Canada Employment and Immigration Commission (CEIC) approached MISA in 1989 to see if we would be interested in running a Job Re-entry Program for Immigrant Women. MaryAnne McKinnon was asked to write the proposal and when MISA got funding she was hired to manage the program. There were four intakes of eight months each, operating out of space at 1749 Barrington. The Job Re-entry Program for Immigrant Women was a great program that helped many immigrant women to get jobs in their fields. Full time staff included Monica Jacobs, Genevieve Mullally, Leta Leung- Malloy, Effie O’Driscoll, Maria Desjardins Rahr.
From time to time both HILC and MISA have had other programs and services focused on women. Recently ISANS began a new project: Moving-up Underemployed Immigrant Professional Women. Research by Immigrant Women Organizing for Change: Integration and Community Development found that “even though many immigrant women are employed, their employment is often not commensurate with their educational and prior professional background.”
The two year Moving-Up Underemployed Immigrant Professional Women project funded by Status of Women Canada is designed to address the issue of underemployment and lack of opportunities for immigrant women to move into leadership and management roles. This project seeks to engage underemployed immigrant professional women from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences through focus groups to capture the barriers to their advancement in the work place in consultation with a gender-based analyst.
Focus groups will also be held with employers from private and public sectors, community organizations, professional associations and regulatory bodies. Findings from the focus groups will contribute to producing a detailed report to identify best practices and recommendations that will benefit immigrant women, community partners and employers with the goal of making changes in hiring processes and advancing professional women in the workplace.
ISANS is looking for members of all these groups to participate. Are you a professional immigrant woman, employer in any sector, or member of a licensure or regulatory body? The time commitment is only 2 hours and you will help create more opportunities for immigrant women to advance to positions commensurate with their experience and professional background.
If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Gina Moynan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-406-8843.