Randstad Canada HR Blog

Empowering women through mentorship: a conversation with Saadia Muzaffar

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 03:02 PM

Saadia-1.jpgSaadia Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur passionate about connecting ideas, bridging people, and changing the ratio. She happily paid her dues in finance before crossing over to the not-for-profit sector to help support Canadian startups in the technology and innovation space. Saadia is part of the Global Team for Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Weekend, leads a Lean In Power Circle, and is part of ADC Canada’s Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 Initiative. Currently,Saadia is working with AudienceView. Connect with her on Twitter at @ThisTechGirl where she advocates for women’s leadership in the Canadian economy.


What are the benefits of mentorship?

So the great thing about mentorship is that in its essence it’s a very simple concept. It’s being able to look back and see where you had difficulty in your career and making sure that you can do something today to help people make their journeys are a little bit easier and their results a little bit better. Leadership is also so much of that, thinking of your contributions as more than just your career or your personhood and bringing more to the table than just a one dimensional advancement agenda. So it’s equal parts guiding and learning and both mentorship and leadership have that in common, which is why a lot of good mentors make really good leaders.

How do you choose a good mentor?

I think it’s important to remember that mentorship is a two way street. Even though your mentor might have seniority in terms of experience, anybody should go into that kind of relationship building thinking they can also provide value and give back. So picking a good mentor isn’t just scouting people who you think benefit you, you should also look at how you can lend some perspective, some time, and give back to them. And I think that’s what makes a really good mentor and mentee relationship.

What can organizations do to empower women?

I think organizations can make a huge difference in creating spaces where women can not only have access to great opportunities but be able to excel. The first thing that they can do is pay them equally and equitably. The second thing that they need to do is create a culture of transparency. And the third very important thing is to continuously work on this maddening and conscious bias. We all have it and we can be better at it.

What impact do women have on the economy and the growth of organizations? What do they bring to the table?

I like to think of what women bring to the table as what diversity would bring to the table. Any set up where there is a homogenous set of people who are making decisions, there tends to be groupthink. So women, just like other types of diverse representations of people, bring in resilience and empathy and collaboration. These are things that we have had to use a lot of because of how a lot of society has been structured, but these can also become our strengths. So I am not fond of saying that there’s a special sauce that women bring, but I do think that there are skill sets that we bring to the table that are usually not present. Just by virtue of the experiences that we’ve had.

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

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Tags: Women Shaping Business, Womenshapingbiz, Women in Tech

5 Careers that are Defining IT and Finance

Posted by James Rubec on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 09:51 AM


Who are in most demand, why are they needed so badly and where can they make the most money? 

For IT professionals looking for work, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta offer the highest average salaries across the board, while roles in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Moncton, New Brunswick, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Niagara Falls, Ontario offer some of the lowest.

Today’s IT professionals do more than debug programs and solve network problems – they are making money for business teams and delivering the best customer experiences imaginable for financial intuitions. Here are the five roles that are shaping IT and Finance today.

Application Developers

iphone-cellphoneWhat do they do? Using code and APIs to build powerful tools that we use to do everything from book plane tickets, track weight loss, read books or download movies. Everything you do on your phone was built by an application developer. Soon everything you do on your TV will be to. Applications are the cutlery of our digital lives. In finance the mobile tools customers use to make transfers or deposit cheques have been the creations of project teams of mobile developers.

Why are they so valuable? A good developer can reduce the time it takes to build an application – faster, leaner, development costs less and makes companies more money That takes a level of ingenuity and skill – that’s worth a lot of money.

Are you looking for more information on salaries for your IT team or to help you make a career move? Request a copy of Randstad Canada’s salary guide today.


Senior Digital Project Managers

on-time-fastWhat do they do? An experience project manager will take on a large digital project and see it through to completion. Projects can be big and small but when a company is hiring a digital project manager it usually involves an owned asset website, or digital product. This can range from the development of a new site, the programming, server resources, art and copy requirements and consultation with stakeholders all play in the realm of the project manager’s role. In finance a project manager may take bring a new credit product to market, allowing users to transfer online from one product to another.

Why are they so valuable? A good senior project manager brings a system to complete project with them. They often have relationships with vendors or experience in negotiations that make everyone’s life better. With a strong project manager on a big project time and money can be saved, as well as reputations and stress.

Data architects

DATA_arcWhat do they do? Big Data didn’t get big on its own – it took Data Architects to build the systems to collect, sort and manager all of the information that we’re looking to understand. When you are asking for more information on anything, a data architect will work on building the method of collection and the storage of that data – they’ll also have a hand in designing the tools to read and interpret this information or plug it into other systems that do this for you. Managing everyone’s transaction records is a lot of data, a data architect built the system that allows that to work effectively.

Why are they so valuable? a well-built data set can be read faster – this affects everything from financial transactions to search results. Just as a well design application saves money – a well-built data structure can be accessed by applications and other tools more efficiently. Data architects build systems that allow data to be sorted intelligently, often autonomously, so if you are looking to collect more information from the world wide web, or anywhere where a lot of information may be coming at you, you should speak with a data architect.

Data and business analysts

Data_AnalystWhat do they do? With architects collecting and storing all of our data, we still need people to read it and gain value from it. Data and business analysts work with the data that companies and governments collect. They do this for hundreds or reasons; to find efficiencies, track demographics, solve crimes, save lives and track weather patterns. Analysts have experience not only working with data, but in the industries they specialize. A business analyst might have five years working in oil and gas, allowing them to not only understand the data they are reading, but provide context to those numbers that are important to business leaders.

Why are they so valuable? There are so many uses for data these days that being proficient in working with it is in high demand. Companies want results and answers from their data – analysts who can deliver those with confidence and the science and numbers to back them up are prized.

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UI / UX Designer

UX-UIWhat do they do? Sitting on top of the applications we use and the tools we love are systems that allow us to use them – the user interface, or UI, even deeper, is the overall user experience or UX of a program. UI and UX designers make life livable in the digital world – allowing us to find the menus, search bars, numbers and check out buttons on our websites – or providing the swipable, three finger taps and enlarging motions of our tablets and phones. Without designers skilled in these art forms our tablets wouldn’t be much more than the Etch Sketches.

Why are they so valuable? Companies and brands are pushing the boundaries of the digital world to the retail experience. UX and UI designers are also building out how we experience our world, as more digital tools are found in our day to day lives – from the self-checkout counter at a grocery store, to how we hail a cab or check in at an airport – the user interface that we use to do this and to live out our lives are managed by these designers.


Looking for deeper insight in your market? 

Request a copy of the Randstad Technologies Salary Guide

Tags: Women in Tech, Toronto, Technologies

Women Shaping Business: Toronto Panel Discussion

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:26 PM

Women Shaping Business: Toronto Panel Discussion

The 2014, Women Shaping Business program brought together some amazing leaders to discuss mentorship, gender equity and the advances that organizations have made in building stronger leadership teams through diversity.

In the second event held this year on November 12, 2014, Randstad Canada welcomed over 200 business leaders from across Toronto to join in a discussion featuring an exciting and diverse panel of business leaders.

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The panel featured five great speakers including Spencer Saunders the President of Art & Science Digital Experience Design, Katherine Dimopoulos the Head of Marketing and Brand Experience at SCENE, Fawn Annan President & Group Publisher IT World Canada & Chair, Canadian Channel Chiefs Council, Ingrid Macintosh the Vice President of Portfolio Advice and Investment Research, TD Bank Group and Michael Kyritsis the VP of People and Values, Bond Brand Loyalty and was moderated by Linda Galipeau, the CEO of Randstad North America.

In this recording, which is introduced by Faith Tull, the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Randstad Canada, you will hear an in-depth discussion on a number of facets of gender equity, current research on workplace diversity and new insights into the balance that our lives at work and home need to take.

Highlights include discussions on worklife harmony, the importance of verbiage surrounding adaption over accommodation and the importance of finding role models and mentors for anyone seeking to advance their career. 

Introduction Time Signatures:

00:03: Faith Tull, begins her introduction of the panel to the audience at 1 King West, in Toronto, Ontario on November 12, 2014.
4:15: – Faith Tull, introduces the panelists.
5:55: Linda Galipeau, begins her moderation of the panel.
9:00: Q1: Why do we want more diversity in the boardroom – discussion started by Katerhine Dimopoulos.
9:55: Followed up by Ingrid Macintosh.
10:33: Michael Kyritsis speaking about the importance of diversity at the table.
11:25: Q2: Does it matter what role that women take? Very few women in the roles, COO, CIO, CEO, executive women, does it matter? 
13:15: Katherine Dimopolous shares her thoughts on women helping women advance.
14:15: Linda Galipeau introduces research conducted by HP about the “confidence gap”.
16:15: Fawn Annan, speaks on how women and men network differently.
17:05: Ingrid Macintosh speaking on self-selection and the generational shift of women having their own mothers as professional role models.
19:45: Spencer Saunders shares how he has changed his shop culture to be more inclusive.
25:15: Q3: How do men and women network different and how can women network more effectively?
26:00 Fawn Annan, discusses the value of awards and recognition programs for women and organization that spur on diversity.

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around. Register with the button below.

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Tags: Womenshapingbiz, gender equity, Women in Tech, Canadian Business