By Suzanne Bowness
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work (CREWW) which offers a part-time professional program for women to enhance their leadership and management skills. Graduates from the program will be profiled over the next few weeks.
By the time Ledianis Rivero-Sosa emigrated from Cuba to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker program, she already had four diplomas, including a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature, and a diploma from a highly selective training program for managers in the tourism industry.
After arriving in Canada, she had also landed a position at World Skills Employment Centre, an organization that supports newcomers to Canada in their job search process.
So she wasn’t particularly looking for more education, or at least not outside her field of communications. But then Rivero-Sosa came across the Sprott School of Business’s Management Certificate for Women (MCW).
Learning How to Excel
“It was not something that I was looking for. But when I read about all the courses and the content that would be delivered, I said, ‘I think it’s going to be great for me.’ Also because I had been promoted to a new position and I thought that this program could be the right opportunity for me to learn how to excel at my new role.”
Enrolling last September, Rivero-Sosa graduated in March and says the program offered good training and connections, and the schedule fit her busy home life as the mother of a toddler.
Perhaps not surprisingly, her favourite units of the certificate were those that dealt with communications skills, although she also learned a lot from many of the modules about leadership, managing change, managing others, and conflict management.
Equally important was hearing confirmation for things she did intuitively. “I’ve learned many things, but for many others it’s in the validation. Hearing ‘that’s exactly what you are supposed to do’ has been great,” she says.
Insight into the Canadian Workplace
Yet another benefit was the insight into the Canadian workplace. “I’m not in Cuba anymore. There I knew what I needed to know and I knew what I had to do. But here, it’s not the same. It really gave me a new and insightful perspective,” she says.
Rivero-Sosa adds that the insights about Canadian workplaces came from her fellow students as well as her professors. “We get richer in knowledge not only from the lectures, but from the women in the course. All of them come with huge experience in different sectors.
She says she’s already put some ideas into practice at World Skills Employment Centre, in her new position of co-ordinator for Pre-Employment Services and the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program.
She’s also enthusiastic about recommending the program to colleagues, and has shared some top tips with her network through a LinkedIn post.
“I posted on my LinkedIn that I graduated. I have my certificate in my cubicle. I’m very proud of this accomplishment” she says.