The Office – My Experience with Public Service, Mentorship and Government

BY: SHUAA RIZVI

Ministry for the Status of Women (MSW) is a small provincially mandated ministry here in the Province of Alberta, and since May I have been very lucky to be working with some very amazing folks. Although some may scoff at the idea for the need of such a portfolio, its presence shouldn’t be overlooked. After seeing the kind of work and objective lens that this ministry provides in many inter-ministerial efforts, teamwork and collaboration are definitely at the forefront of bringing actionable change.

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Office plant from the WES Unit ❤

The close-knit ministry welcomed me and my many questions with open arms. When I upgraded from the simple “intern” area to a regular office desk, my unit got me this super cute office plant.

A DAY IN THE LIFE: 

Every morning April (Chief of Staff), makes her daily rounds sparking cheerful conversations that follow throughout the whole day.  She’s got this charisma that welcomes everyone to the office. The leadership skills and encouragement that the staff at MSW harbour are the ones that I read about in INT D 301 & 306.

The folks that I have been fortunate to work with strive for making improvements in the gender wage and pay gap (yes, they are two different things), women’s economic security (WES), providing opportunities to women and other  minorities and collaborating with others to combat violence against women and girls.

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I spy with my little eye the University of Alberta, from my desk

I have researched about the ways mentorship improves outcomes, looked into the strides women and girls have made – and will continue to make in the fields of STEM – and I look forward in continuing to apply the unconscious bias and gender based-analysis plus (GBA+) training in my future endeavours.

As a science student, I really put myself out there and took a leap of faith to see and hopefully understand how government works from a public service perspective. My stretch would not be complete without the help and guidance of some very important people. I would like to thank them by name as your efforts made this a very special experience. Courtenay and Michael from the PLLC have helped me throughout the whole process of making my stretch a reality. The following people from MSW: Kevin, Carol, April, Lisa, Jill along with the rest of our small family and finally but certainly not least Lourdes – my go to person for all of my questions and someone I’d like to call my mentor.

 

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