Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Janice Spangenburg

Abstract

In the 2006 census, Statistics Canada recorded that 23% of immigrant women aged 15 and over had a university degree at the bachelor's level or above. These women could help sustain an organization's competitive advantage and respond to labor shortages posed by an aging population. This phenomenological study highlighted self-initiated migration journey and career advancement experiences of migrant women. Through LinkedIn and referrals from non-profit organizations, a sample of 20 women was recruited. All women had migrated to Canada between the ages 32 to 50, all had 5 to 10 years of residence in Canada and all had college degrees from their home countries. Data were collected through in-depth qualitative interviews and analyzed utilizing Moustakas's framework. The themes were driven predominantly by the data from the study. In order to manage structural barriers to their career development, the participants highlighted the importance of career preparation such as postgraduate education, qualification accreditations and international experience to advancing their careers in Canada. The findings of this study showed that, the principles of meritocracy was influenced by ethic discrimination and educational barriers experienced by participants. The participants challenged inequalities by navigating within organizational structures using these modes of engagement; maintenance, transformation, and entrepreneurship as they developed their careers. The results provide a framework to the Canadian government, businesses, and settlement agencies to understand the implications of ethnicity and international experience to the current debate and proposition for reforms to immigration and hiring policies.