Women's Services

“Valuing Women. Working for Change.”

Women’s Employment Services offered through TEAM Work Cooperative consists of four staff members, a Coordinator/Team Lead/Career Counsellor and three Case Managers/Career Counsellors.  The Women’s Services team is comprised of staff from what was Women’s Employment Outreach.  They bring with them a history over 36 years in the making in providing specialized services for women. 

The Women’s Services team help women in Halifax find employment, address work-related challenges, and advance their careers.  They are expertly aware of the social positioning of women, and work with women to develop strategies to help them overcome barriers in order to participate successfully within the paid workforce.  They cultivate and maintain expertise on women’s needs and issues in relation to employment, with extensive expertise around issues that affect women disproportionate to men, including underemployment, wage gap, childcare issues, and social inequities.  Staff have in-depth social analysis and expertise on women’s issues.   They utilize an holistic approach: taking the whole person (circumstances, social factors, etc.) into account when addressing women’s employment needs.  They are connected with a wide network of women-focused and mainstream community supports, to keep current with issues facing women, and readily provide appropriate referrals. 

The Women’s Services team assist women in the form of individual employment counselling by appointment at our office and workshops in various locations throughout HRM in the areas of career exploration, job search, employment maintenance, and skill enhancement.  (Keep an eye out for their Fall, Winter, and Spring workshop schedules!).   They provide a full menu of services for women in career transition and offer specific programming for marginalized groups of women, including racially visible women and mature workers.  They offer a women-only safe space and deliver women-only workshops. This provides support to a segment of the population with unique employment needs, in which many women could not, or would not, access similar services elsewhere.  

Their primary goal is to create a supportive, comfortable environment for our women.  In addition to counselling and workshops, they provide a resource area with daily computer access for job seekers, including a phone, printer, photocopier, and fax machine, as well as lots of information about services available within the community.  There is also a job board filled with recent postings and a community board filled with upcoming events, supports, and training opportunities.

Women’s Employment Service’s Clients

Their clients are women of all ages, education levels, and financial situations. Priority is given to women who are unemployed, nearing unemployment, on medical leave and requiring a career change for medical reasons, addressing inequities within their workplaces, and/or who are underemployed. 

You may be a woman who is…

  • Unsure where to start after being laid off from long term employment
  • Interested in returning to the paid workforce after raising a family
  • Struggling with job search and looking for assistance and support
  • Receiving Employment Insurance and hoping to learn about EI-funded programs and initiatives
  • Wanting to return to school but unsure about what to study
  • Ready for a career path change and eager to explore options
  • Needing to change work situations following a shift in life circumstances
  • Newly graduated from university or college and searching for work in a specific field
  • Interested in attending workshops with other women who are also in transition
  • Seeking access to free, individual employment counselling and workshops in the areas of job search and career exploration

Please call, email, or drop into our office to make an appointment to get your job future started!

What We Offer

Individual Employment Counselling/Case Management:

The purpose of individual employment counselling is to provide women with one-on-one support as they navigate their career paths. Each session is approximately one hour in length, and clients may meet with a case manager for one session only, or for multiple sessions, depending on their goals and on the nature of support they seek.  While sessions are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, generally work is done within several specific areas:

Career Exploration

Many clients are at a point of transition, where they are ready to make changes in their careers but are unclear about which direction to take.  Women can work with a Case Manager to move through an in-depth career exploration process. This process encourages women to self-reflect on values and interests, to explore possibilities and opportunities, and to identify concrete steps required to take action.

Job Search

Through supportive individual counselling, clients can work to develop the skills required to conduct an effective job search.  Information and assistance is provided with resume writing, cover letter writing, networking, job interviews, and job search strategies. Some clients find it helpful to have someone to “check-in” with on a regular basis as they seek employment.

Employment Maintenance

For clients who have struggled with holding on to jobs, employment counselling may be a place in which to explore strategies around how to maintain employment once hired. In addition, some women come carrying the weight of difficult or even traumatic past work experiences, and may benefit from having a safe space in which to process these experiences as they find ways to move forward in their work/lives.

Skill Enhancement

Some women are interested in accessing training and furthering their education. Staff can support our clients as they explore a wide range of educational possibilities. They also provide referrals to EI-related programs and to various work and skill-based training programs throughout HRM.

EI-related program application support

Support is also provided for clients wanting to investigate the following EI-related programs: Skills Development Employment Benefits (SDEB), Job Creation Partnership (JCP), START Program, and Self Employment Benefits (SEB). 

EI-related program application support

We provide support for clients wanting to investigate the following EI-related programs:

  • Skills Development Employment Benefits (SDEB)
  • Job Creation Partnership (JCP)
  • START Program
  • Self Employment Benefits (SEB)

In order to qualify for these programs, EI-attached individuals must meet a series of requirements, and must complete a number of steps as part of the application process.

If you are interested in any of these EI-related programs:

  • Book an appointment to meet with a case manager. We will answer your questions, explain criteria, review the application process and complete a needs assessment. You will then have the opportunity to decide whether you want to proceed with an application
  • If you decide to apply, your case manager will set up two appointments, at least two weeks apart. During the first appointment, you will create a plan for completing the various parts of the application. On the second appointment, your application will be finalized and we will submit it to Nova Scotia Works
  • Nova Scotia Works will assess the application within 4-6 weeks, and contact you directly to let you know whether you have been accepted for funding
  • If you are accepted into an EI-related program, your file will remain open for the length of your program with your Case Manager. As Case Managers, our role will be to maintain regular contact with you, to act as a liaison between yourself, your school, service provider or job placement site, and Nova Scotia Works, and to provide support and assistance should any problems arise
  • Please note that the application process for EI-related programs takes a minimum of several weeks

 

Workshops:

Career Decision Making

In this five-session workshop participants will explore the influence of values, interests, and work styles on career choices, engage in a process of self-exploration, identify occupations of interest, review Nova Scotia labour market trends and occupational information, and obtain information on local upgrading and retraining options.

Confidence Building

During this three-session workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn and utilize a number of techniques designed to increase confidence. Topics will include the impact of confidence in one’s life, assertive communication, and goal setting.

Essential Skills for Today’s Workplace

This four-session workshop is designed to help individuals develop strategies and approaches for gaining some of the essential skills required for success in today’s labour market. Focus areas include communication, working well with others, problem solving, conflict resolution, and goal setting.

Job Search Over 45

This three-session workshop provides women over 45 years of age with opportunities to discuss life and job search issues, to share experiences, and to learn skills in preparation for today’s job search.

Job Search Working Sessions

These four working sessions are designed to help women develop the skills and tools required to job search effectively. Topics include resume & cover letter writing, networking, and job interviews. Participants may attend any or all sessions.

Personality Dimensions

The ability to communicate effectively with a range of personalities is key to success in any job! In this fun and interactive one session workshop, participants will complete the Personality Dimensions assessment to determine their personality ‘colour.’ They will then have a chance to participate in activities designed to deepen self-understanding and to gain appreciation of all personality types. This workshop will focus on useful communication strategies for inside and outside the workplace.

Portfolio Development

In this ten-session course, participants will learn the components of portfolio development, and will engage in an in-depth self-exploration process as they learn to recognize and articulate their skills. Participants will have the opportunity to create a portfolio that represents their life experiences as they relate to personal, educational and career goals.

Racially Visible Women in the Workplace: Body, Mind, and Spirit

Racially visible women are often called upon to put aside their racial and/or community culture to function effectively in the culture of their workplace.  Participants will work to identify what is important to them and how to include these values and priorities in their lives.  This interactive workshop begins the process of creating a balance, leading to the development of a holistic plan for professional success and personal health.

Workplace Bullying

This four-session workshop explores the sensitive topic of bullying in the workplace. Participants will engage in learning activities and discussions that emphasize strategies for identifying, understanding, addressing, and moving beyond workplace bullying.