“We realized in 2017 that many of our experienced members were losing their jobs, or were being told by their employers that it was time for them to think about retirement and this challenged us, so we decided to create the Career Committee 4.0,” says Danielle Ferron, associate lawyer at Langlois Avocats, who co-leads the committee at the Association des femmes en finance du Québec (AFFQ).
Shortly after, the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce released the report Experienced Workers: Untapped Potential. “It gave us even more motivation to act,” she adds. We wanted our members to be used to their full value. »
The committee began by inviting women to the conference who had made various career changes, such as going into business, becoming an executive coach, going into the world of philanthropy, etc.
“We also met with companies to try to understand what was going on, if there was gender bias, or ageism, or both,” says Danielle Ferron.
Then, the committee realized that spontaneously, members were discussing informally what was happening to them to obtain advice and potential solutions.
This is how the Career Thinking 4.0 program was born.
For each member in career transition, a committee of three to five people is tailor-made to support them in the process. “We have a pool of about 40 people, many are members, but not all of them, to really have people with diverse profiles,” says Danielle Ferron.
Three meetings are held with the member in career transition. The first aims to talk about who she is, her strengths, her weaknesses, where she has come from. The second aims to look where it wants to go, its brakes, its levers. The third aims to establish an action plan.
In just under two years, 16 women have been supported. Meriem Ben Khayat currently is. “I recently moved to Quebec with my family,” she says. I previously lived in Morocco and I have 23 years of experience in finance in Africa. Meriem Ben Khayat now wants to gain professional experience in Canada and is already a member of the Order of Chartered Administrators of Quebec.
Right away, she felt supported through Career Thinking 4.0. “I have the right to personalized support and this allows me to have access to a very large and diverse professional network. I am not in a hurry, but I want to find a way to enhance my international experience, to bring added value and, also, to fulfill myself in a job. I am well surrounded to achieve this. »