Canada offers a range of programs specifically designed to assist female immigrants, also known as Newcomer Women, in settling into the Canadian workforce.

People from diverse nationalities, including Nigeria, choose to relocate to Canada through the Express Entry route, which allows individuals to migrate without a job offer. Therefore, being aware of the various employment support programs and associations available for immigrants is crucial.

Gender-based discrimination is a global issue, with women often experiencing it in the labour market. Immigrant women, in particular, face additional forms of discrimination based on race and ethnicity. Discriminatory hiring practices, unequal pay, limited opportunities for career advancement, and challenges in accessing affordable childcare and support systems can hinder their employment prospects and restrict their earning potential.

Female Immigrants Employment in Canada

Efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and equal employment opportunities for newcomer women in Canada are ongoing. These efforts aim to address systemic barriers and create a level playing field in the workplace.

To tackle these challenges, Canada has implemented various initiatives and programs at both the federal and provincial/territorial levels to support newcomer women.

Federal Programs

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced several federal programs and services to assist newcomer women in Canada. These include the Women at Risk (WAR) program, which is part of the Urgent Protection Program (UPP), and the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) program.

  • The Women at Risk (WAR) program assists women who require immediate protection or are in vulnerable situations without demonstrating their settlement potential. However, participants in this program and their dependents must still meet the Canadian entrance requirements (medical, security, etc.) to receive aid through the UPP.
  • The Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) program provides settlement services and support to racialized newcomer women in Canada. Its goal is to improve their employment outcomes, facilitate career advancement, and enhance their equal participation in the Canadian economy. In January 2023, the IRCC announced additional funding for the RNWP program.
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Provincial/Territorial Programs

The following organizations serve newcomer women in most provinces in Canada, each offering unique services:

  • Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta, Calgary: This association supports women in their employment search by creating a secure and supportive environment while empowering them to progress within the community.
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association: This organization provides comprehensive programs to assist immigrant women in various aspects of their lives, including daily navigation, employment search, mentorship opportunities, and language training tailored to general and job-specific needs.
  • Women’s Economic Council in Vancouver, British Columbia: A charitable organization dedicated to promoting the involvement of all women in creating resilient and inclusive economies, with a particular focus on addressing systemic obstacles women face.
  • Immigrant Women Services Ottawa: This organization focuses on crisis intervention, counselling, interpretation and translation services, settlement programs, and integration support for immigrant women in Ottawa.
  • Umoja Operation Compassion Society, Surrey, British Columbia: A charity collaborates with recent immigrants and refugees from diverse backgrounds, offering tailored programs to assist them in their daily lives, job searches, and specialized services for women.
  • International Women of Saskatoon: This organization provides a range of programs and services for newcomer women in Canada, including employment and job search support, specialized language testing, settlement resources, and community engagement assistance.
  • Manitoba Start – Employment Solutions for Immigrants Inc., Winnipeg: Located in Winnipeg, this employment services agency assists immigrants in finding employment and navigating their daily lives in Canada with programs tailored specifically to women.
  • YWCA Halifax, Nova Scotia: YWCA Halifax is part of the network of 32 YWCA locations in Canada. It provides services promoting leadership, health, wellness, economic and housing security, early learning and childcare, and ending violence against women and girls.
  • The Northwest Resource Centre for Newcomers Inc. in Edmundston, New Brunswick: A non-profit organization focused on helping newcomers settle in the region by facilitating their social, economic, educational, and cultural integration. They offer resources, learning and mentoring services, networking and support services.
  • Northwest Territories: The NWT Literacy Council in Yellowknife is a not-for-profit and registered charitable organization that promotes and supports literacy and essential skills in all official languages of the Northwest Territories.
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In Conclusion

Canada has implemented various programs and initiatives to support newcomer women’s integration into the Canadian workforce. These programs address gender-based discrimination, discriminatory hiring practices, unequal pay, limited career opportunities, and the lack of affordable childcare.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lead federal-level programs like the Women at Risk (WAR) program and the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) program. Additionally, numerous organizations across provinces and territories offer services tailored to the specific needs of newcomer women.


Here are some frequently asked questions about employment support programs for female immigrants in Canada:

What are employment support programs for female immigrants?

Employment support programs for female immigrants are initiatives and services designed to assist immigrant women in integrating into the Canadian workforce. These programs address barriers and provide resources to improve their employment prospects and career advancement.

Why are employment support programs necessary for female immigrants?

Female immigrants often face unique challenges in the labour market, including discrimination based on gender, race, and ethnicity. Employment support programs help address these challenges by offering language training, credential recognition, mentorship programs, and culturally sensitive employment assistance.

Are these programs available at the federal level?

Yes, the Canadian government, through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has implemented federal programs like the Women at Risk (WAR) program and the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) program to support newcomer women.

What services do provincial/territorial organizations provide?

Provincial and territorial organizations offer various services tailored to the needs of newcomer women. These services may include employment search support, language training, settlement programs, mentorship opportunities, and community engagement assistance.

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How can immigrant women benefit from these programs?

Immigrant women can benefit from employment support programs by accessing resources, acquiring job-related skills, overcoming barriers to employment, and expanding their professional networks. These programs aim to enhance employment outcomes, career advancement, and economic participation.

How can I find employment support programs for female immigrants in my area?

You can start by contacting local settlement agencies, immigrant-serving organizations, or government websites in your province or territory. They can provide information about specific programs and connect you with the needed resources.

Remember, employment support programs’ availability and specific details may vary by location. It is recommended to contact the relevant organizations for the most up-to-date information.


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