Government announces new initiatives to help racialized newcomer women succeed in Canada

News release

August 11, 2021—Ottawa, ON—The Government of Canada is committed to helping every woman and girl in Canada reach her full potential. A central part of this is addressing and overcoming the unique barriers that can sometimes stand in their way. These barriers can be particularly significant for racialized newcomer women, and have increased since the onset of the pandemic and its disproportionate impact on women.

To help address these challenges and create more opportunities for racialized newcomer women, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced support for 11 innovative projects through the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot with $2.1 million in federal funding. This work began in 2018, when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada initially supported 21 projects to help racialized newcomer women find work, develop their skills and more. Now, the government is extending support for 11 of those projects to continue helping newcomer women.

These projects will help racialized newcomer women find good, well-paying jobs that set them up for success in this country, by addressing the barriers they may face—gender- and race-based discrimination, precarious or low-income employment, lack of affordable child care and weak social supports. Some projects will also address the significant issue of credential recognition, for example, helping those with international training in IT put their skills to good use in Canada. In addition, they will provide racialized newcomer women with work placements to develop their skills and abilities in a Canadian work context and further reduce barriers to integration and reintegration into the Canadian labour market.

These important projects are part of a larger investment of $15 million in the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot initiative, first announced in Budget 2021. They’re also a key part of the government’s ongoing efforts to support those who were hit the hardest by the pandemic. These important initiatives build on the progress we’ve already made and chart a course to help all racialized newcomer women thrive in this country.

The Pilot will continue to implement targeted programming based on promising practices to date, such as building career exploration opportunities into programming to help newcomer women with specific career and training goals, and developing action plans to help newcomer women build confidence, a unique barrier in navigating the Canadian labour market. Taken together, the activities and pilot will build evidence on what services and approaches are among the most effective in supporting racialized newcomer women to thrive in the Canadian labour market.

Minister Mendicino was also pleased to note that of the projects that recently concluded through this pilot, many have resulted in newcomer women receiving valuable support in accessing employment. These projects offered innovative approaches to employment for racialized newcomer women, such as job search assistance, digital literacy skills training, mental health support and job placements with follow-up support. 


“Canada can only reach its full potential if everyone in it reaches theirs. These important projects will help racialized newcomer women lay the cornerstone of success: finding a good, well-paying job. As we’ve said before, this is both the right thing to do for our society and the smart thing to do for our economy. By breaking down barriers faced by racialized newcomer women, we’re helping them make even greater contributions to their communities and country.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • The Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot, launched as the Visible Minority Newcomer Women Project in December 2018, committed $31.9 million over 3 years to support the employment and career advancement of racialized newcomer women.

  • In total, 40 organizations have received funding under the pilot.

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

  • The unemployment rate of racialized newcomer women (9.7%) is higher than that of racialized (8.5%) and non-racialized (6.4%) newcomer men, based on the 2016 Census.

  • Funding for projects being extended will be provided up until March 31, 2022.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Alexander Cohen
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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