Visible minority women immigrants to Canada face discrimination and unique barriers to finding employment and integrating into life in Canada. Visible minority women have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624, and are more likely to be unemployed, according to data from the 2016 Census. These challenges and barriers faced by visible minority women include:
- gender- and race-based discrimination
- precarious or low income employment
- lack of affordable childcare
- weak social supports
In December 2018, Canada's IRCC launched a pilot project to improve the employment and career advancement of newcomer women who are visible minorities. The new 3-year Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot program will fund up to $7 million for new, innovative programs and services to help these women "gain access to the labour market and improve the capacity of smaller organizations that serve, or are led by visible minority women." An additional $5 million will be granted to existing service provider organizations (SPO) in Canada to expand and better serve minority women.
“When Canada’s women succeed, Canada succeeds. This investment will support racialized newcomer women to participate in our economy and grow our middle class. We are counting on these women to share their talents and help fill critical labour shortages from coast to coast to coast.”
– Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women
As part of this initiative, IRCC 's programs and efforts will be evaluated by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation to get a better understanding of the needs of visible minority newcomer women and to measure the effectiveness of employment services, such as employment counselling, mentoring and work placements.
For more information on Canada's New Pilot for Visible Minority Women and funding for programs to support the initiative, see IRCC: Supporting Visible Minority Newcomer Women.