chapter  8
20 Pages

Diversity discourses and corporate Canada

Unveiling images of the Muslim woman at work
ByGolnaz Golnaraghi, Albert J. Mills

Throughout Canada's history of nation building, immigration has been an important contributor to economic growth. Up until the 1970s, the majority of immigrants living in Canada were from Western countries such as the United Kingdom and United States. More recently, immigrants from Asian, Latin American and African countries make up over two-thirds of immigrants to Canada (Biles, Burstein and Frideres, 2008). Projections show that by 2031 Chinese and South Asians will remain the largest groups, Black and Filipino groups will double in size, and Arab and West Asian populations, which are growing the fastest, will most likely triple in size (Yap and Everett, 2012). With this change in immigrant profile, successful ‘integration’ of immigrants has been touted as being critical to Canada's future growth, prosperity and competitiveness (Kenney, 2009). Yet, research suggests immigrants face systemic barriers to employment in their intended occupations, such as lack of Canadian experience and foreign education and credential recognition, among others (Statistics Canada, 2012; Sakamoto et al., 2013). According to Statistics Canada (2012), landed immigrants (i.e. immigrants who are not citizens but have been granted permanent resident status) with a university degree face a higher unemployment rate (7.9 per cent), than the Canadian-born population (3.1 per cent).