Empowers Racialized Newcomer Women in Canadian Workforce

Pilot Initiative Addresses Inequities and Empowers Racialized Newcomer Women in the Canadian Workforce

March 1, 2024


[OTTAWA/VANCOUVER – March 01, 2024]

The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) has made significant findings regarding the challenges faced by racialized newcomer women in Canada and how acknowledging their intersectional identities and complex needs can unlock their full potential and successful integration into the Canadian labour market. SRDC’s research highlights that a women-only employment service setting creates a safe space for participants to learn and share, which also boosts their confidence, which is essential for successful job search and job retention.

The Career Pathways for Racialized Newcomer Women pilot project is a multi-year initiative testing targeted employment services for racialized newcomer women to support their successful integration into the Canadian labour market. SRDC implemented this project in partnership with eight service provider organizations across Canada: ACCES Employment, Achēv, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), La Société économique de l’Ontario, MOSAIC, Opportunities for Employment, YWCA Metro Vancouver, and World Skills Employment Centre.

Between November 2019 and March 2023, over 2,200 racialized newcomer women joined one of the twelve CPRNW initiatives to support them in their successful integration into the Canadian labour market. The models differed by their target population (e.g., women with different initial distances from the labour market and different labour market barriers) as well as by the program activities involved. The models aim to address some of the common barriers racialized newcomer women face in their search for employment and in job retention and were designed with a Gender-based Analysis (GBA) Plus lens.

“The CPRNW pilot project represents a major step towards a more inclusive and equitable Canadian labour market for racialized newcomer women through effective targeted programming,” said Taylor Shek-wai Hui, Research Director, SRDC.

Participants experienced significant improvements in three measures of career adaptability: career decision-making self-efficacy, job search clarity, and job search self-efficacy. In some cases, the improvements in career adaptability go above and beyond that of the sample who were only eligible for regular employment programming. These improvements in career adaptability translate into increases in the likelihood of working, hours of work, and earnings. The research also showed effects on employment. Indeed, participants had an increased likelihood of having commensurate employment soon after the program.

Through women-only workshops, a safe space was created for participants to share their experiences, resulting in the development of stronger social connections and networks. This fostered a sense of belonging, built self-confidence and empowerment, and led to better wellness and mental health.

The research has yielded valuable insights and lessons that can inform future initiatives. The design and results from the CPRNW pilot project are cited by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a reference of employment-related programming in IRCC’s Settlement Program Call for Proposals 2024.

To learn more about these findings, consult the latest report. All other project reports are also available on the project website: https://cpvmnw.ca.

Ongoing data collection for follow-up surveys is scheduled to be completed in May 2024, with the final report set to be published in 2025.

The CPRNW pilot project is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to advance opportunities for racialized newcomer women.

For more information, please contact Taylor Shek-wai Hui.

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