Congratulations to Atieh Yekta for being awarded the WorkSafeBC Research Training Award! As a recipient of this award, Atieh is supported to foster the development of occupational health and safety research expertise in B.C.
Tell us a little bit about the lab you study in.
I work and study in Dr. Suzanne Huot’s Human Occupation and Global Migration Lab. Our lab consists of diverse graduate students coming from different academic and professional backgrounds. I appreciate our lab’s diversity as it fosters creativity and innovation in every aspect of our individual and team projects. The primary focus of our lab is to apply an occupational science lens in studying human occupations in different contexts and with different populations, particularly with respect to experiences of international migration.
What is your research about?
The title of my study is ‘The Gig Economy and the Changing Nature of Jobs: Critically Exploring the Occupational Experiences of Immigrant Gig Workers and the Shifting Role of the Settlement Sector’. Broadly, my research is about how immigrant workers experience participation in the gig economy, also known as the platform economy. I will approach this topic using an occupational perspective with a focus on the work itself and immigrants’ experience of flexible, yet precarious, occupations, as well as how government-funded settlement and employment service-providing agencies prepare immigrants for such work.
What inspired you to study this?
I was inspired to study the platform economy after an introductory course to human-computer interaction research methods with Dr. Heather O’Brien in the Designing for People’s CREATE graduate training program at UBC. In this course, I learned to think about systems from a human-centred design perspective and engage with research participants/users in all steps of the problem-solving process. Applying a human-centred perspective to my research means developing research outcomes based on human experiences (i.e., gig workers’ experiences) and abilities. This requires an understanding of how people interact, participate, and perform tasks through digital platforms.
How will receiving the Worksafe BC Research Training Award impact your research?
Receiving the WorkSafeBC Research Training Award will provide me with access to community resources and scholars who are specialists in a field that is relevant to both my scholarly and professional interests. I seek not just to participate in an exchange of ideas during my time in the WorkSafeBC research training program, but to also leverage this opportunity to establish connections and collaborations for future continued engagement.