Women struggling to find jobs in Toronto: Study

Part-time, temporary work creates vicious cycle

The employment landscape for women in Toronto is bleak — and not getting better, according to a new report.

Entitled Working Women, Working Poor and released last week ahead of International Women’s Day, the study tracked 44 women across a range of ages, ethnicities and education levels in Toronto, as well as their experience in the labour market. The study was put out by the Women and Work Research Group, of which unions such as Unifor are a part of.

As part of its findings, the report indicated there is a sense that women have lost considerable ground in the workforce, and there exists a feeling of being squeezed across all sectors — particularly amongst older and younger women.

The problem stems from a vicious cycle of short-term contracts and temporary jobs, the study noted, fuelled by a precarious labour market. As a result, women workers tend to get stuck in jobs that fall below their skill level, which leads to the overall “de-skilling of women,” the study concluded.

In order to level the playing field and tackle such obstacles, the research group looked at a number of recommendations, which came directly from the women themselves. That includes a permanent temporary agency unit in the government’s employment standards branch, a streamlined strategy for personal support workers and an improved support system for the growing ghetto of women workers, particularly new Canadians.

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