Lisa Capraro – Montreal, QU

For the past two years, Lisa Capraro has been working as an assistant cook at Sodexo’s Provigo site in Saint-Laurent. She is responsible for preparing the salad bar and ensuring the food is fresh and well presented. She also takes care of baking pastries and setting up the counter.

However, Lisa did not always occupy this position. Indeed, when she was hired, Lisa was a dishwasher. “At first, I was very happy to have got a job at Sodexo,” says Lisa. “But with time, I felt all alone in my kitchen doing the dishes. When I heard that an assistant cook position was opening, I immediately asked Jean-Claude, my supervisor, if I could apply. No need to tell you that I was really happy when I learned that I had the job!

According to France Brunelle, Executive Director of the Provigo Group - Sodexo Canada, it was clear that Lisa could handle the new position. “Although she has a mild intellectual disability, Lisa has always been open to accepting more and more responsibilities, and she has quickly demonstrated that she could move on to other positions.”

Hiring people with disabilities is very important for France and she makes a point to regularly promote the idea to her colleagues. Of the three sites she manages, nearly half of the employees have a disability. “They are loyal people, who never miss work and are keen to succeed,” says France. “In addition, in Quebec, we can benefit from government subsidies, which reduces our operating costs.”  Thus, following the promotion of Lisa, and inspired by her comments, France decided to hire two dishwashers to replace her. “We noticed that it is much more stimulating for them to work as a team, which greatly helps with their motivation.”

The positive energy from Lisa is valued at Provigo. “Lisa is a methodical person who is much appreciated by her colleagues. She is jovial and adds a lot of atmosphere in the kitchen,” explains France. “Additionally, customers love her and appreciate the fact that Sodexo hires and cares for people with disabilities. These are fine corporate values.

For Lisa, it is very important to create a working environment where everyone helps each other with the ultimate goal of better serving clients. She also likes to make sure that new employees who arrive feel welcome, as was the case for her when she started at Sodexo almost five years ago. “I encourage people to do as I do and ask for more and more responsibilities. It's very stimulating and it can open up some great job opportunities, "concludes Lisa.