Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Gender, work and migration: Deskilling chinese immigrant women in Canada

Document type Article
Author Man, Guida
Journal Women's Studies International Forum
Volume 27
Date 2004-06
ISSN 0277-5395
Pages 135-148


The Chinese have constituted the largest immigrant group entering Canada since 1987. This paper focuses on the paid work experience of Chinese immigrant women from Hong Kong and Mainland China who were highly educated, skilled professionals in their home country. It demonstrates that these immigrant women are being deskilled in Canada and this deskilling is complicated by the contradictory processes of globalization and economic restructuring, with its polarizing effects along axis of gender, race, ethnicity, class and citizenship. Gendered and racialized institutional processes in the form of state policies and practices, professional accreditation systems, employers' requirement for “Canadian experience” and labor market conditions marginalize Chinese immigrant women. As a result, they are being channeled into menial, part-time, insecure positions or becoming unemployed. In order for Chinese immigrant women to become equal and active participants in Canadian society the provision of inclusive programs and policies is necessary.