Last Updated on August 27, 2021
Programs that help racialized immigrant women got a $2.1-million shot in the arm recently as Ottawa extended funding for 11 projects.
“Canada can only reach its full potential if everyone in it reaches theirs,” said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in a statement.
“These important projects will help racialized newcomer women lay the cornerstone of success: finding a good, well-paying job.
“This is both the right thing to do for our society and the smart thing to do for our economy. By breaking down barriers faced by racialized newcomer women, we’re helping them make even greater contributions to their communities and country.”
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In 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began funding 21 projects to help racialized newcomer women find work and develop their skills.
Ottawa maintains that these women face particular barriers, including gender and race-based discrimination, precarious or low-income employment, a lack of affordable childcare, and weak social supports.
Programs For Racialized Newcomer Women Help Them Get Jobs
Among the projects that got the funding today are some that will address credential recognition and others that will provide racialized newcomer women with work placements to develop their skills and abilities in a Canadian work context.
The programs that are getting the extra funding so that they can be extended until the end of March next year include five in Ontario, one in Manitoba, two in Atlantic Canada, and three in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
- Access Community Capital Fund (Toronto): The Pathways to Prosperities project helps clients launch small businesses in Canada through the Women’s Business Accelerator program. The project supports racialized newcomer women facing economic barriers through employment services, personal coaching, business workshops, affordable loans and support services.
- Kitchener-Waterloo Young Women’s Christian Association (Kitchener): In Her Shoes is an online entrepreneurship and employment training project. It focuses on helping racialized newcomer women build online businesses while also providing participants with work experience.
- New Circles Community Services (Toronto): A New Gateway to Employment is a project that reduces barriers for racialized newcomer women and helps them develop the skills needed to integrate into the Canadian labour market.
- Newcomer Kitchen (Toronto): The Willing to Work project introduces racialized newcomer women to the social and economic aspects of living in Canadian society by imparting entrepreneurial education to newcomer women in the GTA.
- Syrian Canadian Foundation (Etobicoke): The project creates business and networking opportunities for racialized women with an assessment of skills, language training and a start-up fund. As the clients and their business grow, they will be a source of employment and income for more racialized women.
- Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute (Winnipeg): The Newcomer Women Employment Training Program is comprised of four six-week training modules on professional sewing, cooking, child care and cleaning. The modules enhance client skills, increase employability and include English for Employment programming. The program includes employer engagement to support client connectivity to the job market.
- Conseil pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences des adultes du Nouveau-Brunswick (Moncton): The Conseil offers activities that support racialized newcomer women who wish to integrate into the New Brunswick labour market. It provides one-on-one mentoring and workshops to racialized newcomer women to develop their literacy, digital and other basic skills related to adapting to the province’s New Brunswick labour market.
- MetroWorks (Halifax): The Deep Roots project delivers an intensive job search/job readiness project for racialized newcomer women, engaging participants in job readiness training, employment-related workshops, and job counselling. The women take part in work placements at Common Roots Urban Farms and other social enterprises to develop their skills and abilities in a Canadian work context. Those who are employment-ready have the opportunity to move to a placement with a community-based employer.
- Umoja Operation Compassion Society (Surrey): The Newcomer Digital Connect project provides direct services to identify and break down multiple employment barriers through activities that will build and increase the employability for racialized newcomer women. Participants attend a 12-week program to build confidence, improve soft skills, and develop or enhance basic computer skills applicable to the office, to enter the Canadian labour market.
- Women’s Economic Council (Burnaby): Her Own Boss! is a national project that explores self-employment as a viable option for racialized newcomer women. It aims to better understand how business, co-operative and social enterprise development services can be improved by collaborating with community partners to make systemic changes so that racialized newcomer women can access and acquire basic business knowledge and digital literacy skills.
- Young Women’s Christian Association (Vancouver): The Tech Connect for Newcomer Women project assists racialized newcomer women who are internationally trained professionals with IT backgrounds with securing jobs that are commensurate with their skills, education and experience. Participants develop a deep understanding of the tech sector in Canada and its unique workplace culture.
In December 2018, Ottawa launched the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot Initiative with an investment of $15 million. So far, the federal government has committed $31.9 million to this pilot project, initially launched under the name Visible Minority Newcomer Women Project.
40 Organizations Benefit From Funding
That money has been spread out over 40 organizations.
Racialized newcomer women have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624, compared to non-racialized newcomer women who earn $30,074 and racialized newcomer men who make $35,574 and non-racialized newcomer men at $42,591.
Based on the 2016 Census date, the unemployment rate of racialized newcomer women is 9.7 per cent, or 1.2 percentage points higher than that of racialized newcomer men. Non-racialized newcomer men have an unemployment rate of 6.4 per cent.