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

MARCO E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Wednesday 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 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. 

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.

Mendicino said he 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.

He said: “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.”

Quick Facts

  • The Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot, launched as the Visible Minority Newcomer Women Project in December 2018, committed $31.9 million over three 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.


Access Community Capital Fund (Toronto): The Pathways to Prosperities project helps clients launch small businesses in Canada through the Women’s Business Accelerator program. The project supports racialized newcomer women facing economic barriers through employment services, personal coaching, business workshops, affordable loans and support services.

Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute (Winnipeg): The Newcomer Women Employment Training Program is comprised of four 6-week training modules on professional sewing, cooking, child care and cleaning. The modules enhance client skills, increase employability and include English for Employment programming. The program includes employer engagement to support client connectivity to the job market.

Conseil pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences des adultes du Nouveau-Brunswick (Moncton): The Conseil offers activities that support racialized newcomer women who wish to integrate into the New Brunswick labour market. It provides one-on-one mentoring and workshops to racialized newcomer women to develop their literacy, digital and other basic skills related to adapting to the province’s New Brunswick labour market.

MetroWorks (Halifax): The Deep Roots project delivers an intensive job search/job readiness project for racialized newcomer women, engaging participants in job readiness training, employment-related workshops, and job counselling. The women take part in work placements at Common Roots Urban Farms and other social enterprises to develop their skills and abilities in a Canadian work context. Those who are employment-ready have the opportunity to move to a placement with a community-based employer.

Kitchener-Waterloo Young Women’s Christian Association (Kitchener): In Her Shoes is an online entrepreneurship and employment training project. It focuses on helping racialized newcomer women build online businesses while also providing participants with work experience.

New Circles Community Services (Toronto): A New Gateway to Employment is a project that reduces barriers for racialized newcomer women and helps them develop the skills needed to integrate into the Canadian labour market.

Newcomer Kitchen (Toronto): The Willing to Work project introduces racialized newcomer women to the social and economic aspects of living in Canadian society by imparting entrepreneurial education to newcomer women in the GTA.

Syrian Canadian Foundation (Etobicoke): The project creates business and networking opportunities for racialized women with an assessment of skills, language training and a start-up fund. As the clients and their business grow, they will be a source of employment and income for more racialized women.

Umoja Operation Compassion Society (Surrey): The Newcomer Digital Connect project provides direct services to identify and break down multiple employment barriers through activities that will build and increase the employability for racialized newcomer women. Participants attend a 12-week program to build confidence, improve soft skills, and develop or enhance basic computer skills applicable to the office, to enter the Canadian labour market.

Women’s Economic Council (Burnaby): Her Own Boss! is a national project that explores self-employment as a viable option for racialized newcomer women. It aims to better understand how business, co-operative and social enterprise development services can be improved by collaborating with community partners to make systemic changes so that racialized newcomer women can access and acquire basic business knowledge and digital literacy skills.

Young Women’s Christian Association (Vancouver): The Tech Connect for Newcomer Women project assists racialized newcomer women who are internationally trained professionals with IT backgrounds with securing jobs that are commensurate with their skills, education and experience. Participants develop a deep understanding of the tech sector in Canada and its unique workplace culture.