01.

What is your professional title, purpose or passion?

I continuously strive to advance marginalised communities in society and am working towards achieving that through my professional and personal goals. I have five years of experience working in diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. I have presented at numerous international conferences on the ethical considerations of universal accessibility - a topic I feel passionate about.


I am currently working as the Accessibility Coordinator for the Town of Cobourg, which is really exciting to me! I am able to use something that I am passionate about as well as my research background to be able to impact the daily lives of persons with disabilities not just in the workplace, but who live and work in Cobourg.

 

I previously worked as a Manager, Consulting at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. I was able to work with a variety of local, national, and international clients who are based in Canada on creating more inclusion and diversity to their workplaces. I was able to be that strategic advisor and create plans, recommendations, and action steps for organizations to move forward with their IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility).
 
Prior to this, I worked for the City of Windsor and was responsible for the City of Windsor’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative which I presented to the City Council, receiving approval and endorsement. I was creating a more inclusive work environment for women, especially those who are marginalised.


I used my position to support and build up other women. I created Employee Resource Groups for those who are marginalised, including LGBTQ+ persons, and started a networking program to bring together women throughout the Corporation.
 
I created a website, Books and Ladders, and use my platform to educate my audience on representation in all levels of publishing. I work with publishers and authors from around the world on marketing and publicity, including a partnership with Indigo in Canada.
 
I am a member of the Youth Advisory Group for UNESCO and was privileged to be able to present at the Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on how municipalities can work towards achieving gender equality.
 
I work every day to ensure I create the best space for marginalised persons at my workplace and in the broader community.

03.

What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?

I wanted to work in politics since I was a child - I said I wanted to be Prime Minister of Canada one day. As I took more classes in University in Political Science, I realized that I could get just as much, if not more, work and advocacy done “behind the scenes” rather than being the “face.” I have worked in government and non-governmental organizations and find that I am able to influence more from these positions than if I were to be front and centre.

05.

What's the best career advice you've ever been given?

The best career advice I have been given is to set boundaries early and to make them hard ones. Not giving into people and adjusting your boundaries at work is very important and I try to do it in every interaction.

07.

What is the best thing about your current working environment?

My current working environment is extremely innovative and collaborative. Everyone likes to work together rather than see each other as competition, which makes for a relaxed and engaging work environment. Many times in the private sector it’s about who can achieve more and in a faster timeline, but my workplace values opinions, collaboration, and meeting the needs of the client. It isn’t about what I need or want on a personal level, but how can we help each other to make sure this project is successful.

09.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

I used to have hard and fast short, medium, and long term goals. But I realised that by limiting myself to achieving just those things, I was missing out on other opportunities. I have general goals I would like to accomplish in both my personal and professional life, but I also am trying to understand more that life doesn’t always work the way you want it to and it’s good to have something unexpected come up because that’s how you learn resilience.
 
Professionally, I would like to move up to the next level of my Human Resources designation to be a Certified Human Resources Leader. I aim to be able to use all my skills in tandem with the business needs of an organisation that I am working with. I want to make a difference in people’s lives, and I want to volunteer and spend my “free” time more wisely than I currently am. I would also like to own a home and start a family.
 
But that doesn’t mean these things have to happen in a specific timeline. I’m happy to work towards whatever goals life happens to bring to me and if they just so happen to be the ones that are in line with what I currently want? All the better.

11.

Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.

One charitable organisation I really value is Covenant House Toronto. They are the largest agency in Canada serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk. Since 1982, they've provided care for young people who have experienced homelessness and sex trafficking. And they're still fighting to make sure others do not experience the same challenges.


They work with youth instead of trying to impose solutions onto youth. They have a youth advisory council and conduct research and evaluation studies by connecting with youth who are currently or have experienced these situations. They advocacy at all levels of government pushes forward important agenda items on homelessness, child welfare and sex trafficking.


This relentless dedication has built their reputation as an agency that stays true to its mission.

13.

What drives you?

I am interested in leading and sharing my knowledge, but understand that I have to work hard for what I gain. I am a really driven person who focuses on what I am doing for others and how it impacts them, while acknowledging that by doing so I am also serving myself.


I have been working hard since my undergraduate degree to make a difference in my world - even if that means only affecting one person. While in my undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, I volunteered with a political party which led to an internship with a Member of Parliament at the House of Commons. During my volunteer position, I was responsible for communicating with the public and created templates for different concerns that were trends in the communication to engage with constituents.


I have my Certified Human Resources Professional designation and am working towards the requirements for my Certified Human Resources Leader. I worked as a Human Resources Coordinator and conducted the full-cycle recruiting process from screening resumes to onboarding successful candidates. During onboarding, I was responsible for advising employees on the interpretation of the terms and conditions of their employment including human resources policies, compensation and benefit program, and the collective agreement as it was a unionised environment.


I use all the knowledge I gained during my education, training, and experience to educate and assist my community. While working for the City of Windsor, I brought excellence, enthusiasm, and a level of positivity to every interaction I had during the course of each day. The most important part of my job was to serve those in the City of Windsor - including community members and my colleagues. I am proud to have been a driving force behind the City of Windsor’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative that aims to assist in more effectively understanding and addressing the needs of everyone in our unique and diverse community.


In April 2019, I was appointed to the Youth Advisory Group through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in the Social and Human Sciences Sectoral Committee. I was appointed for my expertise in the role of municipalities in advancing diversity, inclusion and Reconciliation; fighting against all forms of discrimination, racial profiling, different forms of hate, systemic racism, etc., and; creating youth engagement, in particular at the local level (municipal youth councils, etc.)


By being a member of the Youth Advisory Group through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, I am able to influence both young adults who are still determining and learning more about their paths and the leaders who can create the change in policy that is needed now. This type of influence will allow for a bridge in the divide of understanding between generations.


I was voted by my peers to be a member of the Steering Committee, providing support and input to each of the Program Officers for UNESCO and the YAG members. I create professional development courses for my peers and find opportunities for them to use their current skills at conferences, seminars, and through organisations who require assistance.


At the Annual General Meeting in May 2019, I was able to present on Gender Equity in Municipalities. I focused on strategies that municipalities can use to create better gender diversity in their own workplaces through better hiring practices, increasing inclusion activities, and ensuring that there is understanding of how marginalised individuals experience work. By having the municipalities engage in these practices, it becomes the standard for the broader community. This will increase gender diversity, and more diversity in general, in Canada.


In October 2019, I was offered and accepted the role of Manager, Consulting for the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. I am looking forward to continuing my work in diversity, accessibility, and inclusion and making large scale impacts on organisations.
I believe I am a rising star making an impact on business, community projects, and volunteering in the city I reside in, Canada, and the international community. I look forward to continuing onward with my journey and assisting with making changes for the current and future generation.

15.

Any final comments?

I believe that the best way to prepare for the future is to engage with the people who will make up the future. I use my free time to educate and pass along my experiences to those who have the potential to have similar experiences in their future. Further, I use my influence in the community to assist with breaking down barriers for people of all ages and abilities.


I fully believe that the best legacy to leave behind is information. I have been lucky to be a part of the Foundation for Student Science and Technology’s mentoring program every semester for the last two years. I work with high school students on their first research paper in order to help prepare them for university. I have worked with many students on creating a paper that will allow them to fully understand the different aspects of developing a research process and creating a finalised product. These papers can be, and have been, published in the FSST Peer-Reviewed Journal.


Beyond assisting with a research paper, I’m also responsible for mentoring them and providing guidance. I start this process by asking about their long-term goals and how they believe they can get there. I then provide an overview of my experiences and understanding of the process to give them some perspective. I am very honest about the struggles I experienced and how not all experiences in their future may be positive, but they will be worthwhile all the same.


In April 2019, I was appointed to the Youth Advisory Group through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in the Social and Human Sciences Sectoral Committee. I was appointed for my expertise in the role of municipalities in advancing diversity, inclusion and Reconciliation; fighting against all forms of discrimination, racial profiling, different forms of hate, systemic racism, etc., and; creating youth engagement, in particular at the local level (municipal youth councils, etc.). 


By being a member of the Youth Advisory Group through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, I am able to influence both young adults who are still determining and learning more about their paths and the leaders who can create the change in policy that is needed now. This type of influence will allow for a bridge in the divide of understanding between generations.


At the Annual General Meeting in May 2019, I was able to present on Gender Equity in Municipalities. I focused on strategies that municipalities can use to create better gender diversity in their own workplaces through better hiring practices, increasing inclusion activities, and ensuring that there is understanding of how marginalised individuals experience work. By having the municipalities engage in these practices, it becomes the standard for the broader community. This will increase gender diversity, and more diversity in general, in Canada.

02.

What does a normal day look like for you?

My normal day is always changing. I work with a variety of clients on different projects and topics, all related to diversity and inclusion. I never know what is going to be thrown my way, but I take it in stride and do my best to roll with the punches. I then like to go home and unwind by spending time with my cat and a good book or Netflix, depending on the day!

04.

What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?

Some of the most significant accomplishments I have achieved have occurred in the recent past. As a young woman, I have always striven to do my best and achieve to the highest potential. I hope that these accomplishments and accolades are just the beginning for me.

During my Master of Arts degree, I completed my degree through the Internship Option stream and did my placement at the City of Windsor, where I now work. To complete my MA, I wrote my thesis as a policy analysis of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 with recommendations for the future of governing to ensure universal accessibility for all persons. I received the highest accolades for this paper and subsequent poster presentation at the University of Windsor in 2017. Following this, I was requested to present it at the New England Political Science Association’s 2019 Annual General Meeting.

I presented at the 2018 Annual General Meeting for the New England Political Science Association on another paper entitled “The Hunger Games of America: How Dystopian Fiction Reflects Political Reality” which analyses The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins in relation to the United States government and legislation. 

Shortly after this presentation, I was asked to participate in a two-week course in Prague, Czech Republic at Charles University. This course was on “Understanding Europe in an Age of Uncertainty.” I was the first Canadian to attend and was one of twenty five (25) participants selected out of hundreds of applicants. I presented a paper at the conference on the topic of Italy’s response to the refugee crisis and nationalism. 

In 2018, I was awarded the Customer Service (Rookie of the Year) Award for my work on the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative at the City of Windsor. The most important part of my job was to serve those in the City of Windsor - including community members and my colleagues. I am proud to have been a driving force behind the City of Windsor’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative that aims to assist in more effectively understanding and addressing the needs of everyone in our unique and diverse community.

I am a 2019-2021 member of the Youth Advisory Group for UNESCO and presented at the Annual General Meeting in May 2019 on creating gender equity in municipalities. I was appointed for my expertise in the role of municipalities in advancing diversity, inclusion and Reconciliation; fighting against all forms of discrimination, racial profiling, different forms of hate, systemic racism, etc., and; creating youth engagement, in particular at the local level (municipal youth councils, etc.). 

By being a member of the Youth Advisory Group through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, I am able to influence both young adults who are still determining and learning more about their paths and the leaders who can create the change in policy that is needed now. This type of influence will allow for a bridge in the divide of understanding between generations.


At the Annual General Meeting in May 2019, I was able to present on Gender Equity in Municipalities. I focused on strategies that municipalities can use to create better gender diversity in their own workplaces through better hiring practices, increasing inclusion activities, and ensuring that there is understanding of how marginalised individuals experience work. By having the municipalities engage in these practices, it becomes the standard for the broader community. This will increase gender diversity, and more diversity in general, in Canada.

Currently, I sit as a member of the Board Nominating Committee (BNC) for the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) in which I am responsible for conducting interviews for the HRPA’s Board of Directors with Executive level candidates. This work includes creating a recruitment plan for expanding to minority communities to stand for the Board of Directors.


All of this led to me being able to secure a new position as Manager, Consulting at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. I am excited for the opportunity and look forward to bringing my expertise to the table.


I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given to excel and prove myself so far in my life and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.
 

06.

Tell us about a a woman who inspires you

A woman of inspiration is someone who can take what is handed to them and make it into something more while teaching others to do the same. They are more than a role model, a leader, or an influencer - they are someone who creates change and motivates others to do the same. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is definitely a woman who inspires me. She leads one of the most powerful countries in the world and isn’t afraid to make herself and her stance known. She is compassionate, understanding, and no one would say she isn’t powerful even when she is “emotional.”

08.

What was your biggest failure?

My biggest failure happens every time I don’t speak up for myself or for others who rely on me to use my voice for them. I truly value the respect that people give to me and the platform I have been given in my professional and personal life to educate people. However, when I don’t speak up or fail to find the underlying information to truly help someone – I am failing both them and myself. I try not to let this happen too often, but it does occur. Every day is a learning process.

10.

What do you like most about yourself?

I like my tenacity the best. No matter what it comes down to, whether a professional goal or a personal one, I always see things through. Once I have a plan in motion, I adjust course but never stop. I think things through and make sure I am always making the best decisions with the information at hand. I also know how to take criticism and feedback and incorporate that into the work I am doing.

12.

How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?

There is no “one size fits all” solution to creating a more inclusive environment, but there are a lot of little nudges we can take to do so. Start by advocating to expand the definition of diversity and inclusion beyond what you “typically” see in these definitions (race, religion, ethnic origins, LGBTQ+ identification, gender, etc.) to include other dimensions such as mental health, socio-economic status, and addictions in addition to intersectionality. It is important to understand how each and every dimension of a person impacts what they bring to the table.

14.

What skills have been key to your journey so far?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my political acuity. Being able to understand when a situation calls for a different type of response – and how that affects business (and even political) aspects, is extremely important.


Further, I have a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, alongside a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management and an Honours Bachelor degree in Social Sciences with a Specialisation in Political Science. In addition, I have my Certified Human Resources Professional designation through the Human Resources Professional Association and am working towards gaining my Certified Public Participation Professional designation through the International Association for Public Participation.

DIVERSITY, ACCESSIBILITY & INCLUSION SPECIALIST

Contact

Follow

©2017 LADIES-WHO-LAUNCH.