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ERIC Number: ED419055
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Non-English Speaking Background Immigrant Women in the Workforce. Working Papers on Multiculturalism Paper No. 4.
This report presents the findings of a study into the experiences of non-English speaking background (NESB) migrant women in the Australian workforce. The fieldwork, which involved interviewing over 100 immigrant women living and working in Sydney, was carried out in 1988 and 1989. The study also involved an extensive review of Australian and international literature on immigrant women in the workforce and the analysis of recent census and labor force survey data. A particular focus was the experience of newly arrived immigrants, including the relationship between their premigration histories, their participation in the workforce in Australia, and their domestic and family responsibilities. Although the economic and social conditions of Australia have changed considerably in the post-war period, the similarities in the lives of women immigrants arriving in the 1950s and 1960s were more marked than the differences. Their place in the economy has altered little, and employment continues to play a key role in structuring women's lives despite the development of an increased role for the state through ethnic affairs policies. Little evidence was found to support the theory that immigrants' work force experiences reflected their pre-migration capital endowments. Instead, women from a variety of backgrounds ended up, after immigrating to Australia, in low status, unpleasant, and unrewarding jobs. Unemployment emerges as the greatest difficulty encountered by newly arrived women in Australia. The last chapter makes recommendations in the areas of vocational guidance and training, equal employment opportunity, work conditions, participation in trade unions, and child care and family support. An appendix contains the study questionnaire. (Contains 91 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Australian Office of Multicultural Affairs, Canberra.
Authoring Institution: Wollongong Univ., New South Wales (Australia). Centre for Multicultural Studies.