Ali Ahmed is a professional designated accountant who worked for one of the Big Four international accounting firms before immigrating from Pakistan to Canada. But despite having that professional experience, he couldn't get an accounting job in Canada until he got some "Canadian experience" under his belt.
As a former recruiter myself, I can verify that the prejudices Ali describes are real. I’m really glad that he's willing to share with you the unnecessary obstacles he faced in a country that supposedly welcomes immigrants and diverse ethnicities. After all, it's one thing to let people in the front door. It's another thing to let them sit at the same table with us.
So as you listen to Ali's story, I challenge you to think about what you deem essential job requirements and whether they're really that essential. And if your first thought is “they're all essential,” – think again.
Contact Rosie and find JEDI resources at: https://www.changinglenses.ca/
In this episode, we talk about:
[04:41] Immigrating to Canada (and challenges for his Pakistani family after 9/11).
[08:34] First impressions of Canada.
[09:33] Looking for work as an immigrant without “Canadian experience”.
[20:16] When Ali felt included at work.
[21:44] When Ali felt excluded at work.
[24:41] Having identities / labels put on him, instead of choosing his own.
[26:16] Ali’s advice for new immigrants and people looking for work.
Full transcript available at:
Guest Bio and References/Links
About Ali Ahmed:
Ali Ahmed is a forward-looking finance leader who works with organizations to help achieve their potential by making financially informed decisions. He provides strategic direction, develops budgets, and provides useful critical financial information. Ali’s superpower is to present complex financial information simply and concisely.
He is currently the Manager, Strategic Financial Management at Canadian Blood Services.
You can contact Ali via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ali-ahmed-cpa/
References and resources in this episode:
Woodgreen Community Services: https://www.woodgreen.org/
Canadian Blood Services: https://www.blood.ca/en
If you enjoy the podcast and want deeper ways to Change your Lens in work and business, check out the free resources on my website, changinglenses.ca. I also offer workshops and keynote speeches on JEDI topics like Decolonizing Corporate Workplaces, recruiting more inclusively, anti-Asian racism, and many more. How can I support your JEDI journey? Contact me at changinglenses.ca.