On behalf of Canada’s federal government, Minister for the Status of Women Rona Ambrose announced a call for proposals to increase employment opportunities for immigrant and Canadian-born women in the country.
“Through this call for proposals, we will empower more women to succeed and prosper in non-traditional roles,” said Ambrose. According to the Minister, the resulting projects would “contribute to increased representation of women in all occupations, including skilled trades and other non-traditional occupations, many of which are experiencing skills shortages.”
Immigrant women in Canada remain working prominently in traditionally female sectors of the economy, with 29% of the country’s female immigrant labour force working in sales and services, and 25% in business, finance and administrative occupations. In addition, while women make up nearly half of Canada’s workforce, they continue to be underrepresented in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They represent only 22.3% of those with occupations in engineering, mathematics and natural science, 4% of those working in construction trades, and just over 20% of those in primary industries, including mining, gas, forestry, and oil.
The new call for proposals, entitled “Opening Doors: Economic Opportunities for Women” will finance innovative projects that foster employment opportunities for women. The selected projects would then be implemented to increase women’s employment options through governmental and local partnerships. By engaging key institutions, employers, organizations and communities, these projects will address the challenges and barriers that women face, as well as connect them with promising employment opportunities in a variety of both traditional and non-traditional female occupations. It also aims at identifying and addressing the institutional barriers that currently limit the ability of immigrant women to fulfill their economic needs and professional ambitions. Proposal applications will be accepted until May 31, 2013
This call for proposals mirrors the key objectives outlined in Canada’s Economic Action Plan for 2013, which highlight the importance of increasing representation of both immigrant and Canadian-born women in all occupations. The plan proposes a number of measures to better connect prospective employees with job opportunities in various fields, including skilled trades and other non traditional occupations. These measures are said to help address the skills shortages that many of these economic sectors currently face.
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