image: Hemera/Thinkstock

“IT’S LIKE GETTING PAID TO STAY FIT, AND YOU NEED TO BE ON YOUR GAME, EVERY DAY”

And the jobs are out there. “Employers are really seeing the value of having a woman on site,” explains Nancy Moore, Manager of Employment

“We have a pretty good mix of ages and backgrounds,” Moore says of the women enrolled at The Centre. “Some have just graduated from colleges and universities and realized that they wanted something more hands-on and physical; some are women who never really had the opportunity to establish a career.” Even if you’re already on your way to a degree or diploma, you can still pick up a trade after you’re done. “We need technologists, we need engineers, architects, we need project manag-

the trades. They find the work challenging, mentally and physically. It’s like getting paid to stay fit, and you need to be on your game, every day.”

Services and Skilled Trades at The Centre for

When asked what the future of trades looks like

Meanwhile, in Victoria, there’s Camosun Col-

Skills and Development Training in southern

for women, she laughs and replies: “Fabulous!”

lege’s Women in Trades Exploration program.

Ontario. “Women bring a variety of skill sets to

This 12 week survey gives students a chance to

the job, a different way of doing things, a more

try out each of the skilled trades programs the

collaborative approach.”

jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

by Emily Minthorn


industryinsiders

the changing demographic of the insurance industry Women now make up 61 percent of the insurance industry, with an increasing number in leadership roles. by Katie Edmonds When Karen Foster began her career in the in-

The study highlighted 41% of respondents re-

As for the leadership roles, Buttrum says it is just

surance industry in 1978, she was hired on as a

porting that 5% or less of senior leadership roles

a matter of time before the number of women

dicta typer, and was one of a handful of female

in their organizations are filled by women. In

has equaled or even surpassed that of men in this

employees at her company. Now, Foster works in

Canada, of all senior management positions in

field. “We recognize that our talent crisis is loom-

management for the Capital District Health Au-

the insurance industry, women hold 23 percent

ing,” he explains. “The insurance industry has

thority in Halifax, and as much as the technol-

of those titles.

been good to a lot of people which means that

ogy has changed over the years, so has the de-

“In comparison to other similar industries, we’re

mographic landscape of the insurance industry.

doing okay,” says Trevor Buttrum, Career Connec-

The number of women in insurance has bal-

tions Program Coordinator at the Insurance Insti-

looned over the past few decades, with the ratio

tute of Canada. “If you look at the financial sector,

of females to males shifting. Women now make

or if you were to do a comprehensive labour mar-

“We have been looking at a few different options

up 61 percent of employed staff, with an increas-

ket survey, it seems like women are doing okay in

in terms of managing this transition, including

ing number of them acquiring leadership roles.

the insurance industry in terms of management

phased retirement planning and a new talent

“When I started out, my role was secretarial work

roles, but there’s still work to do. At our senior

acquisition schedule,” Buttram details. “We have

mostly,” explains Foster. “There weren’t many

echelons, we are not where we’d like to be, but we

always had this in the back of our minds, but

women in senior roles, or even on the road, or in

are certainly moving in the right direction.”

now we are putting pen to paper and coming up

supervisory roles at that time. It just wasn’t done.

Margaret Parent, Director of the Professionals Di-

with a more formalized strategy.”

Over the years we have seen quite a shift.”

vision at the Insurance Institute of Canada says

The shift Foster mentions is a step in the right

the increasing number of women drawn to the

direction, but for a large number of female insur-

field of insurance makes complete sense, and

ance workers surveyed, it isn’t enough.

she expects even further growth in numbers.

they have had long, healthy careers.” In addition, around 49 percent of workers in the insurance industry are baby boomers, and it is expected that they will be retiring within the next decade or so.

With numbers of women in the industry on the up and up, Buttrum expects that the same effect will carry over to the upper management positions. He can already see that any history in divi-

“AS FOR THE LEADERSHIP ROLES… IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN HAS EQUALED OR EVEN SURPASSED THAT OF MEN IN THIS FIELD” According to the Women in Insurance Leader-

“Insurance is sort of the best kept secret, em-

sion of roles by sex has been put aside so that

ship Insight Report, a new research study re-

ployment wise,” explains Parent. “Insurance jobs

skill and ability are the criteria for advancement.

leased this past September at the Insurance

are pretty much everywhere, so chances are that

“People think of the insurance industry as an old

Networking News’ Women in Insurance Lead-

there will be a good job available wherever you

boys club filled with balding white men. It’s not

ership Forum in National Harbor, Md., female

live. The companies are generally good to work

that anymore,” Buttrum says. “What you need

respondents in the insurance industry generally

for; you can have a good work-life balance in a

for a leadership position are qualifications, expe-

agree they still have a long way to go before their

lot of roles, and good benefits. It’s a flexible work

rience and a desire to move into that role. That

representation begins reflecting their percentage

environment with loads of opportunities which

gives us a really good pool of applicants and a

of the general population. However, they also ac-

is what women want. It’s what anyone wants.”

good shot at seeing women move into those

knowledge things are progressing the right way.

24

roles. It’s a really exciting time for the industry.” november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


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26

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


industryinsiders

WOMEN ON THE WIRE

In an industry as big as varied telecom, young women really can be anything they choose to be.

Telecommunications offers career opportunities

just getting started is “the whole field of social

for grads in almost any field of study, including

media as a communication function in business.”

marketing, engineering, business management, communications, high tech development, media, and more. Within the industry, they work to design, build, implement, and promote technology that allows everyone on the planet to do something very simple, yet vital — communicate. And despite the perception that women aren’t good at technology or math, “communication,” says

than halfway through a magazine article without coming across it. Tavchar identifies the role

And what kind of woman does it take to succeed

of ‘community manager’ as a job title she thinks

in telecom? “The industry really favours people

offers new grads a great opportunity for inter-

who are willing to take calculated risks, who are

esting work. But just because you’re young, kid,

comfortable with learning on the job as they

don’t get cocky.

go, and who are good with transferring skills

Andrea Tavchar, program coordinator for the

She warns against the myth of the so-called

public relations program at Humber College and

‘digital native’ — the belief that anyone young

a leading researcher in social and digital media

enough to have grown up with the Internet is

issues, “is a soft skill that women excel at.”

somehow naturally good at using it. “But suggest-

“There are a lot of opportunities in telecommunications technology and digital media for women,” agrees Stephanie MacKendrick, President at Canadian Women in Communications (CWC). “Of course there are sectors or companies that are heavily male populated, but it varies by company. If I was a young woman looking for a job,

ing young people know social media applications better than the next person just because they’re young, is inaccurate,” she explains. “However, if

as things change — which they do, constantly,” advises MacKendrick. “One of the biggest things women can do to thrive in this industry is to not be afraid of technology, not be intimidated by uncertainty, and not be intimidated by the magnitude of what’s out there. Just decide what you’re interested in, and then go for it.”

they learn professionalism, judgment, analysis —

Going for it, in MacKendrick’s view, means get-

with these literacy skills, it is an advantage that

ting yourself out there and getting your network

the students have by graduation day, and they

on. “Networking shouldn’t feel like cod liver oil;

can go into a workplace and do an effective job.”

the networking opportunities you take advantage of should be the ones you’re really interest-

I’d look for companies that pay attention to tal-

So what are the young women of today best

ent strategy, because if they’re smart and basing

qualified to do — other than Tweet and Tumblog?

on talent, they’re going to be woman-friendly. In

“Anything,” says MacKendrick, enthusiastically

And above all, love your job, even before you have

terms of the skills that are needed, women just

— and no one is holding them back but them-

it. Immerse yourself in the industry, she urges.

have to be part of the equation.”

selves. “Women tend to be so self-conscious. If

“Follow blogs and Twitter feeds. Keep up to date.

there are 10 qualifications listed for a job, they

There’s so much happening out there right now,

want to be able to tick off all 10 before they even

it’s really interesting — and there are so many

apply — and I think men are okay checking off

opportunities. The more you get into that leading

five or six and just applying anyway, and they’ve

edge, the more you realize it’s a great place to be.”

So what’s it like at the moment in the telecom Inage: Hemera/Thinkstock

Ah, social media. Seems like you can’t read more

industry? “Strong content development skills are really needed in the telecom, mobile, and technology sphere,” notes MacKendrick. She also offers that specifically of interest to young women jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

ed in, because your enthusiasm shows.”

got it right. You want to have to stretch, you want to be able to learn and grow at your job.”

by Emily Minthorn

27


industryinsiders

she says. “I studied art but didn’t know design was an option. I messed around with layouts a lot—both in print and web. I didn’t realize you could go to school for it.” With few role models around, some less experienced women feel isolated and lack confidence. Associations like Canadian Women in Technology provide many resources for women in the industry, like mentorship opportunities, conferences, social gatherings, and job listings, just

CONNECTING TO CAREERS IN TECHNOLOGY by Emma Woolley

You don’t need a computer science degree to establish a career in this constantly evolving industry.

to name a few. There are also various youthtargeted initiatives, such as: BringITon, a website dedicated to educating women between 18 and 25 about opportunities in advanced technology; and Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls, a series of information and activity sessions on computer science for grade 8 girls. Working in technology doesn’t always include sitting at a computer and writing code. Jobs can be found in many fields: energy, defense, information/communications, software/devices, clean technology, life sciences, and aerospace; and in many different roles. But, as a constantly evolving industry, people in tech often work longer days than others. Understandably, work-life balance is often the

“The most rewarding thing about my job is

Many companies acknowledge the value of

that I’m continuously learning,” says Jessica

equal representation in the workplace and en-

Dempsey, an integrated logistics analyst at Lock-

courage women to apply. Miriam Verburg, an in-

heed Martin Canada. “With each day, a new chal-

teractive project manager at Zinc Roe, says hir-

lenge arises and I’m able to use the knowledge I

ing managers have approached her many times.

gained in school to produce a solution.”

“I’ve been in offices where men will tell me that

Dempsey, who graduated from the University of Toronto’s aerospace engineering program, has joined the very small percentage—less than 30 percent—of women in engineering. Despite the rapid growth of the advanced technology sector, women hold only 30 percent of those jobs while representing approximately 47 percent of the

they want more women around because balance makes them feel more organized,” she says.

number one challenge reported by women working in technology. Verburg recommends choosing a field that suits you. “If you work for a gaming company, start-up, or any place where grinding is at a premium, you’re not walking out at five and you’re not having babies,” she says. “But there are places that offer decent benefits and more balance, like established software companies. Learn

“IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY IT, YOU HAVE TO DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF.”

Canadian workforce. The number of women in executive positions in the technology industry is even smaller, and enrollment in technological

The reasons why women are underrepresented in technology are both complex and many. One is that gender-based challenges — like socialization and bias — still remain in some environments. “When I was in school, I experienced bias from a classmate who thought that he deserved a higher mark than me because I was female,” says Dempsey. “But this was a rare belief amongst my classmates. I’ve never experienced any bias in the workplace. The companies I’ve worked for have

Some women don’t consider the technology in-

to understand the culture. If you want to enjoy it,

dustry an option, and many come into it through

you have to define success for yourself.”

other channels. Verburg, who studied fine art, entered the tech industry after taking an e-art course. “I wanted to learn how to design websites and got a job at a women’s new media art centre, where I learned web design, researched different technologies, and set up a Linux thin client terminal lab. I then decided I wanted to get into web

one! “There are many tools available that make running one’s own business easier than ever,” says Hale. “It’s empowering to work in several different roles at once, and not have to do the same thing everyday.”

development.” After building websites for a few

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. “Don’t

years, Verburg switched to project management.

try to fit yourself into a career based on other

strict policies in place to ensure that employees

Jordan Hale, co-partner of design and develop-

have a safe and comfortable work environment.”

ment business, Mission Specialist, had a similar experience. “I discovered fonts in Windows 3.0,”

28

If you can’t find a company that suits you, start

people’s ideals,” says Dempsey. “There are amazing opportunities available to young women, so keep your mind open.” november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image: Hemera/Thinkstock

programs isn’t increasing by much.


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jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

29


edu-ma-cation

 Develop a Global

Perspective

The Masters’ in Development Studies program applies a multidisciplinary approach to the world’s problems.

Of all the shortages

lot of clever people out there, and there’s a lot of

ies.” This amalgam reflects the forward-thinking

world today, a shortage

ous agencies, and you might say it’s made things

providing new problem-solving strategies. “We

we’re facing in the of problems isn’t one.

Whether we’re talking

about the struggles of the developing world or inequality in the

west, there’s a shift in paradigms happening all over the globe, as

we slowly realize our

ways of looking at these issues is outdated. Devel-

opment Studies is a relatively new field of study that’s gaining traction, and this master’s program offers a fresh approach that’s sorely needed.

Tackling large-scale, multi-faceted problems can be a daunting task, and it can be difficult knowing where to start. “The focus of the program is mainly

on understanding the challenges of development facing the world today, looking at it from a critical,

inter-disciplinary perspective,” explains Dr. Fahim Quadir, Graduate Program Director in Develop-

ment Studies at York University. “We look at issues such as poverty, sustainability and social justice at

the national and international levels. It’s about improving the human condition.”

The old solution of throwing money around without careful consideration is naive at best and dan-

gerously counter-productive at worst. “There are a

money being poured into development by variworse,” agrees Marc Epprecht, Graduate Chair of

Global Development Studies at Queen’s University. “We have to understand why just giving money to a country like Bolivia doesn’t work, and in fact often makes things more unequal.”

In order to effect change, it’s important to have the right tools at your disposal. “We teach a logical

nature of the field, and the effort that goes into have a course here which is half engineering stu-

dents and half development studies students,” continues Epprecht. “They plan a project together, such as the construction of a bridge, and then

make it work. The engineers come from the technical side of things and our students, from a more holistic approach.”

framework to make the whole process of develop-

When it comes to jobs, this multi-faceted discipline

issues we discuss and debate in class to be applied

students find it interesting to work in the voluntary

ment more coherent,” says Quadir. “We want the in a practical context.”

No program could possibly teach a magic formula

for solving problems, but that’s hardly the point.

“We hope our students will be able to think out-

side the box that’s been constructed over the last

also has a variety of branching career paths. “Some

sector, while others work in governmental organi-

zations, both nationally and internationally,” offers Quadir. “Some have accepted Canadian public sector jobs with organizations like Health Canada, Environment Canada, or in social services.”

fifty years of aid and trade, and take into account

Developmental problems aren’t limited to any one

ple,” says Epprecht. “There’s no cookie-cutter solu-

and opportunities are cropping up in the private

factors like religion and gender relations, for examtion that will work in Botswana as well as it works

in Indonesia. We hope our people will be able to change the course we’re on.”

Looking at these issues requires a variety of lenses. “At Queen’s we don’t have a single faculty member

who has a degree in Development Studies,” laughs Epprecht. “They come from the social sciences and humanities: history, geography, anthropology, political science, sociology and environmental stud-

type of organization or geographical area however, sector. “A lot of big corporations are struggling to understand their role in the world, and to act in

a corporately responsible and socially conscious manner,” says Epprecht. “They’re specifically looking for grad students who understand develop-

ment in the big picture, and that’s what our students bring to the table.” by Kevin Nelson

What Do be You

want to

centennialcollege.ca 30

The Future of Learning

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca


graduate school directory

Brock University

Niagara College

Brock is a rapidly growing University, offering 41 dynamic Master’s and PhD program within 6 academic faculties. With our strong sense of community and personal investment in our students, Brock is a great choice for your graduate education.

Top-rated for student satisfaction, Niagara College provides outstanding applied education for a changing world. With stateof-the-art facilities on newly redeveloped campuses & responsive cutting-edge programming, we offer students real-world experience before graduation.

Visit us at today at Brocku.ca

NiagaraCollege.ca

Queen’s University

Ross University

100+ graduate programs with worldclass research opportunities and strong support to enrich your educational experience and advance your career. Set your ideas in motion. Consider graduate studies at Queen’s.

Ross University is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering MD and DVM degree programs, and has over 11,000 successful physicians and veterinarians practicing in the US and Canada. If you are interested in a career in medicine, contact us today.

queensu.ca/sgs

RossU.edu

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Sheridan College

The University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry provides state-of-the-art research facilities and mentorship by internationally recognized scientists. We offer 15 graduate programs. Create tomorrow’s discoveries today. uwo.ca/schulich/gradstudies

Our one-year graduate certificate programs enhance your diploma or degree with a blend of theoretical knowledge and work experience that fully prepare you to launch your career. Choose from more than 20 programs in the arts, business, technology and community service fields. sheridaninstitute.ca

SCHOOL eez TUFF (Need some helpz!)

careers. education. ideas. all of it. jobpostings.ca | november/december 2011

31


HOW TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE

with Ross Harrhy

school, the first time you meet the parents, going to the wedding of a friend of a

friend; you walk in a little nervous because you don’t know what to expect or who

you might meet. You want to make a good impression so everyone will consider you

cool enough to talk with them. You need to make some pals, right away.

For some it’s hard, others easy, but I’m

guessing most of you are always open to tips on how to make an impact the first

time you walk in the door. Because, let’s face it, not everyone gets a red carpet.

I’ve hit on this a million times, but it’s the simplest advice to follow, ever. Show up

early. Not too early, but early enough that everyone isn’t there before you are. If you head to the office at 8:45 a.m. and most people show up closer to nine, you’ll be

able to stagger your interactions with your colleagues as they come in one by one. It

also pays to be the one that’s there when

people show up, especially the boss! Obviously you’ve been slaving away on that

project for an hour already, when everyone is just getting their day started…

Ask others about what they do.

It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

Whether they work with

When you walk in to a room for the

first walk in a room, you

ways happy to talk a little

shouldn’t be a question of how popular

introductions and new

with just one person in the room is

might not remember as far

fice. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t,

But if you get a moment

people or smile when you see someone

someone and you think they

long-run for you to have a couple of

know better, don’t be afraid

that you can rely on for a little gossip,

they’re free for lunch some

the weekend. It makes showing up any-

next. If they work in your of-

there’s someone there you can chat

a quick hour together — it

you or don’t, people are alabout their job, and it’s a

great starting point for more questions that can stimulate a conversation. They

might even ask a bit more

about you, and that’s how

friendships get started in the first place. Just don’t dig too deep. There’s a difference

between “Do you live in the city?” and “What’s your ad-

dress?”. Save that conversation until you’ve gotten to

know the person a bit better, and there’s a clear friend-

ship that has developed outside of whatever function

brought you together in the

first place. It might also be a great opportunity to make a contact for later, if they

have some mutually benefi-

cial tools or connections you can share.

Unfortunately, when you

first time, or even to your new job, it

might be bombarded with

you are. Developing a solid relationship

names and faces that you

better than the entire floor of your of-

as the next introduction.

of course, introduce yourself to other

to chat a little longer with

in the hallway, but it will pay off in the

might be worth getting to

stronger relationships in your office

to offer your card and see if

or a lunch date, or even some beers on

time during that week or

where, day after day, a lot easier when

fice, it’ll be easy to arrange

with about non-work pleasantries.

doesn’t have to be a formal sit-down lunch; it could be

Just make sure you respect that

relationship entirely. It’s not okay to

betray someone in your office or your trade, as that disrespect can come

back around to ruin your entire career! Some things are better left unsaid if

you think that someone in your workplace or your field might be offended,

or doesn’t exactly need to know sordid parts of your history.

32

Follow up with lunch.

in the lunchroom upstairs,

or just to the pizza-by-theslice down the street. It

affords you the opportunity

to get some quality one-onone time that can go great distances in developing a

strong relationship you can rely on for years to come.

november/december 2011 | jobpostings.ca

Image:Digital Vision/Thinkstock

You know what it’s like — the first day of


9 launch ways to

YOUR CAREER

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GO to Algonquin College and CHANGE your life for the better. Whether you want to GO EXPLORE, GO CREATE, GO BUILD, or to simply GO FURTHER, Algonquin College will give you the guidance, skills and hands-on experience you need to get you on your way. Like thousands of graduates, you’ll discover that Algonquin College is the place where you can learn, practice, connect and be inspired by professors who are passionate about your success. So don’t wait—GO FOR IT today been dreaming about. Learn more about the programs and create your own personalized Viewbook at

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