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Burnaby, Coquitlam duo create community for immigrant women to navigate professional spaces

October 15, 2023

By Burnaby Now |

For immigrants Prachi Jatania and Tina Balachandran, rewriting their professional journeys in a new country was meant to be a breezy task — after all, they had years of experience and a strong skillset backing them up.

But those rose-tinted glasses wore off.

With many workplaces looking at expertise and skills from a “Canadian professional experience” lens, they found themselves having to be creative with the narratives to overcome those barriers.

Jatania, of Burnaby, and Balachandran, of Coquitlam, soon realized they were not alone — and many immigrants like them, especially women, have been told to “completely erase or rewrite their professional narratives” despite their long careers and experience from their home country to find jobs in this new country.

To help and support these immigrant women professionals propel their careers, they co-founded a collective, Immigrant Women Initiative (IWI), where women can come together to network, collaborate and advance their professional journeys in an inclusive, empowering environment.

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