Flipping the Script for Skilled Immigrant Women: What Suggestions Might Critical Social Work Offer?
Research on skilled immigrant women revealed that they are losing their professional skills and career identity due to lack of employment and underemployment, postmigration. These negative outcomes in employment are reported as key factors in the economic instability they face in host countries. On the other hand, reports indicate that economic growth for host countries have increased through skilled immigration. In fact, countries such as Canada, United States, Australia and others, continue to revise their immigration policies to attract more highly skilled immigrants, due to reported benefits. So how are skilled immigrant women, in particular, coping with the negative impact of skilled migration that is more favorable for host countries? More importantly, what suggestions for changes and action might critical social work offer to transform current disproportionate outcomes?
This paper provides a brief discussion on the reported labor market outcomes for skilled immigrant women in Canada. It includes a critical assessment of the challenges they face to re-enter the labor market in Canada and argue that the current outcomes are direct manifestations of discriminatory practices, beyond the scope of the labor market alone. The paper highlights reported economic benefits of skilled migration for host countries such as Canada, and raise questions about possible systemic actors in the substandard results for skilled immigrant women. The paper draws on a critical social work perspective to discuss alternatives to improving outcomes for skilled immigrant women and concludes with suggestions for changes in the current social and employment prospects for skilled immigrant women.
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