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Celebrate Diversity Month: This is me, Mandeep

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April is Celebrate Diversity Month. Established in 2004, it aims to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity in our world. It encourages us to embrace and appreciate our unique qualities, whether related to gender, race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation or any other aspect of our identity.

To recognize this month, we spoke to Mandeep Grewal, manager of the Training Centre of Expertise in Calgary, to hear her experience growing up as a Punjabi-Canadian and her perspective on embracing diversity.

Meet Mandeep

I’ve been at TC Energy for nine years and currently am the manager of the Training Centre of Expertise.

My husband and I have a 14-year-old daughter and we call ourselves the “Three Musketeers,” since she’s an only child. It’s never been lonely though, as we’ve spent a lot of time and effort fostering close relationships with friends and extended family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Calgary. We do all the typical family things – go to the movies, play basketball, attend hockey games and plan monthly sleepovers with the cousins and grandparents.

I’m a first-generation Punjabi-Canadian. My parents moved to Canada from India in the 1970s to seek better opportunities for their family. We grew up in northeast Calgary, which is known for its cultural diversity; my dad was a taxi driver for 40 years, and my mom worked labour jobs. My brothers and I went to school with many other immigrant children going through very similar situations – where English was the second language. 

Mandeep and her husband, Rav

Mandeep and her husband, Rav

Although I was born and raised in Calgary, we stay connected to our Punjabi roots by speaking the language, watching Punjabi/Hindi movies, dressing in our attire and taking part in celebrations such as Vaisakhi1 and Diwali2. What I love most about my culture is the feeling of belonging and togetherness it brings me. I love the language, vibrant colours, the rituals and customs. My culture has been a constant source of strength and identity.

Mandeep and her family

Mandeep and her family attending a wedding wearing traditional attire such as salwar kameez and lenghas.

This pride was especially strong when I had the privilege of attending a concert by Diljit Dosanjh, a renowned Punjabi artist, at the Saddledome in Calgary in 2022, alongside my family and colleagues in TC Energy’s executive suite. The sight of my parents – basking in the moment, watching someone from their homeland perform to a sold-out crowd alongside others who looked like them – was a poignant reminder of how empowering representation can be.

This is the drive that fuels my advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion at TC Energy. I want others to experience the same sense of inclusion that I do when I am at work. Everyone’s experiences matter and the diversity of our workforce is a superpower at TC Energy. Feeling that same sense of pride and belonging becomes invigorating when we witness diverse artists playing to sold-out crowds, or when our ideas are heard and respected in full boardrooms. I want people to know that their unique perspectives and experiences make us stronger as a company and community. That when we celebrate our diversity, we are creating a safe space for everyone to share ideas, to grow and to feel included.

Looking back at my experiences, I wouldn't change a thing. They define who I am today – a proud Punjabi-Canadian woman and an advocate for diversity and inclusion, who loves spending time with her family and friends and making a difference in her workplace. Through my story, I hope that people can see themselves represented in my message, and that I can continue to inspire others to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate diversity.

1Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, holds immense cultural and religious significance, particularly for the Sikh/Punjabi community worldwide. It is celebrated on April 13 or 14 every year and marks the Punjabi New Year.

2 Diwali, often referred to as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in India during the fall. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. The festival typically spans five days, with the climax occurring on the night of the new moon, when the sky is at its darkest.

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