Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS),

Omaira Ospino is an immigrant from Venezuela who moved to Halifax with 25 years of experience working as a chemical engineer and an MA in Petroleum Economics. After a six week work placement, through Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), in the Office of Economic Development her reporting manager recognized her skill and contributions and was offered a permanent position as a senior research analyst. With some encouragement by the senior staff, she turned her talents to new horizons becoming a certified International Trade Professional. She spent the past 13 years building her work experience in the Department of Economic and Rural Development, the Department of Energy and recently the Agri-Food, Seafood and Beverage sectors for Nova Scotia Business Inc. Now, she is a Senior Export Development Executive for NS Business Inc.

“Skilled immigrants bring a lot of accumulated knowledge to the table and they are just waiting for the opportunity to thrive and excel at their jobs. I have been fortunate enough in having open-minded supervisors that saw this since the very beginning”.

-Omaira Ospino, Senior Export Development Executive

ISANS Moving up Underemployed Professional Immigrant Women is a project designed to help employers address the issue of underemployment and help make a difference in hiring, retention and promotion practices. We are working alongside an experienced advisory committee which includes Rosalie Hanlon (Professional Development Officer, Engineers NS) and Len White (CEO and Registrar, Engineers NS), that provide valuable support and guidance throughout this project.

What you can do with our help at ISANS

Build your ongoing cultural competence training for all staff to gain an understanding of diversity and inclusion and to build positive relationships

Develop a transparent, fair and equitable process for offering professional development, leadership and mentoring opportunities for immigrant women

Recognize immigrant women’s international experience

What is in it for you?

Reviewing your skilled workforce and cultivating diverse leadership talent can help you invest in a team and leaders who will:

  • Strengthen and diversify your workforce through international experience
  • Boost innovation by bringing new perspectives to your team
  • Grow your business and enhance your ability to expand into international markets
  • Contribute to your succession plan and bring new initiatives to senior levels
  • Work productively, efficiently and be very loyal.

How we can help

We recognized early on in the project that some employers were optimizing their resources more than others when it comes to utilizing the experience and skills of their female immigrant employees. We want to work with employers to identify any barriers these women may face moving up the promotional ladder and the ways in which employers can best use the pool of talent available to them. An ISANS representative can guide you through a range of employer specific support services, for example, English in the workplace workshops at no fee. These support services can help employers advance and retain international talent. You won’t regret reaching out. You can readily call Donna Safatli at 902-406-8855 or to set up a time to meet.