Jobs-skills Mismatch and Precarious Employment Faced by Racialized Newcomer Women in Toronto


Project Co-Leads: Yogendra Shakya (Access Alliance) and Charlotte Yates (McMaster University)

Research Coordinator: Megan Spasevski (Access Alliance)

Researchers: Jessica Merolli (McMaster University), Stephanie Premji (McMaster University), Thuy Tran (Access Alliance)

Advisory Members: Judy Cantwell de Macz (Access Alliance), Krystyna Moore (Access Alliance), Almaz Reda (Working Women Community Centre)

Co-Researchers: Hamida Zia, Parveen Shojai, Wisal Abugala, Khinmyo Lwin, Moo Lay Naw, Hereda Mohamud, Mira Shresta

Student Researcher: Dawn Cressman

This project investigates systemic challenges faced by racialized newcomer women in securing stable employment in their field. Strong national evidence in Canada shows that, compared to other groups, racialized immigrant women face among the worst labour market and economic outcomes in terms of unemployment rate, over-representation in non-standard types of work, wage rate and low-income rate. Our qualitative study with 30 racialized immigrant women stuck in precarious employment cycles provides rich evidence about the everyday causes, experiences, impacts and responses to this disturbing national trend. In doing so, our findings can help to identify tangible everyday gender-sensitive solutions to promote socio-economic equity for racialized immigrant women.

In particular, the research examines the ‘job-skills mismatch’ that racialized newcomer women face when they enter the labour market, and how this pushes them into a long-term precarious employment trajectory. The research findings generate evidence about the racialized and gendered dimensions of the barriers to the labour market.

Presentations and Publications:
Click titles to view

Gender, Race and Migration: Investigating the systemic barriers immigrant women face in Toronto’s labour market and the impacts on health – Ontario Women’s Health Network E-Bulletin

The Health Impacts of Precarious Work – Literature Review 

Progress to Date:

We are currently in the process of finishing and editing our final research report. A presentation of key findings will be presented at the Metropolis conference in Ottawa (March 2013).

  • Literature Review- April 2012
  • Policy Scan- December 2012
  • Ontario Women’s Health Network e-bulletin- September 2012
  • Final Report- forthcoming (Winter 2013)
  • Conference Presentation- Metropolis 2013 (March 14-16th 2013, Ottawa)