Cuso International recognized for creating diverse, inclusive workforce


a young woman in a red headband writing on a board in front of a group of women

Cuso International won a 2019 Employer Excellence Award, one of three awards presented by Hire Immigrants Ottawa during the Employer Council of Champions Summit at the National Arts Centre on March 6.

The Employer Excellence Awards recognize local employers for their innovative workplace policies and practices around the recruitment and integration of skilled immigrant employees into their organization. As a non-profit working in international development, Cuso International strongly believes in recruiting skilled immigrant employees and providing the support necessary for all employees to thrive and grow.

“As an immigrant, it’s important to find an environment that makes you feel welcome and included. At Cuso International, I have met so many individuals from different countries who I can relate to and connect with on a personal level,” said Recruitment Coordinator Lorraine Monteiro, a Cuso employee since 2016 after moving from United Arab Emirates. “Cuso International has given me the opportunity to not only work as a non-Canadian, but also to move into different roles and expand my skills.”

Three Ottawa employers received a 2019 Employer Excellence Award for their outstanding work in immigrant employment and building inclusive workplaces. Hire Immigrants Ottawa has played a critical role in raising employers’ awareness about how a diverse and inclusive workforce drives innovation and growth.

“Cuso international was selected for its values-driven approach and commitment to welcoming, supporting and empowering immigrants within the workplace,” said Gaye Moffett, Founder of GEM Healthcare Services, and Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s Employer Council of Champions Co-Chair. “Cuso International provides staff and volunteer training related to intercultural effectiveness, ensures diverse hiring panels and uses a variety of assessment methods to help ensure that candidates have a range of different ways to showcase their skills and experience.”

Joëlle Cupidon joined Cuso International as an HR advisor in 2017. She said the organization played a vital role in her successful integration to Canada from Haiti.

“Cuso International has proved to be immigrant-friendly since our initial contact,” she said. “During the interview stage, my experience was acknowledged and highly valued, despite and even because it had been acquired outside of Canada.”

That openness during the interview process didn’t stop once she accepted the position.

“Most employees speak more than one language, and culture in general is a very common topic of conversation,” said Joëlle. “Going to work at Cuso is like stepping into your own miniature version of the world every morning.”

Cuso International works to eradicate poverty and inequality through the efforts of highly skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors. The Ottawa-based organization has worked in more than 100 countries since it was established in 1961 and is currently working in 17 countries in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Southeast Asia.

“We firmly believe that diversity will make us a more successful and productive organization. As research suggests—and our experience supports—diverse organizations are better able to attract and retain top talent, make better decisions and be more innovative,” said Cuso International CEO Glenn Mifflin. “We know that when you bring people together who have different backgrounds, you end up with better solutions to problems.”