Kakoli Mitra has a Master’s Degree in Economics from Delhi University (Delhi School of Economics). She moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2002.
Kakoli is a Human Resources professional, writer, presenter, TEDX Speaker and an applied researcher. Herself an educated immigrant women from South Asia who was working in India and had a blossoming career, she faced quite a few challenges in starting a career in Canada. Challenges which were faced by majority of the educated diasporic South Asian Women. This led to her interest on the subject and subsequently to two applied research on this topic. She was the recipient of Bow Valley College, Calgary, Alberta, internal grants award, for two applied research projects on the Educated Immigrant Women from South Asia. Her first project was an environmental scan titled, ‘Trends in Employment of Highly Educated Immigrant Women in Alberta: Calgary & Edmonton: A Literature Review 2000-2008’. https://bowvalleycollege.ca/Documents/Fresh%20Perspectives%202011.pdf. Her second project was on ‘The Underemployed Educated Immigrant Women from South Asia: Cultural Memories and Dynamics of Integration’. https://bowvalleycollege.ca/Documents/Fresh%20Perspectives%202013.pdf. Kakoli was invited to speak on her research findings at the International Conference on Building Bridges: Negotiating Cultural Memories in Canada and India, held at Jadavpur University in Kolkata India, in 2011. Kakoli has facilitated a number of presentations and workshops on ‘inter-cultural competencies’ and Social Sustainability in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She started a blog entitled Voices: http://voices.friendshorizon.com/ on the diasporic Indian immigrant women. Unfortunately, the blog got hacked and at the moment unable to upload anything.
Kakoli also is a foodie and her interest and passion are the stories behind the food we eat, especially Indian food. She had been invited to speak on Indian food on TEDX and has presented a TEDX talk, uploaded on YouTube, called ‘Of Cooks, Conquerors and the Curry: The Evolution of Indian Cuisine’. She started a food blog entitled Cooks and Tales: Stories of the Curry and more: http://cooksandtales.com/.
After spending over nine years in the Human Resources department of the biggest community college in Calgary, Kakoli decided to channelize her experience and skills in various areas of Human Resources into something productive. Currently, Kakoli has started a Human Resources Consulting Company, here in Calgary, Canada, with two of her friends. The Company is called HR Minds Inc. It is an employability solutions company targeting mainstream Canadians, as well as focussing on the educated immigrants who are looking for jobs in line with their skills and education.
Food memories are travellers. Mine travelled with me to Canada and stayed in my kitchen here. A link with my past. They gave me a sense of comfort. Yet, sometimes food stories also remind us that historically and culturally, access to and consumption of food are sagas of shame and deprivation.
Our memories of food tend to revolve around two distinct themes: one, of home-cooked delicacies, and, two, of mom smilingly slaving over a hot stove. These memories may seem heart-warming, but in my mind they've ruined things for thousands of Gen X women in the Indian diaspora who are trying to carve out a life of economic empowerment and equal partnership at home. The Bharatiya Nari image is so ingrained that we are neither able to follow Sheryl Sandberg's exhortations to "lean in" nor Rosa Brooks's call to "recline".