Immigrant Women's Advisory Committee Profile
Trust in the Process of Beginning Again
Immigrant Women's Advisory Committee | Meet LIDIANE BARRETA
I respectfully acknowledge that I am on the traditional territory of on unceded Coast Salish Territory; the traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
MEET LIDIANE BARRETA
Lidiane is a native to Brazil. She came to Canada in 2017 with her husband and son. A human resources professional by trade, Lidiane felt lost and out of place when she first arrived in Canada because of the language barrier. “I can’t be who I am in my mother language.” She joined the Learning Journeys project after a year of being in Canada. Lidiane credits the Immigrant Women's Advisory Committee(IWAC) with supporting her to organize her feelings and thoughts, focus on her strengths, and provide access to build meaningful relationships that she credits with supporting her settlement journey in Canada. In her podcast episode, Lidiane talks about learning to trust in the process of beginning again, and through this journey she has built and tended to meaningful relationships with others and is finding herself again.
WHAT IS THE GREATNESS THE LEARNING JOURNEYS PROJECT HAS HELPED YOU TO BEGIN TO UNPACK?
Lidiane is professionally trained as an Organizational Psychologist with 12 years of professional experience in Brazil. She enrolled in Business Administration in Canada to acquire Canadian credentials. She was not able to complete the work experience component, arguably the most crucial component for any student but especially immigrant students as 'Canadian experience' is a common requirement, because in the interview, she asked a clarifying question. The interviewer ended the interview immediately. Having an extensive background in HR, Lidiane knows that it is normal to ask for clarification when the intention of a question is not understood. It is NOT a weakness.
“There, through my experience with HR, I knew that I couldn't be myself in English, and it was my biggest frustration. Having worked in HR for so many years and not being able to complete an interview because the interviewer did not have the patience to clarify a question that was not clear to me at that time. And that in my view it is so normal to ask for clarification, it is not a weakness.”
Lidiane’s experience illustrates the bias that many immigrants face when going through the hiring process. Clarification is a normal part of any interview process as a white, native-English speaking interviewee. In fact, it is often looked upon favourably to have an interviewee that asks clarifying questions. But when clarification is asked for by someone who is not a native-English speaker, the reaction is one of impatience or assumed ignorance.
Lidiane's courage to show up when it feels vulnerable, publicly speaking about her experiences in her non-native language, inspires us to walk through fear and keep choosing bravery. Lidiane humbly stepped into challenging leadership roles and it was in those moments of uncertainty that her strength and bravery shined. Lidiane has the natural ability to bring people together, to make them feel safe, heard, and seen. Her radiance, optimism, and positivity are contagious and her calm, determination and professionalism exemplary.
- Sandrine Espié,Women's Leadership and Development Program Coordinator, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
WHAT IS THE LEARNING - BOTH FOR YOU AND FOR ALL OF US - TO BE AWARE OF AT THIS TIME?
SHE has experience to draw from. SHE has strengths to gift. SHE has talents that could broaden your perspective, access new solutions, take your organization to the next level.
What’s getting in the way of unpacking HER potential? Not having the inherent understanding of “how things work” here.
“Perhaps what I would most like everyone to know is that there are many talents hiding behind fear in many immigrants and refugee women. And all they want is to have the opportunity to showcase their talents. Through quality and reliable childcare service; or through the support of a mentor who can guide them to better ways to get a good job, or just a safe space where they can open their hearts and talk about life’s challenges, cultural contrast, or space for continuous learning.”
WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOUR JOURNEY IS TAKING YOU NEXT AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT THAT?
Lidiane’s path is taking her towards workplaces that respect the value immigrant professionals bring and walk with them through the initial stickiness of the settlement journey in order for their potential contributions to be realized. Mentorship and guidance are in her future as Lidiane begins a blog to share her story and encourage other new immigrant women, offer some guidance and tips about settlement in Canada. Lidiane also wants to continue working with the mentorship project that began through Learning Journeys to explore how they can further bridge the gap into the Canadian workforce for immigrant women.
“As an IWAC member, I would like to continue to contribute to the development of improvements in mentorship programs for immigrant and refugee women. I tested a pilot practicum experience in professional mentorship with PIRS because we understand that many immigrant women seeking to enter the Canadian workplace for the first time, need a mentor who can use a holistic and humanized approach to assist them in gaining confidence in their self and gain Canadian experience."
My biggest learning so far has been to face my fear and let my strengths shine.
- LIDIANE BARRETA, IWAC Member
PIRS is a partner of The Shoe Project, a woman-led national charitable initiative that coaches immigrant and refugee women with the desire to tell their stories, through a pair of shoes. We are proud to share the story of Lidiane Barreta, IWAC Member