Supporting Visible Minority Newcomer Women in Windsor

News release

New pilot to address multiple barriers to success for women in Canada’s job market

December 18, 2018—Windsor—The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that newcomers have the support and services they need to make the most of their talents and experience in order to fully integrate and contribute to the Canadian economy and to their communities.

Newcomer women who are members of a visible minority group may face multiple barriers to success, including gender- and race-based discrimination, precarious or low income employment, lack of affordable childcare and weak social supports.

Recognizing these challenges, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is providing additional funding of up to $5 million to 10 service provider organizations across Canada over the next 3 years to increase employment supports and services for newcomer women.

The Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) provides counselling, mentoring, networking and work placements for newcomer women. This local organization also provides information and assists newcomer women in finding employment tailored to their skills and education. It has strong, well-established partnerships with several local employers and invites them to deliver presentations at sessions with clients. An increase in funding of $310,000 will support the organization in serving more visible minority newcomer women in the area.

Identifying IRCC-funded service providers that are already offering strong programming for women and giving them additional funding will provide an immediate boost in capacity to support visible minority newcomer women.

Today’s funding announcement is part of IRCC’s 3-year Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot, which also includes establishing new partnerships with organizations for women. On December 5, IRCC launched an expression of interest process for new partnerships with organizations for women not currently funded by the department. IRCC will provide up to $7 million in funding over the next 3 years for new, innovative programs and services to support visible minority women in accessing the labour market and to build capacity in smaller organizations that serve or are led by visible minority women.


“Employment is key to the successful integration of newcomers. Having a job isn’t just about making an economic contribution to Canada, it’s also about providing a sense of dignity and belonging. Visible minority newcomer women can face multiple barriers to employment, including discrimination and lack of affordable childcare. I’m proud that my department has developed a pilot program that will offer direct support and services to these newcomer women as they get ready for the Canadian workforce, look for jobs and develop their careers.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“As part of the Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot, I’m happy to announce additional funding for the Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor’s employment services. This increase in funding will allow this organization to increase their capacity to serve more visible minority newcomer women in Windsor.”

– Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport and to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Connecting women to the workforce is a WEST priority. Each year, our organization assists more than 3,000 women find employment and understands the value in creating opportunities that enable women experiencing barriers and/or challenges to explore their potential. This program will positively impact our participants, as well as the Windsor-Essex County business community by affording our organization with the opportunity to expand our services to visible minority newcomer women. The program will include delivery of an 8-week in-class training program followed by a 5-week hands-on work placement to aid participants enhance their employable skills and integrate into Canadian workplace culture.”

– Rose Anguiano Hurst, WEST Executive Director

Quick facts

  • Visible minority newcomer women have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624, compared to non-visible minority newcomer women ($30,074), visible minority newcomer men ($35,574), and non-visible minority newcomer men ($42,591).

  • Visible minority newcomer women are more likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate of visible minority newcomer women (9.7%) is higher than that of visible minority (8.5%) and non-visible minority (6.4%) newcomer men, based on the 2016 Census.

  • Organizations interested in the EOI process are encouraged to review the Funding Guidelines available online and submit their letter of interest by January 4, 2019.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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