More than half of South Asian women in Canada consider quitting their job: study

Nearly half of survey respondents cited unsatisfying work as a top reason for leaving their job.

South Asian women have faced some of the greatest professional challenges during the pandemic in Canada, and a new study takes a deeper look at this group and offers insight into their experiences in the workplace.

More than half of South Asian women surveyed in a survey conducted by CulturaliQ and Pink Attitude Evolution said they plan to leave their jobs for other opportunities.

This proportion is higher than any other group of women in Canada and 19% higher than the average for all women surveyed.

CulturaliQ is a Toronto-based cultural market research company. Founded in 2015, Pink Attitude Evolution is a Canadian non-profit organization that supports South Asian women across multiple sectors.

Among South Asian women’s motivations for leaving their current job, 48% identified unsatisfying work as a major reason, compared to 35% of all women and 32% of all men. The second most cited reason for leaving their job was poor management, at 37%.

“For this to change, it’s not just women’s work or South Asian women’s work. It’s everyone’s work,” said Puneet Maan, who is changing jobs, starting a new position of Vice-President of Laurentian Bank. next week.

Maan said Wednesday that a big strength in being successful in her own career was receiving support and sponsorship in the workplace. Sponsorship refers to a relationship between a protege and a person of higher authority in the company who can help champion career opportunities.

When she returned from maternity leave, Maan said she noticed those she relied on for support had left the company.

“I’ve had bumps in the road where I haven’t had sponsorship, I’ve had periods where I’ve had sponsorship, and those two moments in my career felt very different,” a- she declared.

Conducted from September to December 2021, the survey included responses from 2,200 women and men from a variety of backgrounds, of which 700 were South Asian women, 400 were white women, and 158 were South Asian men compared to 300 men. whites.

The survey cannot be assigned a margin of error as online panels are not considered truly random samples.

Sixty-five percent of South Asian women said they were considering going into business for themselves, compared to 46 percent of all women who say so.

Nita Tandon, CEO and founder of Ottawa-based container and cookware company Dalcini, said Wednesday the number speaks to her own experience as an entrepreneur.

“You can only go through so many employers where you just don’t feel valued,” Tandon said, adding that part of the push to start her own business was learning of a significant pay gap between her. and other people of color compared to their white counterparts.

“You start to feel this injustice,” she said.

The ability to have control over one’s work was an attractive feature of the entrepreneurial path, Tandon said. “Let me create the environment I want to work in, and also who I want to work with.”

The study also suggested that the pandemic has created more challenges for South Asian women.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they planned to leave their jobs due to the pandemic, a higher proportion than any other group of women.

Sixty-five percent said their household workload had increased since the start of the pandemic, more than any other group of women surveyed.

South Asian women were the most likely to say they had lowered their salary expectations over the past few years, with 64% saying so, compared to an average of 50% for all women and 45% for all men .

Ruby Dhillon, CEO and Founder of Pink Attitude, said Wednesday that it’s especially important to pay attention to this group as Canada’s workforce continues to change and the country depends almost entirely on immigration for population growth.

“Having one of your most important and highly skilled squads about to leave, I think is something that should alarm us all,” she said.

According to Statistics Canada, South Asians are the largest visible minority group in Canada, representing one-quarter of all visible minorities of working age.

According to the 2016 census, South Asian women are also among the most highly educated groups compared to other visible minorities.

In April 2021, the employment rate for South Asian women was 59.7%, 15 percentage points lower than the rate for their male counterparts at 75.5%. That’s three times the gap between non-visible minority men and women, according to Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada showed in July 2020 that South Asian women had the highest unemployment rate among other groups, at 20.4%.

The office of Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said in a statement on Wednesday that the federal government believes it is essential for a strong economy to ensure that more women can enter and stay in the workforce. .

Qualtrough’s office said $50 million in funding was planned in the 2020 fall economic statement over two fiscal years for a women’s job readiness pilot program. This program helps organizations provide pre-employment and skills development support to women facing multiple barriers, and projects to help racialized women were a top priority for the program, the office said.

“I think like a lot of people of color, I kept that to ourselves for a very long time,” Tandon said, referring to the working conditions described in the study.

“We knew there were differences, but we never wanted to say anything. And I think the only way to let you know there’s a change is to talk and let people know. people.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 2, 2022.

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