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IWS Network Comes to Manitoba

Since 2018, the Immigrant & International Women in Science network (IWS) has provided mentorship for immigrant women in Canada.

“It aims to (give) a collaborative network that supports and promotes equity, diversity and inclusion of international and immigrant women that are working in science,” says Silvia Leon, co-City Leader for the organization.

The main drive of the IWS is to cultivate a strong network that helps immigrant and international women navigate the difficult terrain of academia and employment. In essence, it’s a safe haven for those who need to ask questions and get advice.

The IWS is based in ten cities throughout Canada. In Manitoba, Leon and her fellow City Leader Sandra Gonzalez Diaz work with immigrant Manitoban women to offer various forms of support.

“The Manitoba chapter is actually quite recent,” says Diaz. “We started (the) chapter last June.”

With both a passion for science and mentorship, Leon and Diaz jumped at the opportunity to support other women in their endeavours by bringing the IWS to the province. They each express their excitement for working with and supporting BIPoC women. They also stress the importance of providing resources to immigrant women.

“Many of us are coming to Canada without our families,” says Diaz. “We actually need to build a network and to have people holding our backs.”

One of the most critical aspects of their work is networking – creating a database of employment opportunities that they can share with immigrant women. The IWS does this and more.

“There are very qualified women right now that come with all the experience from their countries that can be applied to so many fields in science,” says Leon. “That’s part of what we do – showcasing all these experiences and all these amazing women that we have here in the province. Companies will be able to see how much talent there is.”

– Keesha Harewood, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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