Mentoring Program: The Gals Tribe

In search of empowering more women in Australia, Ale and Clau, founders of Gals en Australia, decided to take their dream beyond the general support they give to the members of the community on a daily basis. In this regard, they wanted to develop a method and resources to help migrant women in Australia to find their first professional job in Australia or to further their careers. This idea was born from the frustration felt by both of them in their own quests for integration to the Australian workforce, as well as the valuable lessons and knowledge they’ve gained in the process.

Finding work overseas cannot be catalogued straightforwardly as being easy or difficult because, the truth is that, it is a very different experience for everyone. Nonetheless, the common thread of every person that has successfully landed a job in another country is the will and strength to keep going. Despite the particularities of our own personality and profession, every search for employment requires a lot of introspection, research, diligence, confidence and, most of all, support. 

 Acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the process, Ale and Clau decided to work on a project which would holistically cover core topics and address the most common challenges and questions that come with it, but, above all, tackle those fears regarding the barrier language, the lack of local experience or self-doubt faced by many migrants when looking for their first job opportunity. With this incredibly strong message, they created the Mentoring Program: The Gals Tribe. 

The power behind the word “Tribe” enhances the idea of creating a safe place where every Gal can trust each other and openly share their thoughts and ideas, knowing that there’s someone listening and willing to help. After four programs completed by the end of 2021, 45 Latin and Hispanic women have gained professional tools and knowledge focused on career finding and development, as well as cultivated skills such as self-awareness, self-compassion, and assertiveness. This has translated into 85% of them finding employment by the end of the program.These results represent the materialization of Ale and Clau’s dream when they first decided to create Gals en Australia. 

Still, both of them couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for The Gals Tribe. They are committed to keep improving and offering the program in hopes of deepening the positive impact of the group in many women’s lives, as well as contributing to society with the integration of skilled, talented and strong Latin and Hispanic women in the Australian labour market.Stay tuned if you want to join the next program and be part of this amazing experience dedicated to empowering women just like you in Australia!    



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Gals en Australia: Two years after

When one first listens to Clau speaking, something very powerful takes over you. It feels as if time suddenly stopped and everyone in the room is filled with genuine interest to pay attention to the words that will come out of her mouth. She is an environmentally conscious engineer with a passion for reading and writing, but, most of all, with the conviction to fight for what she believes in and make a positive difference in the world around her.

When you talk to Ale, the first thing that you feel is trust. It’s not easy to put it into words, but she is an incredibly approachable person that radiates wisdom in a very welcoming way. With a background in finance, sales and marketing, Ale is an incredibly versatile, resilient and strategic person that won’t hesitate to support and listen to others. Her curiosity and will to keep learning and help others thrive has only gotten stronger with time and fills her with excitement about the future.Ale and Clau found each other a couple of years ago.

When they met, they found out that both wanted to connect with other women in the Hispanic community, to take root in Australia and share their personal experience and knowledge about their search for professional job. This is how Gals en Australia was born.Two years after, after many lessons learned, Gals en Australia has become a reference and shelter for 8,500+ Hispanic women in Australia. This group is a safe space to reach out for help, advice and to share general information regarding personal and professional development, wellbeing and financial independence, amongst others. All of this is firmly aimed to empower women, to overcome fears and insecurities that get in the way of achieving their dreams and to accompany them in their process of integration and growth in a new country.Ale and Clau are now extremely aware of the power and transcendence of the group in the community.

They have tangible proof of the positive impact they’ve had in the lives of many Gals thanks to over 70 events they’ve organised and the launch of the Mentoring Program, “Gals Tribe”. This program has been continuously enriched by both of them in order to help women get their first professional job, improve their chances of switching careers, negotiating a better salary, strengthen their confidence and connect with real job openings. This is one of the projects that make Ale and Clau most proud of, since it’s directly creating more opportunities for the Gals and fulfilling one of the main pillars of the group: professional growth, progress, and development.Gals en Australia is now a legally registered community, growing and thriving as the Gals that belong to it. It has now employed 3 members of the community as Graphic Designer, Videographer and Digital Content Creator.

This is a milestone in the life of the group because it directly helps women from the community and reinvests resources in the group itself. Let’s celebrate 2 years of this fantastic initiative that has now materialized so many dreams and hopes. For more empowered Gals in Australia! For many more years for Gals en Australia! 

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The 3 things we learned in 2020

Ale and I spent the last few days of 2020 together in regional Victoria taking a break and reflecting on our friendship and all that we had achieved in the year with Gals. Like most temporary visa holders in Australia, we both experienced a roller coaster of emotions throughout the last year when the COVID outbreak happened, our morale was low for ourselves and our friends now without work, but especially thinking of the health of our families back in our home countries

However, as frequently happens with the majority of challenging situations in life, COVID and the lockdown period meant a huge change and growth for Gals en Australia as an organisation and for us individually which led us to a meaningful conclusion: we have been so lucky in unlucky times.

 Here are some of the main things we could learn from 2020 that led us to the above conclusion:

 #1 It is ok to feel fear but don't let it stop you from reaching your goals:

One of the reasons Gals en Australia was born is because we have personally experienced the challenges of being a migrant woman trying their best to learn a new language and trying to progress our career overseas. We are aware of the several fears and insecurities that the job hunting process represents itself.

However, 2020 brought the opportunity for Ale to apply for a senior role, after several years doubting herself and her ability to perform well in the role -she did it!-. In my case, 2020 pushed me to be brave and persistent, ending up finding my first professional opportunity in Australia. This was in no small part due to the community that is Gals en Australia, where we have been able to learn so much from everyone there. We are not just here to support each other in times of need but to also celebrate in the successes and learn from those who have been there before us, you are our inspiration. In other words, last year taught us that when we give ourselves the opportunity to chase our dreams, fear is a companion but not an impediment.

 #2 The limits are in your head:

In 2020 we launched our mentoring program -The Gals Tribe- which has allowed us to connect more deeply and directly with 9 Gals that are working towards finding a professional job in Australia. During our first session in December, we did a discovery session to know which they think is the main challenge as professional migrant women.

Guess the result? 100% of the Gals think they are not good enough in their professions nor their English proficiency. We feel you, Gals, we have been there, we still are sometimes (or more). However, 2020 showed us that we have to give it a try even if we are not -perfect- because most of the companies are not looking for perfect applicants, they are looking for people willing to commit and nail what they do the best, and we have no doubt you are all on that side already.

 #3 It is not possible to help someone else if you don't look after yourself first:

Finally, we learned -and we have to recognise that it took us almost the entire year- for taking a time to rest and taking care of ourselves is necessary if we want to support others. In other words, there is no healthy way to help others if we behave as blind in front of our own emotional needs and we don’t give ourselves the self-care and compassion that we deserve.

2020 taught us that self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Therefore, our best advice for 2021 is that you should spend as much time with yourself as you need walking away from whatever no longer serves you.

 See you in the next entry, Gals!---If there is any topic you want us to write about next month, drop us a message at galsenaustralia@gmail.com 



 

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