Beyond “Entry-level” Jobs: Immigrant Women and Non-regulated Professional Occupations

  • Liza McCoyEmail author
  • Cristi Masuch


This article examines issues of foreign credential recognition from the standpoint of immigrant women with post-secondary degrees and employment backgrounds in non-regulated managerial and business professional occupations. Drawing on interviews with recent immigrant women and service providers in Calgary, Alberta, the article describes the women’s experience of looking for work, locating it in the context of the wider organization of settlement services and the labour market. The discussion focuses on the women’s participation in bridging programs designed to connect skilled immigrants with mainstream employers and help them obtain “entry-level” jobs in their fields.


Immigrant women Employment Institutional ethnography 


Cet article examine la question de la reconnaissance des acquis et des compétences du point de vue des femmes immigrantes qui possèdent un diplôme universitaire et une expérience professionelle dans des emplois administratifs et managériaux non régulés. S’appuyant sur des entretiens effectués à Calgary auprès d’immigrantes récentes et de pourvoyeurs de services, l’article décrit l’expérience de ces femmes en matière de recherche d’emploi en la replaçant dans le contexte plus large de l’organisation des services d’éstablissement et du marché du travail. La discussion met l’accent sur la participation de ces femmes dans les programmes de transition conçus pour mettre en contact les immigrants qualifiés avec des employeurs potentiels et pour les aider à trouver un emploi de débutante dans leur domaine.

Mots clés

Femmes immigrantes Emploi Ethnographie institutionnelle 



This research was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Research Grant. The helpful suggestions of Gillian Ranson, Peter Grant, and two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged, as is Daniel Béland’s French translation of the abstract.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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