TD South Asian Social Mixer hits the spot

Panelists and moderator, Karen Sihra, talk about diversity

Panelists and moderator, Karen Sihra, talk about diversity

TD’s South Asian committee hosts multiple events throughout the year, such as the South Asian mixer that took place last month. The main objective for the social mixer is to provide an intimate setting for TD employees to network and hear first-hand from peers, executives and other professionals. The panel discussion in particular is focused on personal stories of self-discovery, overcoming challenges and following one’s passion. It offered attendees the opportunity to ask questions, share stories and learn from one another, all aimed at helping them advance their careers.

This year’s theme was ‘knowing and following your passion,’ which guided the conversation from this year’s panelists, professionals from the South Asian community who work in various professional industries; panelists included, Pooja Handa, host, CP24, Reetu Gupta, COO, The Gupta Group & The Eastons Group, Ravi Sood, venture capitalist, and Alan Ribeiro, partner, Deloitte Consulting. They shared personal stories and experiences and networked with attendees after panel discussion. The overall goal with the discussion was to inspire and to emphasize the importance of perseverance and challenging oneself, whether through mentorship, volunteering, achieving a work-life balance or simply following your passion.

Can-India caught up with TD’s Jeet Dhillon Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager and South Asian committee member to talk more about this Social Mixer.

How does the Social Mixer help a young professional climbing the professional ladder?
Employees from across the bank are invited to attend the social mixer to learn, network and meet people from business lines they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to work within their day-to-day dealings. This event is also a chance for young professionals to build their communications skills. There is a relaxed atmosphere and everyone is there to have a good time, to learn and to meet new people. It’s the perfect setting to open up and be yourself.

Can you describe how the evening starts and ends?
The evening starts with guests mingling with one another as they arrive. They are greeted by members of TD’s South Asian Committee ahead of the program start at 6 p.m. Once the evening kicks-off, one of us provides some background on the accomplishments of the committee and diversity at TD as a whole. This year’s host was Mr. Amrit Sangha, lead operations officer, TD Securities. Following the introduction, the panelists take the stage for an informative discussion sharing their personal stories. Guests are encouraged to participate in a question and answer session and then encouraged to participate in a networking session for the remainder of the evening.

TD is known to focus on diversity and multiculturalism, how does the Social Mixer fit into this?
TD has numerous initiatives that support its overall diversity mandate to build an inclusive, barrier-free environment for all employees. Through collaboration with other communities within TD, employees are given the opportunity to learn about other cultures and put the spotlight on issues that matter most to them. The South Asian social mixer is one example of how this is brought to life. With the support from senior leaders who act as advocates for diversity and inclusion within the bank, the South Asian Committee at TD is able to deliver meaningful progress in raising awareness and growing the reach of its events. TD is genuinely committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live.

How important is it to network and have a mentor?
It’s all about perspective – sometimes it helps to hear someone else’s story to feel inspired or realize that there isn’t a straight path to what you’d define as success. Networking also helps open the door to establishing new relationships and furthering existing ones. For example, senior leaders often have invaluable experience and broad networks young professionals can leverage. While there are a number of careers paths one can embark on, no one journey is the same, so it’s important to choose what works best for you. – CINEWS

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