Being part of TRIEC Mentoring Partnership reflects the University of Toronto’s wider commitment to two of the organization’s core values – giving back to the community and diversity.
Giving back to the community is high on its agenda. As one of the U of T President’s strategic priorities, it represents one of the key ways in which they stand out as leaders in education.
An employer partner in the program since 2005, to date, 99 University of Toronto staff have given their time to mentor newcomers to Toronto and support them in their search for meaningful employment.
The University was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2016. Being a partner in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership provides an opportunity for their diverse community of staff to ‘pay it forward’, and make a difference in the lives of immigrants to Canada.
It’s not just the newcomer mentee who benefits. As a result of their experiences, the mentees’ families and their communities benefit as well.
In fact, the impact of the program is far-reaching for all involved. As one mentor in the program says, “Being a mentor is a meaningful way to give to the community… a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things can have such immense value to the mentee and the mentor.”
“Staff members have also shared their appreciation for being able to help others in their journey of finding work experience in Canada,” says Beverly Kahn, Coordinator, Career Services in the University’s Human Resources & Equity Division – and who also coordinates TRIEC Mentoring Partnership at the University of Toronto. “It gives them the chance to learn and grow their own coaching and leadership skills; as well as expanding their professional networks.”
“There are so many benefits to giving and receiving mentorship,” another mentor comments. “In TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, I made new contacts, and I was challenged to help a mentee redefine his career goals in what turned out to be a very different Canadian context.”
For Rosie Parnass, Executive Director, Organizational & Leadership Development and Work Life Support, the reason for partnering in the program is clear, both for her personally and for the institution. She has found mentorship to be “a tremendous asset” in her own journey to becoming and being a leader in the organization. “This is why I consider it to be such an important component of an organization’s leadership and development initiatives.”
Showing leadership through giving back; the University of Toronto’s involvement in mentoring is part of what makes U of T Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation.