The gender wage gap represents the difference in hourly pay between Canadian-born men and immigrant women in similar job positions. A recent study analyzed this gap, incorporating immigrant men and women into the comparison.
Immigrant women who arrived in Canada as children reduced their wage gap with Canadian-born men from 14.7% in 2007 to 10.5% in 2022.
Those who arrived as adults also made significant progress, decreasing their wage gap from 27.4% in 2007 to 20.9% in 2022.
Low vs. High Pay Distribution:
Immigrant women in lower-paying positions narrowed the wage gap by 13.7 percentage points from 2007 to 2022.
However, those in higher-paying positions saw minimal change, with a persistent gap of 20.1% from 2007 to 2022.
|Category||Gender Wage Gap (%)|
|Canadian-born women vs. Canadian-born men||9.2|
|Immigrant women (landed as adults) vs. Canadian-born men||20.9|
|Immigrant women (landed as children) vs. Canadian-born men||10.5|
|Immigrant women (lower pay distribution, landed as adults)||6.3|
|Immigrant women (upper pay distribution, landed as adults)||20.1|
|Immigrant women (upper pay distribution, landed as children)||11.3|
|Immigrant women (25-29 years old, landed as adults)||12.0|
Young women between 25 to 29 years old, who arrived in Canada as adults, reduced their wage gap remarkably, from 30.5% in 2007 to 12.0% in 2022.
Challenges Faced by Immigrant Women:
According to Statistics Canada, immigrant women who are not primary economic applicants often struggle to secure employment due to challenges related to official language proficiency and the recognition of their skills, education, or experience.
Moreover, many face gender-specific barriers such as labor market discrimination and traditional gender roles within families.
- Language Barriers: Language skills often pose significant challenges for immigrant women seeking employment in Canada.
- Recognition of Qualifications: The recognition of foreign qualifications remains a hurdle in securing jobs matching their skills and expertise.
- Discrimination and Gendered Obstacles: Discrimination in the labor market and gendered roles within families further limit female immigrants’ job opportunities.
In 2022, 1,215,200 female immigrants arrived in Canada as secondary applicants in economic immigration programs, signifying their status as spouses, partners, or dependents of primary applicants in programs like Express Entry.
Additionally, 1,194,685 female immigrant entered through family class sponsorship.
A September 2022 report from Statistics Canada revealed that 45% of female immigrants, in couples with children aged 1 to 5, worked full-time. In contrast, 64% of Canadian-born women in similar family situations were employed full-time.
The Canadian government has made substantial investments, totaling over $27 billion, to establish a national early learning and childcare system.
This initiative aims to alleviate the burden of childcare, enabling more women, especially immigrants, to participate in the workforce.
In June of last year, TD Economics published a report indicating a 4-percentage-point increase in the labor force participation rate among women with children under the age of 6 since 2020.
The implementation of flexible work arrangements has encouraged approximately 111,000 more women, including immigrants, to join the labor force since 2020.
The Role of Education and Awareness:
Education plays a pivotal role in addressing the gender wage gap. By raising awareness about the importance of education and vocational training, especially for immigrant women, Canada can empower them with the skills needed for higher-paying jobs.
Community Support and Integration:
Community support networks and integration programs are invaluable for immigrants, providing them with the necessary resources and guidance to navigate the Canadian job market successfully.
Encouraging dialogue within communities can help break gender stereotypes and promote equal opportunities for everyone.
The progress made in narrowing the gender wage gap in Canada, particularly for immigrant women, is encouraging. However, challenges such as language barriers and recognition of qualifications persist.
It is essential for the government, educational institutions, and communities to work collaboratively in addressing these challenges.