Canada is investing $1.1 million into the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) program at the Vancouver YWCA over two years to help minority, immigrant women get jobs in the information technology sector.

“Racialized newcomer women face significant challenges in entering the workforce,” claims Marie-France Lalonde, parliamentary secretary to the immigration minister.

“We are working to break down these barriers to ensure all immigrants can work in jobs that align with their skills and experience,” she says. “Programs like Tech Connect are taking important steps to combat gender and race-based discrimination, giving women important opportunities to reach their fullest potential.”

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Under the RNWP, which had already received a pledge a year ago of more than $15 million over two years starting in 2021, organizations are funded to deliver programs to address the alleged barriers faced by racialized newcomer women. Those perceived barriers include purported gender and race-based discrimination, unstable employment, and lack of affordable childcare.

The Vancouver YWCA is only one of many organizations offering programs through the RNWP.

“We are delighted to receive a two-year extension of the YWCA Tech Connect employment program from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. (IRCC),” said Erin Seeley, chief executive officer of YWCA Metro Vancouver.

“This grant will enable our program to support more newcomer women to secure rewarding careers in the tech industry.”

Women Who Immigrated From 128 Countries Were Offered RNWP Services In 2019 – 2020

During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, more than 2,500 women who had immigrated from 128 countries participated in activities related to the RNWP. Most of them were between 25 and 54 years old and had lived in Canada for less than five years.

“Canada can only reach its full potential if everyone in it reaches theirs,” said then-Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in 2019. “These important projects will help racialized newcomer women lay the cornerstone of success: finding a good, well-paying job.

“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.”


The funding announced earlier this month and last year for the pilot program is in addition to the $31.9 million committed by the federal government in 2018.

The RNWP, previously called the Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot, attempts to help immigrant minority women land jobs in IT by:

  • continuing relationships with non-traditional organizations and recipients to develop new approaches to increase employment opportunities for these women, and;
  • testing and evaluating the effectiveness of employment-related services for racialized newcomer women through on-going service delivery.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrant women who had recently arrived in the country were the most likely to lose their jobs, Statistics Canada figures reveal.

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