Female immigrants in Canada face employment hurdles

Female immigrants living in Canada earn less money than male immigrants and have a harder time finding work, a new report reveals.

Data compiled by the immigration department suggests there is also a persistent gap between female immigrants, both new and established in Canada, compared with their Canadian-born counterparts.

One reason for this is that many female immigrants arrive in Canada as the spouse of a principal applicant. Therefore, the majority don’t enter Canada with a pre-arranged job offer This leads to them having lower employment rates and often taking jobs where they earn less than the average wage. Another factor is that some immigrant women come from cultures where they are raised to take on a secondary or caregiver role.

“Unlike male immigrants, a persistent gap exists between very recent, recent and established female immigrants and their Canadian-born counterparts,” the report states.

The data shows similar employment barriers also exist for the children of immigrants, especially those whose parents are visible minorities. This is despite the fact they tend to achieve higher levels of education than Canadian-born children. Children of immigrants from nearly all visible minority groups earn less than their Canadian-born peers.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has acknowledged that gaps in employment and wages do exist but says his government has been working on designing settlement programs to improve opportunities for immigrant women and their children.

“Of course we want all newcomers to succeed and restart their lives in Canada as fast as possible and succeed and contribute back to Canada,” Hussen said.

Article published 17th April 2018