The City of Vancouver’s Art Deco City Hall building impressed Zhila Pirmoradi the first time she saw it. Having recently arrived from Iran, Pirmoradi recalls: “I thought this would be a place I would love to work in. It looked so welcoming.” She didn’t know that the 12-storey building would soon be her new workplace.
At the time, Pirmoradi was a PhD engineering student at Simon Fraser University en route to meet a manager in the City’s sustainability group. He had agreed to become her mentor as part of a successful IEC-BC initiative. The City has partnered with IEC-BC on the mentoring program for seven years, encouraging its staff to mentor new immigrant professionals like Pirmoradi adjust to their new surroundings and find jobs.
“The program is just one example of how the City values diversity in what it brings the workplace and the community,” explains Anne Nickerson, Vancouver’s Equal Opportunity Director. “Although we are not looking to recruit new immigrants through our participation, people sometimes do end up working for the City.”
Pirmoradi’s first session with her mentor at a coffee shop near City Hall sparked introductions to his colleagues, both inside and outside city government. As a result of shared professional interests, she discovered a job posting at the City that fit in with her desire to work with and help others. Now, 18 months later, she works as an analyst in the City’s Continuous Process Improvement Program, helping other municipal business units streamline their work and perform more efficiently.
Read more about Zhila’s story here.