Hope, opportunity, work experience and invaluable Links to Success

CIWA connection helps Enbridge earn fourth straight spot on Canada’s Top Diversity Employers list

In her native Mongolia, she coordinated sales, inventory and logistics for a Caterpillar heavy equipment dealership.

Now, Oyuntulga Otgon is making tracks toward a meaningful career in Canada.

Last year, Otgon was one of about 50 professional female immigrants selected for a work placement through the Links to Success: Skills Enhancement and Internship for Young Immigrant Mothers program, offered by the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association.

Funded by Service Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Links to Success aims to integrate these newcomers to the Canadian workforce. First, it’s 10 to 14 weeks of pre-employment training that focuses on workplace culture, career planning, business English and computer skills. Then, it’s a 10-to-14-week internship at one of about 90 partner companies in Calgary.

Otgon spent her internship in Calgary with Enbridge, and was clearly a quick study—she was later hired by Enbridge, on a contract basis, as a crude oil accounting analyst.

“In Canada, people are very professional yet casual in terms of communication. Employees are considered equals, and are respected for what they bring to the workforce,” says Otgon, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Mongolia.

“Figuring out the Canadian workplace culture, and mastering the language, can be an enormous obstacle,” she adds. “A program like Links to Success gives women in my position hope and opportunity.”

CIWA’s Links to Success was launched in 2008. Enbridge began its association with the program in 2016 with two interns, and we plan on continuing the relationship.

“I’ve been extremely impressed with Oyuntulga’s drive to learn, her curiosity and the questions she asks to better understand our group and the industry,” says Andy White, a crude oil accounting supervisor with Enbridge. “Programs like Links to Success provide Enbridge with new perspectives—and the opportunity to learn from someone’s experience from another part of the world.”

For our involvement in Links to Success, and a variety of other reasons, Enbridge was named today to the list of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers for 2017. It’s the fourth straight year we’ve earned a spot on this annual index recognizing employers across the country with exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

We're committed to building a dynamic and innovative workforce through a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we demonstrate that commitment through initiatives like:

  • Our Indigenous Partnership Strategy;
  • Outreach efforts by employee groups like FEMINEN (Females in Engineering); and
  • Our work with community organizations such as the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) on mentoring and networking.

CIWA’s suite of work-focused training for immigrant and refugee women also includes gap-bridging programs for accountants, office administrators, and child-care workers, as well as food service, retail and labor market staff.

“Whether or not these women are hired by the company as part of the Links to Success internship, it’s fantastic to have that Canadian work experience—because that’s one of the major barriers facing professional immigrant women,” says Emily Ross, CIWA’s Business Development Coordinator.

“It’s very valuable for our clients to get real-world experience through these placements, and it’s a real bonus when it’s with a well-established company like Enbridge.”

(TOP PHOTO: Participants in a Links to Success offering are honored at a recent graduation ceremony.)