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Diane D'Almeida M | Ottawa | Design Your Future

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

Tell us about your journey! Inspire someone.

It has always been a passion to find the best in people that I met, while coaching and mentoring at work. I strive to push individuals to their next level and encourage them in their professional development.

When the Black Lives Matter movement became more popular with social media, it became more obvious that systemic racism was harming our black communities more than I had realized. It has been hurting black women, the backbone of our families, on a deeper extent. Despite being a visible minority, experiencing inequality and intolerance myself, seeing George Floyd killed, and broadcast on mainstream, along with many other black lives was a turning point. It was obvious that somebody had to do something; it did not occur to me that, it had to start with each one of us.

Intentionally making a difference at a smaller scale does lead to a greater impact in the community. Therefore, I decided to use my background experience, along with the passion I had for coaching and mentoring. I thank God for surrounding me with amazing and extremely talented professional women that came on board with my idea as soon as I reached out to them one by one introduce them to my vision. They all accepted and completed my words as I was explaining what I had in mind. The goal was simple, impact the black community through black women, immigrant women, young girls, by helping them to achieve the ladder of success. This will empower them, eventually lead to financial independence. For that purpose, Women Work Empowerment was created November 2020.

Women Work Empowerment is a Christian-based non-profit organization that focuses on sisterhood, professional occupation improvement, black women supporting black women, immigrants and women in general. We prioritize workplace harassment victims, to help them climb the ladder of women’s professional career growth as well as helping them gain back their overall well-being.

We have been operational since then. I am working with amazing women who donate their time and work around the clock to help women in the city. Along with Caroline Phelefu our vice president, Nicole Wilson our programs and projects manager, Sheril Shaw our executive director of creation and development, Amanda Campbell Chambers our membership manager, and Solene Dahlia, our director or communications, we offer various free services including coaching, resume writing, referral programs, business startup, and more. We started small and the more we supported our sisters in need, the bigger the organization got, people were interested in volunteering as well, and helping us make the dream come true. We had our first conference in March 2021, called Professional development through a tough season - Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, which was a great success. Our next planned project is a food drive schedule for the end of September. Depending on how well it goes, we might organize several other ones in the future. WWE also gives back to the community in general, not just women.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

First getting to recognize that somebody had to do something, and that person could be me.

That I could not make an impact on a larger scale alone, therefore, I needed a team that could see my dream.

Time, there is only 24 hours in one day, and so much to do, being a mom, a wife, an active participant at church, and a public servant, life can get hectic. So I make time, I plan. Most people have just a plan b, I think about plan A, B, C, D E, and I strategize.

What books are you currently reading?

I try to learn or read a little bit every day.

Positive thinking (Napoleon Hill)

Think and grow rich (Napoleon Hill),

The bible in general and more often the book of proverbs,

Rich dad, poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich dad poor dad,

Seven Habits of Highly effective people by Dale Carnegie.

Self-improvement audiobooks videos, Ted talks.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?

Pace yourself, extend a lot of grace to yourself and others. People anxiety is a great setback. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power love and sound mind.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

Design your future; write everything down, plan ahead 5-10-15 years. Moreover, follow through with your plans as much as you can. Be a man, or a woman of your word. Relationships matter. Pray, have a great support system, I have been blessed to have my church TLC and to be under the leadership of a great man of God, Dr. Ralph Dartey, whom I honour, he helped with keeping me motivated and focused during very uncertain times.

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