Canada’s diversity and inclusivity create a cultural mosaic of people from different racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. Multiculturalism has played a key role in shaping the country’s social, economic, and cultural fabric. Canada welcomes over 260,000 immigrants every year from around the world looking to build equitable lives for themselves and future generations. Although the country is a welcoming spirit, immigrants still face the challenge of integration, especially while finding work.

Newcomers to Canada encounter numerous challenges, from finding suitable employment and overcoming language barriers to adapting socially.


Barriers and challenges

Putting the socio-economic inequalities of Canadian newcomers aside, many find themselves in cultural and social limbo. The difficulties immigrants face while trying to integrate socially can leave them feeling isolated and significantly impact their well-being.

Language barriers may cause immigrants to be misunderstood or judged based on their foreign accents, hindering their integration into society and impacting their credibility with employers. 

Cultural shock is another significant hurdle immigrants encounter—adjusting to a new culture and traditions requires great amounts of willingness, time, and patience. Community engagement is essential in accommodating immigrants’ needs and helping them live new, fulfilling lives. 

Navigating new beginnings: Assistance and support for immigrants

There are several groups and services available to support newcomers and their unique experiences.

  • Networking and connection-building programs empower immigrants to meet their full potential. Quick-hit events maximize the number of connections and match immigrants with local professionals for speedy mentoring sessions that promote diversity and openness in the labour market.
  • Immigrant serving agencies and mentorship programs play a critical role in smoothing immigrants’ transitions, by fostering both professional and personal relationships and growth.
  • Associations affiliated with the Government of Canada, local businesses, and organizations can assist in the hiring experience by enhancing understanding and collaboration between employers and employees, fostering a sense of belonging, and building strong leadership teams.
  • Companies that allocate a small percentage of their resources, depending on government funding, can support newcomers in expanding their diversity goals. These strategies have the potential to elevate employment rates, promote diversity, and introduce fresh perspectives enriched by international knowledge and experiences.
  • Career planning and recruiting agencies serve as valuable tools for establishing connections with employers and helping immigrants transition into the Canadian workforce. This involves researching companies and leaders, matching skillsets and experiences, and making informed career choices.

Company role in fostering inclusivity: DEI projects

Companies often miss opportunities to engage with potential candidates among their employees, hindering diversity and openness in their workforce. Collaborating with agencies dedicated to immigrant employment can foster openness and diversity.

Integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) projects in the workplace is encouraged and as a result, employees have an easier time uniting with the team which promotes retention. Employers aiming to diversify their workplace start by engaging with them in a mindful way, using plain and simple language, to attract a diverse audience.

Did you know?

Newcomers usually pay more attention to the job board posting itself rather than a DEI section because they don’t understand much of it. This means job board postings must include any information that will help newcomers understand your DEI initiatives and resources available to them. 

Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity is a source of national pride, but challenges persist for immigrants, particularly in terms of social integration and employment. By addressing these challenges through collaborative efforts, innovative strategies, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we can ensure that newcomers can thrive and contribute to the nation’s continued growth and prosperity.

CIE resources to help

Careers in Energy offers programs, tools, and resources for job seekers and employers looking to learn more about creating and maintaining DEI programs and supports:

Links and Resources

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