This report is a collective publication comprising a review of international literature on the subject of migrant deskilling and underemployment from a gender perspective and three empirical case studies from Switzerland, Canada and the United Kingdom. It explores the disproportionate difficulties skilled migrant women can face in transferring their skills and finding employment commensurate with their education when relocating to a new country. The case studies highlight situations in which migratory status and labour market dynamics can combine to constrain skilled and highly skilled migrant women to low-skilled occupations despite their often high human capital. They also analyse the impact that such occupational downgrading can have on migrant women’s well-being and the strategies that women can adopt to regain a professional status.
The publication aims to answer the following questions:
• What are the obstacles keeping skilled migrant women away from qualified occupations?
• What is the psychosocial cost of occupying low-skilled jobs for qualified women?
• What are some of the coping strategies that these women put in place?
• How can these women be best supported by governmental, intergovernmental and civil society actors?