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Difficulties in Canada

foodie69

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johnjkjk said:
Cofca specifically mentioned having overcome such barriers but if you are in a position to elucidate on the matter then pray do tell.
Thanks for that..no, I cannot tell you anything. I am white and European. I did not get any hardship here at all.
 

ronnieS

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johnjkjk said:
For many recruiters, first impressions matter but "first contact" matters more. This includes your name, how you look and where you come from- all usually written on your resume/professional profile online/before an interview has actually begun.

I have a friend from the UK, a native English speaker, highly experienced and guaranteed to please once someone actually engages in conversation with them or actually reads their resume, but he now has an "ethnic" name and appearance, so very often his resume is overlooked and his "different" appearance garners more comment than his skills during interview. The ironic thing is when he used an English name and looked like an ordinary Joe, he never had this problem.

When employers aren't even willing to review a candidate's skillet based upon their name and what they look like, what hope do they have?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/how-an-ethnic-sounding-name-may-affect-the-job-hunt/article555082/
https://www.povertyactionlab.org/evaluation/discrimination-against-skilled-immigrants-canadian-labor-market
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/blind-recruitment-marketplace-1.3462061
https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/03/17/jobseekers-resort-to-resum-whitening-to-get-a-foot-in-the-door-study-shows.html

How did you overcome this "first contact" barrier?
This is the sad realty which one has to accept.
 

johnjkjk

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foodie69 said:
Thanks for that..no, I cannot tell you anything. I am white and European. I did not get any hardship here at all.
Thanks, that's precisely the point. The friend I am talking about is also European and indeed a native-born English speaker but he adopted a faith so now has an ethnic name and appearance. When he fit into the crowd with an English name, he never faced any problems, but he does now. Once he actually engages in conversation, barriers and misconceptions melt away instantly, but it's getting that opportunity to be selected from the pile of resumes. A lot of research suggests that employers reject applications from "non white" names and are likely to be very put off by religious or "different" appearance during interview, even before the candidate has had an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience. Cofca says he is black and has experienced problems but has managed to overcome this. I am interested in the techniques he used for this.
 

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coolhyd said:
I know people who started from scratch and they are millionaires. My mom's Uncle moved to Canada as a student in around 1975. He did Accounting diploma in Toronto. He had two options: take a job or work for himself. He went with the later.

It is such an inspiring story for me.
Thanks for sharing this story, the quintessential "American Dream". It does depend however on one's definition of "success". I too know people who have gone down this route- e.g. property development and small business, retiring with a lot of assets, but all of them I have talked to reveal that their entire working life was spent working to build up their portfolio, but they never achieved anything significant in their lives, whether for themselves or as a contribution to society. There are a lot of other definitions of success amongst people I know: earning enough to retire early- to volunteer/travel on a small income, a small moderate living/part-time/freelance work when required to cover costs of what they really enjoy in life including community projects, authors and artists trying to achieve professional recognition, working to start a farm enterprise etc- none of these people measure their success in terms of their assets, but rather what they were able to achieve and contribute to society. Many people move from the UK to Canada e.g. for a better quality of life rather than to become rich, as they can already engage in business back home. The point is that one must be aware of one's long term plan and work towards it, otherwise its very easy to get caught up in the trap of mortgage and family commitments in a big city and before you know it, you're old and have no time to do the things you moved to Canada to do. If building a professional career is one's aspiration, I wouldn't recommend Canada. If you really want to live in a small province and experience a rural life, is it any good struggling and getting stuck in the city for 20 years? Everyone has to evaluate their aspirations and make appropriate choices.
 

Cofca

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johnjkjk said:
Cofca specifically mentioned having overcome such barriers but if you are in a position to elucidate on the matter then pray do tell.
I didn’t mention I managed to overcome these barriers; rather I stated that I closed my ears to all the negativity... I concentrated on what I do. I have always been encouraged by my goals – what I really want to achieve from a situation/position. I am also blessed to have a highly regarded and well respected (in the finance industry) designation – the CFA designation, a CPA and a Master’s degree from a UK University. This has always commanded some considerable level of respect. In addition, the 5% of people (who do not consider where I come from) have always lifted my spirit. Two of them are top bosses in the company… and that means; an intern, an associate, an analyst, and every other junior staff to me have no chance of overstepping or ridiculing me with a senior staff…. I have friends (also from Africa) who, in their companies, are disrespected by junior staff and students on internships just because their bosses entertain it.

I have however tried to change employers in pursuit for a higher pay and a better brand… In a few interviews that I have attended, I have not been successful and when successful, they try to offer me a lower pay. At two of them (where I was interviewed by panels of 3 white managers in one and 2 whites and 1 black American in the other), they explicitly told me that they are afraid that I cannot succeed in those companies based on where I come from… that to be successful in those companies, it means more than doing your work – you have to be the face of the brand. And I remember saying in one of those interviews; ‘you could have decided not to call me for this interview’ – their answer; ‘we have to follow the HR procedures’. And they don’t care (at all) to have hurt your feelings. BUT it will never discourage me – it is the world we live in – where some individuals are uncouth and cruel. I have met some very good white people; but I have met some really awful black people – people who discriminate you not by the color of your skin but by your place of origin and the language/accent you speak.

The world will always have such people… And so, folks; going to Canada, I know I am going to encounter such individuals – and despite all my qualifications and experience, I may not get a job within my first 6 months in Canada. I know that even when I get a job, I will have to work for a lower pay than what my white peers would earn in the company. It takes me back to what I said yesterday – I cannot be discouraged by such encounters, what matters is what I want to get out of Canada – what I want to get out of those positions. If it’s means survival, I will do it… I define my paths and this is my encouragement in life.

Johnjkjk, I may not have answered your question… I didn’t overcome all these barriers, I just happened to overcome the barriers within my current company/employer. I am faced by everything else that an African in these parts of the world has to go through – I really don’t like mentioning a black person; I believe the black community especially in America and Canada faces some different challenges altogether. Most of the black Americans that I have met are the first to discriminate against an African. I really don’t care about the color of one’s skin – it’s about being African; an African has to rise above stereotypes from some Filipinos, some South Americans, some Indians, and other Asians (some and most of them though)…
 

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johnjkjk said:
For many recruiters, first impressions matter but "first contact" matters more. This includes your name, how you look and where you come from- all usually written on your resume/professional profile online/before an interview has actually begun.

I have a friend from the UK, a native English speaker, highly experienced and guaranteed to please once someone actually engages in conversation with them or actually reads their resume, but he now has an "ethnic" name and appearance, so very often his resume is overlooked and his "different" appearance garners more comment than his skills during interview. The ironic thing is when he used an English name and looked like an ordinary Joe, he never had this problem.

When employers aren't even willing to review a candidate's skillet based upon their name and what they look like, what hope do they have?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/how-an-ethnic-sounding-name-may-affect-the-job-hunt/article555082/
https://www.povertyactionlab.org/evaluation/discrimination-against-skilled-immigrants-canadian-labor-market
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/blind-recruitment-marketplace-1.3462061
https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/03/17/jobseekers-resort-to-resum-whitening-to-get-a-foot-in-the-door-study-shows.html

How did you overcome this "first contact" barrier?
CBC Marketplace did a investigative report on this issue
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/blind-recruitment-marketplace-1.3462061

Basically your name on the resume do put you in advantage and disadvantage in the eyes of HR people, but not so much as in "I won't let an Indian man work in my company" kind of barrier.

There's also "glass ceiling" within a corporate. A non-white person are "generally unaccepted" to promote to a senior management position, especially for position related to public relation or sales. Although this is not as common and apparently only in traditionally large corporate like banks.

--

It also appears that foreign education and experiences valued a lot less than Canadian education and experiences, which unlike the name and color of our skin, is a genuine consideration for qualification. There are codes and standards that applies only to Canada and nowhere else.

So ethnic discrimination still exist in Canada. Let's not pretend it's not. But probably less serious and apparent than other countries and on a decline.
 

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Cofca said:
I didn’t mention I managed to overcome these barriers; rather I stated that I closed my ears to all the negativity... I concentrated on what I do. I have always been encouraged by my goals – what I really want to achieve from a situation/position.

I cannot be discouraged by such encounters, what matters is what I want to get out of Canada – what I want to get out of those positions. If it’s means survival, I will do it… I define my paths and this is my encouragement in life.

Johnjkjk, I may not have answered your question… I didn’t overcome all these barriers, I just happened to overcome the barriers within my current company/employer.
Thanks for the insight. You rightly point out that discrimination doesn't end with employment, but would persist at the workplace. You offer good advice: Remaining positive and set on one's goals, winning over management.

As you're a highly qualified professional, can you share any advice on your strategy when approaching interview questions, e.g. what would you consider to be a good response to the following from the point of view of someone applying for a more senior position:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? (at a more senior level, it can be a trick question)
- Are you more of a team player or team leader? (also often a trick question)
- How would you handle project failure? (to see where you would place the blame)
- How would you handle conflict in the team?
- How would you handle older/more experienced team members having to work under you? (implying that staff may feel uncomfortable)

I normally respin the question in a positive way e.g. Dealing with conflict can also be viewed as how to motivate.
 

johnjkjk

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mf4361 said:
So ethnic discrimination still exist in Canada. Let's not pretend it's not. But probably less serious and apparent than other countries and on a decline.
It's not necessarily blatant racism, but very often what is known as implicit bias, or sub-conscious bias wherein people tend to favour "white" sounding names over those of minority groups. The basis for this may be fear of poor communication ability, but research has shown that even if a candidate makes very clear that they are native English speakers, this information does not offset the bias.

As to qualifications, whilst there are specific regulated industries, which may perhaps give preference to Canadian education and experience (e.g. engineering licensure), there is no reason as to why this should be a general trend across all industries and sectors. The British also have standards particularly for regulated occupations but once you've demonstrated equivalence, there is no initial barrier, rather often global experience may be prized and much sought after. In my limited experience being interviewed by US companies, they are more likely to give you a chance if you show talent and potential in interview, regardless of your qualifications and experience, which at that stage in the process all short-listed candidates are assumed to have. Having been on the other side of the table as a recruiter, I've often had to go through dozens of resumes with equivalently strong technical qualifications but only interview can determine whether they have the right skills-set for the job. So I find it strange when people report Canadian employers as placing more emphasis on specific qualifications and experience. I think Canadian employers would to well to embrace global experience where this brings in high quality and be more flexible on qualifications as this is not a reliable indicator of abilities.

I'm not so sure that the discrimination is less serious or apparent than in other countries. I've read a detailed review of Canadian society which explains that there is a duality at play- an outward projection of multiculturalism based upon a tenuous foundation that becomes apparent after some prodding. They may be friendly but nevertheless unwelcoming. Read this:'Come from away' problem makes integration difficult for newcomers
 

maged_mmh

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johnjkjk said:
It's not necessarily blatant racism, but very often what is known as implicit bias, or sub-conscious bias wherein people tend to favour "white" sounding names over those of minority groups. The basis for this may be fear of poor communication ability, but research has shown that even if a candidate makes very clear that they are native English speakers, this information does not offset the bias.

As to qualifications, whilst there are specific regulated industries, which may perhaps give preference to Canadian education and experience (e.g. engineering licensure), there is no reason as to why this should be a general trend across all industries and sectors. The British also have standards particularly for regulated occupations but once you've demonstrated equivalence, there is no initial barrier, rather often global experience may be prized and much sought after. In my limited experience being interviewed by US companies, they are more likely to give you a chance if you show talent and potential in interview, regardless of your qualifications and experience, which at that stage in the process all short-listed candidates are assumed to have. Having been on the other side of the table as a recruiter, I've often had to go through dozens of resumes with equivalently strong technical qualifications but only interview can determine whether they have the right skills-set for the job. So I find it strange when people report Canadian employers as placing more emphasis on specific qualifications and experience. I think Canadian employers would to well to embrace global experience where this brings in high quality and be more flexible on qualifications as this is not a reliable indicator of abilities.

I'm not so sure that the discrimination is less serious or apparent than in other countries. I've read a detailed review of Canadian society which explains that there is a duality at play- an outward projection of multiculturalism based upon a tenuous foundation that becomes apparent after some prodding. They may be friendly but nevertheless unwelcoming. Read this:'Come from away' problem makes integration difficult for newcomers
I can say virtually the same replacing white with African.

the fact is it's not racism nor bias, it's merely familiarity which is human nature wherever you are and applies to any country, and some times to tribes within a country: Nigeria and Kenya come to mind
 

Alexios07

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maged_mmh said:
I can say virtually the same replacing white with African.

the fact is it's not racism nor bias, it's merely familiarity which is human nature wherever you are and applies to any country, and some times to tribes within a country: Nigeria and Kenya come to mind
That's very true. White people usually get called racists because most immigrants are from Asia or Africa and move to North America or Western Europe, not vice versa. AFAIK, Asian people are also very racist or even more.

Have you ever tried to rent an apartment in an Indian or Chinese dominated neighbourhood? Have you ever worked in a Chinese-owned company? Have you ever been to Korea or Japan? They can be nice to you if you are a tourist, but if you want to work there and settle your life. Good luck with that. There is even no "glass ceiling" since they are outright racist toward you.
 

Hansdza

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Alexios07 said:
That's very true. White people usually get called racists because most immigrants are from Asia or Africa and move to North America or Western Europe, not vice versa. AFAIK, Asian people are also very racist or even more.

Have you ever tried to rent an apartment in an Indian or Chinese dominated neighbourhood? Have you ever worked in a Chinese-owned company? Have you ever been to Korea or Japan? They can be nice to you if you are a tourist, but if you want to work there and settle your life. Good luck with that. There is even no "glass ceiling" since they are outright racist toward you.
Awesome comment... it's amazing to know how this thread turns out to be an arena for accusing people doing racism

-1
 

Alexios07

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Hansdza said:
Awesome comment... it's amazing to know how this thread turns out to be an arena for accusing people doing racism

-1
It's not accusing. It's a fact. I want to point out that you cannot remove racism, it's everywhere, not just in Canada. You are moving to a "white" country, so prepare yourself for racism and move on. That's it.
 

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I'm sure this does not apply to all companies, but I'm seeing more and more multinational companies hiring various nationalities to key positions, because it conveys a 'diversified and accepting' corporate identity.
Yeah at the end of the day it's for the company's gain, but at least it's a welcome development such that career growth is no longer restricted based on nationality.
 

Aal_

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Being afraid of the other is a trait of the human being. Sexism anyone? So racism is individual and not a race phenomenon. History taught us otherwise, but that is not the case anymore. Some people will just be afraid of the other just because they don't know any better.
 

ttrajan

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No racism. Main issue is getting a good job. No job available in the market now.