Changing Lenses: Diversify Your Perspectives

Ep304: Building Walls against Immigrants: Systemic Barriers to Employment, with Xin Yi Yap

March 02, 2022 Rosie Yeung Season 3 Episode 304
Changing Lenses: Diversify Your Perspectives
Ep304: Building Walls against Immigrants: Systemic Barriers to Employment, with Xin Yi Yap
Show Notes Transcript

When you’re job hunting, does it sometimes feel like you’re trying to breach an impenetrable fortress? Recruiters and hiring managers talk about attracting top talent, but when it comes down to it, they act more like an immigration department trying to keep undesirable people out, than warmly welcoming people in.

And if we’re going to compare recruiting to an immigration process, the best person to do that is someone who’s going through both. Meet Xin Yi Yap, the special guest on this episode. She is a Singaporean who moved to the U.S. to go to university, and now that she’s graduated, she needs to work in a qualifying job in order to stay in the country.

You don’t have to be a foreign student or visa worker to relate to Xin Yi’s story. If you’ve ever been rejected by an employer because you didn’t fit their profile; or if you’ve ever been passed over for a job you KNOW you can do because of your accent or other irrelevant excuse – then you’ve experienced what I call the Gated Community Effect.

This is the second of 4 LinkedIn Lives that I’m re-sharing as podcast episodes. If you’d prefer to watch the full video recording of the whole Live episode, you’ll find it on my website at

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How U.S. immigration is like the Hunger Games
  • Stereotypes and microaggressions against international students and employees
  • The fallacy of “stealing jobs” from citizens
  • Why we need to decolonize self-confidence
  • How employers can recruit more equitably
  • Inspiring advice for international students and job seekers today

If you know someone else who’s going through the Gated Community Effect, please forward this episode to them so they can feel supported. You can share straight from wherever you’re listening to this podcast right now, or from my website,

Thank you, JEDI friends!

Link to episode transcript here.

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Guest Bio and References/Links

About Xin Yi Yap:

Xin Yi (She/Her) is an IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Social Justice) practitioner, certified Diversity & Belonging Facilitator, and analyst. Hailing from Southeast Asia, Xin Yi looks at IDEAS issues through an intersectional and international lens. She understands that systems of oppression manifests differently throughout the world, and is thus able to facilitate conversations of change with folks from different backgrounds. 

Xin Yi has also worked with multinational organizations on a multitude of ways to cultivate equity, inclusion, and belonging for all, from IDEAS workshops to strategy implementation.

Find Xin Yi Yap on:



References in this episode:

Poem by Rupi Kaur from her book Home Body: 

Please note: the transcripts attempt to stay true to the essence of each conversation, while maintaining clarity and readability. As a result, certain "filler" words, and nuances of tone, emotion and emphasis will be missing.

If you're able, you're strongly encouraged to listen to the audio podcast. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human editors, and may contain errors.

Ep304: Building Walls against Immigrants: Systemic Barriers to Employment

[intro music plays]

Rosie: Hey, JEDI Friend! Thanks for tuning in to the Changing Lenses podcast. This is the second of 4 LinkedIn Lives that I’m re-sharing as podcast episodes, so you loyal listeners also get all the amazing career advice my guests provided. If you’d prefer to watch the full video recording of the whole Live episode, you’ll find it on my website,


So this episode is all about something that I’ve labelled the “Gated Community Effect”. It came to me when I was trying to visit my family in Australia (pre- omicron variant), and was frustrated with the ridiculous online application process, and then got rejected anyway because I’m not an Australian citizen, even though I’m related to 8 Australian citizens living there.


And it hit me – recruiters and hiring managers talk about attracting top talent, but when it comes down to it, they act more like an immigration department trying to keep undesirable people out, than warmly welcoming people in.


And if we’re going to compare recruiting to an immigration process, the best person to do that is someone who’s going through BOTH. Meet Xin Yi Yap, the special guest on this episode. She is a Singaporean who moved to the U.S. to go to university, and now that she’s graduated, she needs to work in a qualifying job in order to stay in the country. So you can imagine how high the gates are keeping her out of the community she loves.


You don’t have to be a foreign student or visa worker to relate to Xin Yi’s story. If you’ve ever been rejected by an employer because you didn’t fit their profile; or if you’ve ever been passed over for a job you KNOW you can do because of your accent or other irrelevant excuse – then you’ve experienced the Gated Community Effect.


I hope Xin Yi’s experience and advice is helpful to you; and if you know someone else who’s going through the Gated Community Effect, please forward this episode to them. You can share straight from wherever you’re listening to this podcast right now, or from my website,


Thank you, JEDI friend – and enjoy the episode

[intro music ends]

Rosie: Xin Yi is here today to share so much of her knowledge and expertise. She is an IDEAS practitioner and for her IDEAS stands for inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and social justice. Yes, we love our acronyms. IDEAS is very cool. She is also one of over 40 million people living in the US today who were born in another country.

In her case in Singapore and Xin Yi attended a US college as a foreign student with higher tuition fees, because that's how we treat foreign students for the exact same education as a US student. But when she graduated, she is actually forbidden from working in the US unless she wins the immigration lottery. That's not really an exaggeration and we'll learn how this broken system doesn't work. And yes, Simi is a recent grad, but that doesn't mean she's not qualified. She is currently the co-author of MARIO. That's another acronym and it's an open source textbook for industrial organizational psychologists integrating anti-racism in their work. How cool is that? She's also a certified diversity and belonging facilitator and has worked with multinational organizations on DEI workshops and strategy implementation. So you would think that this US educated, internationally experienced certified DEI facilitator would be in high demand, right?

Especially now when diversity and inclusion is supposedly so important to corporations. So why has it been so hard for her to find a job and a visa that will allow her to do what she loves in a country that she's lived in for the last four years? Well, what are these invisible and visible barriers? Xin Yi, thank you for joining us today to talk so openly about this personal issue.

I'm so grateful you're here. And before I turn the floor over to you, I do want to acknowledge that. First of all, I feel like you're very brave to be coming on and talking about a topic that is not only vulnerable and maybe triggers things for you, triggers for other people, but there's also a lot of stigma because in our capitalist society it's not really okay to talk about how we need a job or we're looking for jobs. So on my part, I do want to try to make this a safe and open a space as possible for us to have a real conversation. And for you watching right now to join in with us. So for all of you, I just want to commit that I'm listening and sharing from a place of love and respect that your story matters and that your truth is welcome here. So welcome to all of you and welcome Xin Yi.

Xin Yi: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you Rosie for having me. And it's a very grand introduction. Definitely a reminder for myself, you know, having dealt with imposter phenomenon, but to really answer your question about how hard it is to get a work visa. And before we do that, I also want to say that I was only allowed to work on campus and in a country where even their own students graduate with so much debt, you can imagine as someone who is international, who is charged to higher tuition fee, if we do not have scholarship, and I'm not allowed to work off campus, that's a lot of walls, a lot of obstacles built against us. So that's kinda like something to note. And so going onto like talking about what visa, so, disclaimer, I'm not an immigration lawyer. Just for legal reasons right? I'm not a lawyer. I don't study immigration law. It is what I know based on my journey so far in the states and also in the job search process.

And so, based on what I understand about the work visa in the states, it's called a H1B. It is a sponsorship that requires the employers to sponsor international candidates to work with them. And during this process, a lot of companies will have to hire immigration attorneys because there's a lot that goes into it.

One of the rules that I read that is pretty ridiculous in my opinion, is that the company would have to put up the job on job boards and prove that Americans cannot fulfill that role. That only the international candidate have what it takes to do that job.

And so thinking about that, it's pretty, almost impossible, right? For a country that is not just an economic power house but has a huge population that there's any job, especially in this capitalistic society to say that there is a position that no one else can fill other than this international candidate. Another element of the work visa is it's a lottery system, so it's not by merit. What happens is once the company goes through all of these requirements and processes, we are then put into a lottery system, which is essentially a black box, as far as I know. It's almost like playing bingo and the lottery hence it's called a lottery system where either you get it or you don't, and you'll know when it's the deadline for the announcement. It reminds me a lot of hunger games, right. Where the person puts her hand into the big ball and like pulls out attributes. So that's kind of like the process of getting a work visa. It's really difficult from an employee standpoint or job seeker standpoint, and also the recruiter and organization standpoint, which we'll talk more about. But this is just kind of like an overview of how hard it is to get a work visa in the United States.

Rosie: I'm really glad too, that you brought up the; like there's multiple types of barriers, right? So that financial barrier that even when you graduate, you're already starting from a deficit, like literally a financial deficit because it costs you more, you have less access to scholarships and funding. And so you're already, even in more need, you could say of a job to try to pay this stuff down. I think everybody in the states and Canada recognizes how expensive education is and the burden of student loan. So that's a great point. It is not just about finding a job. It's also where you're starting from as a starting place.

 In these things, I like to ask sort of devil's advocate type questions because I can think of maybe there are good intentions the way this stuff started. I think those rules that you described about the, having to prove that nobody else can do it and the lottery system, it is clearly intended to protect Americans and protect American jobs. So what would you say, I guess to, well, isn't that the whole point, like as a citizen shouldn't I have priority over non-citizens in getting these jobs and if I already have the right to live here why shouldn't this be the case?

Xin Yi: That's a great question. And my response to that is thinking about what I just recounted is just the process of the work visa. I didn't talk about the conditions of the work visa. One of it being that unlike many other countries, which I'll get back to like why I bring this up. But America is one of the only few immigration systems left that it's like doing a family based visa issue. And that's why you hear a lot of news about mail-ordered brides. There's even a whole TV series about it, right. 90 day fiance. Because that's really one of the easiest way to get a visa, to be the states to work. And the difficult part about this is that with this system, that means the work visa is very limited. It is quite literally a work visa in terms of I'll be tied to a single employer, and I can only have a single stream of income under that work visa. So let's say for any reason. Either I want to start my own business. I cannot. My business cannot generate income. If my current job does not pay enough, I cannot have a second job.

I also, based on my understanding cannot have other jobs outside of the US. So for example, I'm Singaporean. Based on my understanding is I cannot have another income from my home country. But of course, you know, that last part I didn't really study in depth about because you know, I'm not here to be an entrepreneur and be Jeff Bezos. I'm here to kind of like chase my dream. And so basically what I'm trying to say, and paint the picture is that yes, Americans should definitely have priority. At the same time it doesn't make sense again, if it's not just student debt, but also the average American holds anything from two to four jobs. And to say that because I do not hold a citizenship, that I can only have one job and single stream of income, I can not have paid gigs outside of that job, I cannot go on Fiverr and put out my services. I cannot even possibly even be paid for speaking engagements, which is part of what I do now. Then that's very limiting and that's almost inhumane and quite the de-humanizing and it's very limiting which I'll talk more about in terms of like my experience going through this process of staying within the walls, staying within the boundaries. And another thing I would add to that question is there are countless research that has really shown that international people coming in, don't steal Americans jobs.

We do not just take up executive positions. In fact, a lot of the startups that have whether immediate or just a percentage of startups in the country are by immigrants because we are not just hungry for that knowledge and a business mindset, but we genuinely want to give back to the economy and to have the government regulations limit us in the way we contribute doesn't benefit the person who is trying to find a job. It doesn't benefit Americans in terms of the economy as well. And so that would be my response to that devil's advocate question.

Rosie: There are a lot of really good points I want to pick up on in there Xin Yi. This is why she's so amazing and why we need to keep her here and put her into a DEI job or an IDEAS job. First of all, you're not just stealing American jobs, but even that concept of stealing jobs or taking jobs away from people. That is a certain worldview and mindset that is detrimental. If you, as an employer are serious about making your workplace more inclusive and diverse and equitable, but also finding talent, right? Like this is the cry in great resignation and the war for talent and all these things that is coming out. If we're truly a global economy and I would say COVID has made us even more so a global economy. There is talent around the world and it doesn't have to be this fixed pie, win or lose mentality of if I hire someone who's not from my country or doesn't whatever then; like you could still find great talented people in and outside your country or living wherever. Doesn't that open other doors as well for Americans to find jobs in other countries and vice versa, right. So I think that's one thing to keep in mind about making things better for everyone, not just trying to limit yourself, which is hurtful to both employees and employers, but also what you said Xin Yi about being dehumanizing. And I think that's going to come up more and more. So I do want to hear more about your personal experience, about what has this been like for you trying to go through this crazy process.

Xin Yi: I'm going to share this story, which actually happened very recently, just a couple of days ago. Knowing that if I were to make any slight mistake, offline, not reporting something, and they find out so on and so forth that I can get deported, puts a lot of stress on my mental health and my life.

And a couple of days ago, I received a call that I can possibly speak at a very big conference that I can possibly be exposed to a lot of people who have connections and also just be a speaker, right. And that's kind of like what I love to do. And when I got off the phone, I was so excited because it's an opportunity for me.

But then my significant other asked me. Well, can you actually get paid for that? Like does your visa allows that for, to do that now. And that kind of like, felt like a punch in the gut, you know? Cause it did not occur to me that oh yeah, it's probably something that not just I have to report, but based on my current visa that I have to relate to my degree of global business and business ethics. If I cannot explain why this speaking engagement or this whatever paid job that I'm picking it up. If it cannot explain why or how it relates to what I've studied, then I can not take up the opportunity.

But what I'm trying to say is that it was a shift in my perspective and it kind of affected me mentally, emotionally for a couple of days because like I'm still not used to being a non citizen if that makes sense. Like, if you are in your home country right now, if you want to go be an Uber driver, you can do that. If you want to put your services on Fiverr and earn some money, you can do that. But I can't. Everything I do has to be related to my degree based on the regulations. It has to be reported based on the regulations. And that is so disorientating. And it almost makes me paranoid that every opportunity that I get, I have to not just check back with my school, but also like, what if I didn't realize like this speaking engagement. What if I didn't realize I took up the opportunity and didn't report it.

I didn't check with my school just because I think that it's natural as a person with many interests and many talents to be paid for what I do ,you know? And I'm not sure if I kind of explained my thought process, right? Maybe people on the show can let me know and Rosie you as well. But that is not uncommon, you know, that, that sense of like, am I doing this right? And almost that sense of, like, I know I'm not doing anything wrong that breaks my visa regulations and requirements. But somehow I feel like, ICE, you know, the Immigration enforcement department of the United States. will just show up my door and deport me, you know, that's, that's something that's so stressful. That is just so incredibly dehumanizing that I'm restricted like that. And I had this moment last year of trying to reckon with the fact that I can no longer do what I do now. And for people who are curious and recruiters as well, which we'll talk more about later, but I'm not under a sponsorship right now.

I'm under this program called optional practical training or OPT where I'm allowed to freelance. I'm allowed to kind of be independent for a year. And so I'm just thinking this chance to relish in this, not just lifestyle, but this ability to earn from what I'm good at and not be restrained. But knowing that, you know, I'll be put back into a box, you know, after this June, was also a very , anxiety induced thing. So that's kind of like what I'll say about that.

Rosie: I'm just kind of resting with that for a minute. Thank you for being so vulnerable about it. Like that sounds terrible. I was doing something else yesterday and your point about the stress it puts on you, how to humanizing it is. It actually ties in with how we're not honoring human rights. Like part of basic human rights as human dignity and not torturing people, not making them feel enslaved or not enslaving people.

And I know these are very strong terms, very strong words. I think employers would react pretty badly to this. Like of course employees are not slaves. We're not torturing anybody, but what I'm hearing from you and what I've also experienced is that going through the job search process and then the additional layers of having to not do anything wrong and make sure you don't screw up or you'll get deported.

Like that is emotionally torturing. And I think people need to remember like as recruiters, it's very easy to think about ourselves. To just get focused on, oh, I have to find good talent. So many people are applying. It's so stressful to go through all these applications. But think about the stress that job applicants are going through and what they're feeling about it. The stakes are much higher. Frankly, the stakes are much higher for the people who need to find a job then the people who are looking for a job. So that's such an important call out and reminder. Thank you for that Xin Yi.

I'm wondering also in a way maybe your own experiences counted against you. Like there's the barriers of just, you're not legally allowed to work and how you get paid or don't get paid.

But also, let's talk about the discrimination, the stigma and biases against foreigners, right. And so not only are you having legal issues about working somewhere, but, oh, here's this person that's from another country, you have an accent, right? Because you don't speak English like a typical American or a Canadian might do. Have you experienced, I'm going to assume that you have it, but have you, or what have you experienced in terms of things that, you know, these are not problems for you, but people think that they are problems simply because you're a foreigner

Xin Yi: Let me start with microaggressions and then we can escalate from there. So when I was in school as an international student. People assume that international students are rich and probably for good reason, you know, again, we are charged a higher tuition, and when we apply for student visa, we are required to prove with documents, either off our own bank statements or family bank statement that we can provide for ourselves through the entire length of college education. So I get where the microaggression comes from, but what happens is then people assume certain things about me, right?

And one of them being that I don't need help. That I don't need career advice. I don't need career assistance. I have things and opportunities laid out for me once I graduate. And that couldn't be further from the truth, right. I am a first-generation low income graduate, you know, I would say I'm a scholar and I'm the first in my family to go to college and also the first in my family to go to college overseas.

So what I'm trying to  figure out what college life can offer, which is beyond classrooms, right? It's about connections and my networking. I also have to figure out what I can and cannot do with my visa. And so that's one of the microaggressions that have a real life impact in like what advice I have received and what advice I was given as an international student. And like moving forward, interestingly, with this question, as a workshop research, designer, facilitator. There are research out there about the whitening of resumes. So what this means is not just international students, but students with marginalized experience and identities as well, it's known that they would do things like, for example, adopting an English sounding name.

My first, my name is Xin Yi. If I want to, I can adopt Cindy. I can adopt Jane, a couple of different, but a very familiar sounding name because again, you know, recruitment and just the general workforce white culture dominates the process. And so, whitening our resumes again includes adopting English sounding name includes excluding extra curricular activities that can expose them as like someone with marginalized experiences. For example, being the president of the Black student union by over being a member of the Asian American association. So like actively covering those elements of ourselves so they can get a better chance at getting a job.

There's actual research around those, and there are actually accounts of students who have done that over veterans in the field, right. And so that is kind of like the stereotypes that I've faced so far and I would say another microaggression, which is very funny as well, looking back, right, it was kind of awkward at that moment was, Americans assume that I don't speak English and international folks think that I don't speak other languages. And that actually happened in real life. Where I was, you know, in a school building and then behind me were Chinese students. And I was speaking to my supervisor in English and, you know, they say it in Chinese, you know, that she's so well dressed and like, wow, AB and C. And I turned around and I spoke to them in Mandarin and they were surprised. And I can only say the countless times that I've had people telling me that, wow, you speak very good English. Even if I say that I am born in Singapore and that I grew up bilingual. People can not wrap their heads around that.

And just a FYI, you know, there are a lot of countries out of the states that have their education system being in English, you know, Singapore being one of them. And so those are some of the interesting experiences that I've experienced as an immigrant and an international student in the US.

Rosie: Really eyeopening and I also really liked that I feel like you're breaking the stereotype of the crazy rich Asians. I'll go on a little bit of a rant and just say how much as an east Asian woman, I don't feel like that movie represented me or Asian culture.

You just said. You're the first person in your family that went to college, let alone college overseas. And that movie just shows us lifestyles. Like, I don't know who that is, but that's not anybody I know personally. And I don't even know if I want to live that life, but no, not all Asians are rich.

And yet that's exactly what you said you encountered coming here. It's like, oh, well, if you're a foreign student, you must have a ton of money. Probably because they charge so ridiculously high fees that that's kind of what it takes. But no, it doesn't mean that everyone's rich. Just like it doesn't mean everyone in America who can manage to get to college is rich either. We just have to take on a lot of debt, right. So yes. Thank you for showing a different side of Asians. Not crazy, not rich, just Asian. Oh yeah. Sorry. Rant.

Xin Yi: No. I know. So I want to highlight that Crazy Rich Asians funny enough is filmed in Singapore, my home country. And it features a lot of east Asian looking features, right? Fair skin and like almost Western features, very sharp noses and things like that. And so I just want to, you know, bring to mind that the Asian community is such a diaspora and we all look so different, that all this Hollywood representation just don't do us justice.

Rosie: And I just saw Fariah, thanks for chiming in, in the comments there that I think Fariah really related to your comment, Xin Yi about whether people think you could speak English or speak another language. And that's part of the challenge I think of being dual culture, right? Anybody who's immigrated to another country, it's that dual culture, tug of war almost of, well, you don't really fit in with where your home country or where your family came from, but people in your new country don't necessarily consider you native there either. And nobody thinks that you could speak whatever language and it's complicated. It's harder than just being one place all the time. Yeah, absolutely Fariah, we see you there too.

Xin Yi: Yeah. And Fariah to your point, right. I think also like an element, I mean, it's so nuanced and complicated but, I also think an element of that is how we look as well. You know, going back to like racism when we don't look like the dominant white culture. People will be like, no, no, no. Where are you really from? And sometimes they don't ask that question, but they just say things say, yeah, like you speak really good English, for some reason, right. And so it's just something to think about as well for the recruiters, for anyone out there, you know, who has never had this experience, you know, think twice about about why you want ask a question and then say if your from Europe when you come to America for an exchange were you ever asked that question, you know. And if you have an accent, for example, a French or German accent. Do people react the same way to your accent compared to a Chinese accent, an Indonesian accent, you know, my guess is that their reaction is very different.

Rosie: Okay. The last thing I want to talk about before we start getting into some questions is around experience. Employers might see you as inexperienced because you are relatively newly graduated and therefore you don't have work experience. And you don't have American experience because you didn't work in the US before. You haven't grown up in the US. So what are your thoughts on this bias? I will say, the stigma and the bias of, you don't have experience.

Xin Yi: So let me start from, as an IDEAS consultant and advocate and someone who really believes in a more equitable way of work and inclusive way of work. It's just inequitable to have this vague definition of what it means to have experience. One example I can give is my mindset shift, and this is for all the students out there or early career professionals. The mindset shift that is important for me, and I feel have an impact on my job search. A positive impact, is to see my role as a student and as a scholar, as a student leader as a job. We spend as students and scholars, we probably spend the same number of hours, if not more, right, not just on our classes, but also advocating on campus on being student leaders on uplifting our peers on tutoring, AB and C. Those are experiences. And those are work experience. And those are experience that demonstrates our ability to perform in a job. And so I know a lot of colleges career advising, unintentionally, they can disempower students and graduates by saying things like, oh, you know, like keep your resume to one page, you know, especially when you don't have much experience and your a fresh grad. They give advice that is a one size fits all. When career searchers, job searchers and career advising is so personalized and I get it, you know, like a career center is only like maybe 10 to 40 people versus thousands of students. But at the same time, like the students need real time advice and need real life advice. And helping students rethink their experiences and make them feel worthy, you know, and I was wanting to, again, you know, to students out there, like you are worthy of whatever jobs you want and whatever salary you want.

As long as you feel confident that you have what it takes, right. And we have countless researchers, countless discussions . And Rosie, maybe you can chip in on this, but we know that, white males, especially when they go into interviews, they are seen for their potential and people are racialized identities and experiences are assessed based on what we've already done. And so we have to play that game, you know. We have to be confident and go into interviews and have that also appear on resumes that I have what it takes, you know. I am leaving as my authentic self and that's going to be a value add to your organization. It's going to be a loss that you don't hire me. When someone used to say that to me, when I was a student. I'm like that person is out of touch. That person doesn't know what they're talking about. And that person is saying all of this because they've already had it made. They've already made it somewhere. And I'm here to tell you I'm a job seeker. I am only a year, less than a year out of college. And I'm here to tell you that as a non-traditional candidate, that I am doing that. And while I don't have a job now to kind of like prove that, but I know that I'll get somewhere where I feel belonged and I feel that I'm in the space where I can be developed and also contribute to the organization. You know, if you're listening to what I say, and you feel uncomfortable and you feel that you want to challenge and be like, Xin Yi is not a recruiter, she doesn't know what she's talking about. I agree. And I want you to know that the power dynamics is different. You hold the power to recruit people and I don't think it does you or your organization any good if you were to continue gatekeeping in ways of saying that well, student experience is not experience. Yes, you did part-time work while you are studying and that's not experience. Yes, you did internship, but that's not the experience. I'm looking for. Well, to be equitable and you say that you believe in equity and inclusion is to be specific and precise in your job description. If you're hiring an entry level role. And I think this will hit so many people's pain points. If you're hiring an entry level role. And you're asking for two to three years of experience. I would like to ask you to challenge yourself and your team who designed that job description to ask yourself, what exactly are you asking from people who have two to three years of experience and is that actually entry level, right. Even for director level positions, if you're looking for 10 years of HR experience for a DEI role what exactly do you want out of a candidate who has 10 years of HR experience. You know, thinking about being specific, you know, and this is coming from me as a facilitator as well and a researcher. One way to be equitable recruiters is to be specific in your requirements from a candidate. And not to be vague. You know, when you say work experience, what do you mean by work experience. Don't just list like industry, but be specific about the skills that you want to see from them, right. And go into those interviews, knowing that you have power dynamics, that's different. And how do you make that candidate feel safe? If you really care about equity and inclusion, especially for candidates with marginalized experiences, how do you make them feel comfortable going to this interview to tell you what they think and for you to uplift them.

And I've seen tons of recruiters on LinkedIn posting about they're here to help us, they're here to uplift us. Then show us what that means, you know. Tell us what that means. That's what I wish to see more in the recruiting realm.

Rosie: Xin Yi, I was going to ask you to leave us with words of encouragement, advice for job seekers, and also, you know, some advice for recruiters and hiring managers on how to break down these walls, but you just totally did that. I have nothing to add. Just like mic drop. Everything was fire that you were talking about.

There's a lot more to carry on from this conversation. Absolutely this does not stop today. This is not a one time thing. And I'll go into that in just a short while, but I first went to affirm everything that Xin Yi said, and also I want to decolonize or dismantle the concept of being self-confident.

What I try to talk about in my coaching and in the program that I'm about to launch for recruiting support for racialized people is to be self accepting. And that's what I'm really hearing from you Xin Yi. You know, white supremacy culture language, it . Turns into, oh, well you have to show up confident in the job and frankly, I don't want to be confident, like what I see. The sea of white male executives that comes off to me a bit more as arrogant. This also then gets into cultural differences where coming from a culture that is very shame-based and very much about humility. And, you know, don't self-promote, don't do that. I have an inherent thing when you tell me to be confident, like, but can I really do that with whatever? So I find it's also about being self-accepting about as you said Xin Yi, what you bring to the table. You do have value. All those student projects that you worked in school, where you had that one person who was not a contributor and every group has that. How did you not learn about handling conflict and negotiation skills, right. And influencing other people. So you come out of life and of school with valuable experience. And I hope that people can start to see and appreciate that for themselves so that they can be self-accepting and then come to the table and interviews and resumes with, yes. I do know how to do these things. Of course, I have a lot to learn. Doesn't everybody have a lot to learn, but I also have a lot of knowledge and wisdom and experience to come. So yes to everything that you said and Xin Yi for people who want to follow up with you, or just be more inspired by you because you were so inspiring today. What is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Xin Yi: Thank you once again Rosie for having me on here. People can follow me on LinkedIn. Follow my hashtag #Xincerelyiyours. That's spelled with my name. And also I have website of the same name When you talk about projects that you can showcase, I have a whole page of my portfolio. Many of those actually what I've done in school.

And so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out as well. And I also wanted to leave you all with a Rupi Kaur's poem that she posted a few days ago that really like pulled me out of that low point I mentioned earlier in this session that I want you to bring home with you. And to relish in that, you know, when Rosie talked about decolonizing self-confidence and the concept of self-confidence. One of my friends asked me yesterday, you know, what actions do you take to live as yourself so authentically? And I say that, you know, being in my work, being exposed to the conditioning that I'm brought up with. That I'm less than. That I need to play small. I need to be A, B, and C. It makes me understand that being myself is an act of resistance and being myself is the best way I can contribute to the world; is what keeps me moving forward and keeps me courageous in that way. And this poem by Rupi Kaur I think succinctly demonstrates that element of decolonizing self-confidence. And so her poem starts with, "I am not a victim of my life, what I went through, pulled a warrior out of me, and it is my greatest honor to be her." And that. Even saying that gives me chills, you know, like my hairs are standing up. That has given me so much courage to keep on going this week.

And I hope that helps you as well. And to Fariah's point on like company's making it seem like their doing us a favor. Again, we can talk about that for a whole hour, but know what your worth. You know, at the end of the day and fight for that. Yes, recruiters and companies have that power dynamic have the upper hand in the way of their decision-making but you also make decisions when you accept or reject a role. You have the power and the right to say that, thank you for your interview and your offerings. I'll move on from here because I think I deserve more or just say, because I deserve more. And I hope this session has given you all a better understanding of what a international person goes through in terms of employment in the US, and also for my fellow students out there, some encouragement towards your job search process and decolonizing the way you see you're career.

Rosie: Thank you for that. Thank you for that word of encouragement and inspiration. And thank you for talking to Fariah's points as well. Like Fariah mentioned about being offered unpaid positions. Going back to what I had mentioned earlier around the United Nations declaration of human rights. What do you think convincing people that they should work for free is? That sounds an awful lot, like a free labor, which that kind of reminds me about slavery.

Again, I know that's a very strong and triggering word, but if we are suggesting to people that they don't deserve to be paid for their work and they should just be grateful to have an opportunity to work for people for free. Yeah, that's slavery. And that is not okay. And also not legal in a lot of countries.

So I know it's really hard Fariah. Trust me. I know it's hard. And at some point you're just like, what do I need to do to get the experience right to put on the resume. We're going to talk more about that in upcoming lives. And I think for recruiters as well, you should just be aware that, yeah, this is happening. And anything that you can do to influence companies to get away from that kind of thinking. Xin Yi described it too with public speaking. It's not just for employers or people trying to hire. It's in anything. Please pay people for providing their time and their value. If they provide enough value that you want them to do something for you and do it for an audience, then they're worth paying.

So let's do that. Speaking of paying, if you feel that Xin Yi has provided some value for you today, this is not a coercion or must do by any means, but as you heard, she's got lots of student debts, and I think she did provide lots of value. So if you would like to financially contribute, if you're in a position to do that, I've dropped some links in the comments to do that through PayPal or through Venmo. And I think just to continue to reach out to her. She is fantastic to follow on LinkedIn. I learn a lot from her every single day so I encourage you to do that as well if you haven't already followed her. Thank you folks for being here. It's lovely to be here with you in our community together. I do absolutely feel like it's a community. Thank you Xin Yi. You're just an amazing inspiration and an amazing friend.

Xin Yi: Thank you, everyone. Just thank you so much for your time. I look forward to responding to you on the comments as well. Thank you Rosie for your platform.

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Rosie:That’s a wrap! This episode of Changing Lenses was produced and hosted by me, Rosie Yeung, with associate production by William Loo, on land that was taken from many Indigenous nations, including the Anishinaabe, the Huron-Wendat, the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Today it is still the home of many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, with whom I seek to reconcile by learning the true history of colonization, including things that seemed legal and honourable – like treaties – but were often marked by fraud and coercion. I’m Changing my Lens by learning to see land, creation, even business and economy through Indigenous worldviews. And I’m making new friends and building relationships with Indigenous neighbours, cousins, aunties and uncles, in a genuine desire to know, love, and honour them, and live together in peace.

This podcast is one way I’m sharing what I learn to help settler-immigrant folks decolonize our thinking, and respond to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Miigwetch, 多謝, 謝謝, Merci, and Thank You.

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