U of T Scarborough’s executive director of development and alumni, Georgette Zinaty has been named one of Canadian Immigrant's Immigrant Women of Inspiration.
The honour, which is given annually by Canadian Immigrant magazine, recognizes six women for the work they do to empower immigrant women in Canada through community service, advocacy, program development, research or art.
While the issues that all women face in equality, pay equity, harassment and violence have been front and centre this year – the reality is that immigrant women face additional challenges and barriers, writes Canadian Immigrant. They are more vulnerable, may not fully understand their rights in Canada, and often experience language barriers.
“It is a great honour for me to have been chosen as one of six empowering women in Canadian Immigrant’s fifth annual Immigrant Women of Inspiration special. It is truly humbling to be part of this group,” says Zinaty.
Zinaty, who immigrated to Canada from Israel in 1975, has long worked on topics surrounding women, leadership and empowerment. Her doctorate research is also focused on women in leadership, specifically looking at how the scarcity of women in senior leadership positions can be addressed.
“Several years ago, I realized I was the most senior woman executive at UTSC, and I felt empowered to find a way to give something back to other women starting out or early on in their own careers,” she says.
For Zinaty, it was through leadership initiatives at U of T Scarborough that she felt she found her voice in sharing key messages with other women “as a way to encourage them to reach their potential and make a positive contribution in this world,” she says. Her most recent program, the Women in Leadership initiative, was launched at U of T in September 2017.
This Friday also marks the seventh Leader2Leader conference - an initiative that Zinaty started in 2011 - that always features sessions on women, leadership and empowerment.
“So far, these initiatives have really resonated with the many young, talented women whom I have met, and they have in turn inspired me to continue to find innovative ways to reach out and help other women find their voice,” she says.