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Workshops & seminars

How the Labour Market Can Beat the Odds

Creating Experiential Learning Opportunities for All Students

Date & time
Friday, October 14, 2022
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


Why is an inclusive labour market critical? How can we create an environment that leads to success? From accommodating underrepresented communities in the workplace, to empowering students to advocate for their needs effectively, this panel, moderated by Concordia President and Vice-Chancellor, Graham Carr will explore how to provide proper support and resources to our community members.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Quebec’s labour shortages cost businesses close to $11 billion in 2022. Yet there is no shortage of qualified, motivated students and recent graduates ready to contribute their talent to the workforce. The challenge is connecting them – especially those in equity-seeking groups, or who face more difficult life circumstances – to employers.

Concordia University helps such students beat the odds by offering them paid internships. After thriving in their work settings, many of them are now gainfully employed, while the employers have benefited from their talent and fresh perspectives. It’s a win-win. Panelists in this session will discuss why an inclusive labour market is critical, and how to create a work environment that leads to success – from helping employers accommodate and properly support those coming from underrepresented groups to helping students advocate for their needs effectively.

Our guest panelists include: Francis Baillet, VP Corporate Affairs at Ubisoft; Sony Perron, President of Shared Services Canada; Maria Giammarco, Senior Lead of Research and Development at the Business and Higher Education Rountable (BHER); Simon Hogue, a Beat the Odds program intern; and Jason Toney, publisher at Black Rose Books. The panel will be moderated by Graham Carr, President and Vice-Chancellor, Concordia University.

How can you participate? Join us in person by registering on Eventbrite or online by registering for the Zoom Webinar or watching live on YouTube. 

Have questions? Send them to  


In 2022, Concordia University made a commitment to offer an experiential learning opportunity to every incoming undergraduate student. Learn more about Experiential Learning at Concordia.

About the Panelists

Francis Baillet, VP, Corporate Affairs, Ubisoft

Francis Baillet has been Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Ubisoft since 2013.  In Canada, the multinational employs more than 5,000 people in its studios in cities across the country. Francis oversees Ubisoft strategic government, institutional and corporate relations throughout the Americas, the UK, Germany, the Middle East and the South-East Asia. A graduate of Concordia in 1992 (BSc Mathematics), Francis is a proud supporter of Concordia Experiential learning and the Beat the Odds program.   


Maria Giammarco, Business and Higher Education Roundtable (BHER)

Maria Giammarco is a Senior Lead of Research & Development at BHER, and oversees project management and delivery, stakeholder engagement, partnership support, and knowledge mobilization for BHER’s portfolio of work on Equitable Learner and Worker Pathways. She joins from the Conference Board of Canada, where she led the Council on Inclusive Work Environments to address Canada's evolving skills, education, and workplace inclusion needs. Maria holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Guelph, and an MSc and HBA from McMaster University where she focused on human psychology and philosophy.


Simon Hogue, Concordia student  

Simon Hogue is a third-year undergraduate student studying history at Concordia University. Simon lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle wasting disorder. “I joined the Beat the Odds program as I wanted to gain work experience. I also thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Additionally, I learned to better advocate for my needs as a physically disabled young adult.”


Sony Perron, President, Shared Services Canada 

Sony Perron is President of Shared Services Canada (SSC), which is responsible for delivering digital services to Government of Canada organizations. Prior to arriving at SSC in 2020, Sony was Associate Deputy Minister at Indigenous Services Canada, after leading the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch at Health Canada for four years. Sony holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from École nationale d’administration publique and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Université du Québec à Montréal. He also serves as the Deputy Minister Champion for Concordia University. 


Jason Toney, Black Rose Books 

Jason Toney is a publisher, editor, researcher, and activist in Montreal. He works with the non-profit book publishers Black Rose Books and Daraja Press. He is the editor of Take the City (Black Rose Books, 2021). For a decade, he has been involved in formal mentorship programs as a mentee and mentor. 


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