Regardless of education or training, racialized immigrant women earn less

May 21, 2021

By The Conversation |

Conventional wisdom suggests that first-generation immigrants often struggle in their careers for reasons related to being new to the domestic workforce.

For example, offshore degrees, poor language fluency or an absence of networking contacts are cited as common reasons for career challenges. This means most efforts to improve immigrants’ career outcomes often focus on things first-generation immigrants can do for themselves, like networking and training.

We wanted to know whether this is actually the best approach. Our evidence about which groups get paid the most versus which earn the least points to an alternative that may be even more effective: reducing workplace discrimination based on gender and race.

Who earns the most and the least?

To find out why immigrants receive lower pay, we looked at who earns more or less as a result of their combination of immigrant generation, gender, race and native language. We also wanted to find out whether being a first-generation immigrant is really the most important factor in terms of salary. (Spoiler alert: it’s not, according to our findings.)

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