New York:Indian American attorney Richa Naujoks née Gautam has been shortlisted for Thomson Reuters Foundation’s TrustLaw “Lawyer of the Year” award.
Celebrating groundbreaking pro bono projects undertaken by legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises around the world, the award recognizes lawyers who have gone above and beyond in providing exceptional pro bono support.
Among individual nominees, Richa Naujoks is the only Indian and the only US lawyer shortlisted for this prestigious award, said a statement.
A senior associate at Nixon Peabody LLP’s New York City office, she is a graduate of the National Law School of India University in Bangalore and the University of Washington in Seattle (LLM). She currently serves as co-chair of the India Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law.
Richa Naujoks was nominated by Mumbai-based Wello for her outstanding pro bono work on the complex restructuring of Wello’s US and Indian legal and operational structure. Wello makes water wheels that help women safely carry water from distant water sources to their homes.
TrustLaw connects the world’s leading legal teams to provide free legal assistance to organizations working for social and environmental change. It is able to draw from its network of over 100,000 lawyers across the world to meet the legal needs of NGOs and social enterprises.
In addition to Wello, other South Asian projects and NGOs are represented within the various categories for the 2015 awards. Indian firm LawQuest is nominated for its support of Nazdeek Trust with multiple projects around its efforts to organize tea workers for right of association and a basic minimum wage. Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa coordinated a team of firms including White and Case, Mughal Barristers, J Sagar Associates, and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP to provide research on the admissibility of character evidence in rape cases for the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST).
Linklaters led a team of lawyers from Hewlett-Packard Company, HSBC Bank PLC, DLA Piper, and Adnan Kelana Haryanto & Hermanto to help Indian NGO Vidya Sagar understand legal capacity in disability legislation.
British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world, is looking at a shortfall of 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs, with India as an important catchment area for recruiting immigrant talent.
“India, the Philippines and Nigeria are the countries we are looking for tapping talent in the Information Technology (IT) sector,” says Patrick Mackenzie, CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council (IEC) of British Columbia, the southwestern province in Canada which accounts for more than 10,000 companies and approximately $29 billion (Canadian dollars) in revenue.
Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the third annual BCTECH Summit here, Mackenzie said there are huge openings for immigrants as information system analysts, consultants, software engineers and designers and computer system managers.
“The current supply cannot meet the industry’s growing demands for tech talent. By 2021, there will be an anticipated shortfall of over 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs in the province,” he noted.
Unless immediate action was taken by the provincial and federal governments, tech employers, the settlement and integration sector and other key shareholders, this employment gap will severely limit the potential growth of the industry, Mackenzie added.
The “2016 Tech Talent BC Report” identifies three talent pools — new entrants or recent graduates, immigrants and other local supply to include career transitioners and people from under-represented groups.
The focus of the report was immigrants and the country needs to source 8,500 more immigrants than are currently projected to arrive in BC by 2021 to meet the growing tech sector demand.
British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan, in his remarks at the plenary session on Wednesday, put the figure at 9,600 which the province needs to bring people from across the world into the tech sector.
The tech and innovation sector in BC has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, transforming its economy in many ways that people could not have imagined. It is evident in the increase of technology jobs from 66,000 in 2002 to more than one lakh in 2016.
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, British Columbia, said the province is home to globally-recognised talent, trained at international renowned post-secondary institutions and some of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry.
Ralston said the government of British Columbia actively supported the tech sector to build the good, highly-skilled jobs of tomorrow and to keep their traditional sectors stay efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.
“However, we know the government cannot grow the tech sector alone, and we need strong partnerships –within the private sector, with other levels of government, with educators, and between our traditional industries and innovative tech companies- to continue to develop the emerging economy,” he added.
Mackenzie says even this year, despite the high number of openings, actually over 3,600 jobs will get unfilled till 2020-21 if we don’t find ways to fill them. “We need 8,500 immigrants with skills,” he added.
Asked about the emphasis the IEC would have on India as a pool for scouting talent, he said: “India is a leader in the tech sector and the Council has a very clear picture how to rope in talent and to tell the immigrants what they can look for and do in Canada”.
“India would be a very crucial market for us. There are many international immigrants including Indians in Vancouver”.
It is not just tech jobs and there are openings everywhere, the IEC CEO stressed.
One of the key findings of the IEC report on “Employer Challenges in Attracting and Integrating Immigrant Talent into BC’s Tech Sector” was that most employers had used at least one of the programmes to source international talent and had mixed reviews.
The other was the alignment between immigrant talent and tech employer needs as they relate to soft skills (language) and hard skills (technical).
With a few exceptions, most employers felt that immigrants’ soft skills were in short supply and, in particular, their interpersonal communication styles often do not align with Canadian employers’ expectations.
The final theme of the report involved settlement and integration services and support for newcomers and their families.
British Columbia is home to international tech giants like Microsoft, Google and others.