As a G7 country with one of the most developed global economies, Canada is an extremely attractive destination for immigrants from across the world. However, while many newcomers to Canada prosper, as is evidenced by Canada’s sustained low unemployment rate in recent years, others find it significantly more difficult to find meaningful employment. Female visible minorities are particularly impacted and that is why Canada has announced a strategy aimed at making it easier for this group to succeed in the country.
Reports suggest that female immigrants, often those from a visible minority background, encounter a range of barriers in the search for a job. These barriers often take the form of gender- and race-based discrimination, precarious or low income employment, lack of affordable childcare, and weak social and employment supports.
What’s more, visible minority newcomer women have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624. The unemployment rate of visible minority newcomer women (9.7%) is also higher than that of visible minority (8.5%) and non-visible minority (6.4%) newcomer men, based on the 2016 Census.
Recognizing these challenges, the Liberal government has selected 22 organizations from all across Canada that understand the shared circumstanced and barriers faced by visible minority newcomer women. These organizations will launch projects over the next two years that will seek to:
- Develop and test innovative approaches to enable more visible minority newcomer women to find a job and succeed at work;
- Support smaller organizations to increase their capacity to serve visible minority newcomer women and enable them to overcome barriers to employment.
- Increase the digital literacy of visible minority newcomer women to access and advance within the Canadian labour market.
In total, the Canadian government is providing up to $7.5 million over two years to the selected 22 organizations to deliver these new employment empowerment projects. The list of participating organizations includes representatives from across Canada, with three offering support in French.
Speaking on the announcement of this strategy to empower female visible minority newcomers, Minister Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship had this to say:
“Visible minority newcomer women face more challenges than any other group to enter the workforce. This isn’t just about getting women jobs; it’s also about providing a sense of dignity and belonging. Canada’s gender equality is for all women, not just for some.”