By Nouman Khalil
PEEL – Employers in Peel are facing difficulties in assessing the skills and capabilities of applicants with international training and experience, finds a new study.
Supported and sponsored by Status of Women Canada, a federal government organization that promotes equality for women and their participation in the country’s economic, social and democratic life, the Brampton Multicultural Community Centre (BMC) conducted a research project entitled “Opening Doors” to examine the employment challenges faced by immigrant women.
The BMC Friday (April 17) hosted an Opening Doors Conference in Mississauga to unveil the findings of the project.
“There are a lot of studies that has been done on the challenges of immigrant women. But when it come to Peel, this is the first study of its kind that examines in depth the challenges immigrant women face,” said Dima Amad, director programs & services at BMC. “We helped the multilingual focus groups to enable immigrant women to speak about their experience.”
The research phase of the project consisted of four components – a literature review, a service inventory, interviews with key informants and focus groups with immigrant women carried out in their own language.
“We wanted to make sure language is not a barrier,” said Amad, adding the community’s immigrant women received training to support themselves and to facilitate focus groups.
During the study, key informants expressed concern about the gap between the work women are able to obtain and their skills and experience. They also saw steep challenges for women who continue to seek appropriate work.
“This project is going to open doors for women, especially those new immigrants who have all the qualifications, skills as well as experience and do not able to find jobs in their professions,” said Sarala Uttangi, manager of adult and diversity services at Brampton Library and member of advisory committee of the Opening Doors project. “The findings of the report will also help employers open their eyes and see that immigrant women have the skills, experience and qualification.
She said statistics show that men tend to get jobs faster when they come to Canada and women stay back, but the project suggests to give equal preference to both men and women.
By Nouman Khalil