FBEC Members Spotlight on Ubong Ambrose

Tell us what you are up to in the Government of Canada, what is unique about your job?

I am a resilient employee of a major Canadian crown and I have rather used my 12 years of underemployment and under low wage to communicate the needs for inclusion and belonging and have helped open up the crown a bit to everyone and especially others who share my skin color.

How did you end up in the Government of Canada?

I wanted to work in the public service or ally organization after my Master of Engineering Management program. I had attended an interview and did very well for a non-entry level role at a Canadian Crown in late 2011 and was later told that the position I was interviewed for was changed to union position hence they were not considering external candidates anymore. And in 2012 I decided to remove my higher education qualifications from my resume and submitted it through an agency for level 1 (non-skill) position as a Helper in Shipping and Packaging at the same Crown and I was given a job at once. It was my friend who also had to hide his education degrees to get a Shipping and Packaging job at the organization that advised me to do the same.

What is one professional achievement you are especially proud of?

Through writing of letter, some of which were copied to the office of the Prime Minister with acknowledgements from office of the Prime Minister, and positive engagement with the different tiers of employees including CEO and VPs and other levels of leadership, and of course with the Covid pandemic which clearly showed how not to discriminate, my organization with a people and listening CEO who was appointed to lead the organization since 5 year ago, I am proud that even though I myself I am still underemployed and being paid a salary equivalent to what I used to earn as a (machine) operator in the organization despite being a multi-certified professional placed on level C in my current role, I am happy that my bruises and those of others like myself is opening up the company and the country to become more inclusive and people are feeling a bit more like they also belong. One of the VPs in my company today is Black! I have helped develop the organization’s original Accessibility Action Plan and also work on some DEI programs for which I am also proud of.

What do you like most about your career?

Serving the Canadian public, creating products that celebrate our diversity, national symbols and events. The work on providing meaningful access to everyone, especially persons living with disability.

What is a random fact about you that few people might know?

I listen more, talk less, analytic, creative and talented.

What is something you are really proud of?

Life, my children, creating and putting out content that inspire many out there and will outlive generations despite the odds around us

What is the best advice you can give someone who has just started their career?

Work hard, do not be too educated if you intend to work in the public service except you are in some special/professional fields that require higher education. The qualifications to have and grow a career in Canadian public service is high school or less, although growth with high school diploma and less as I have witnessed doesn’t seems to include non-Caucasian Canadian, hence the reason so many of us in the other part of the population put so much work and resources going to school for advanced degrees/qualifications.

What are your career goals and where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I would like to become part of those who research, analyze data and draft policies that create a fairer society and country for all Canadians. That’s where I envision myself doing in the next 5 years.

What are your personal interests or hobbies?

I read, write/blog, sing, teach and preach.

Who inspires you?

The selfless life of Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela.

How do you stay motivated?

I have faith in God, I pray, praise and worship and connect with Christian brethren and community members.