30 Jahre Mauerfall Mehr erfahren
Koffer

1.5.2009 | Von:
Eleonore Kofman and Parvati Raghuram

Shedding light on skilled female labour migration

Data Problems

That skilled female labour migrants remain a relatively under-studied group has in part been to due with the fact that little data is available, especially in European states. In traditional countries of immigration, on the other hand, even if there are not a large number of studies, gendered immigration data are readily available.

Die Ingenieurin Cristina Fernandez-Aparicio Ruiz sitzt am 29.10.2012 an ihrem Arbeitsplatz in der Ziehl-Abegg AG in Künzelsau (Baden-Württemberg). Sie sind jung, gut ausgebildet und finden in ihrer Heimat keine Arbeit: Fachkräfte aus dem krisengeschüttelten Südeuropa will Deutschland jetzt mit gezielten Programmen auf den hiesigen Arbeitsmarkt locken. Foto: Marijan Murat/dpa (Zu lsw: «Spätzle statt Paella - Südeuropäer auf deutschem Arbeitsmarkt» vom 19.12.2012)Spanish labour migrant at her new job in Germany. (© picture-alliance/dpa)
For example, Citizenship and Immigration Canada publishes facts and figures on skilled migration disaggregated by gender on a yearly basis. In European states where large-scale skilled immigration exists, as in the UK, gender disaggregated data has to be requested. The OECD has begun to address the issue of data deficiency in relation to skilled migrants and labour markets [1] and the gender brain drain [2], but country SOPEMI reports do not contain sufficiently disaggregated data to enable further analysis of labour market outcomes for skilled female migrants. The European Migration Network [3] has undertaken studies of skilled migration and health professionals but only a few country studies, such as the Swedish one on health professionals, include any gendered data. The lack of data is part of a general lack of recognition and interest by academics and policy makers in skilled female migrants.

Skill Levels

As mentioned previously, family-related, not labour-related, admission categories are the most important means of entry for female migrants. As mainly family migrants, women are not necessarily presumed to possess the skills needed to contribute meaningfully to the labour market. However, statistics suggest that this presumed link between skill level and admission categories may not be so clear. The share of women immigrants holding a tertiary degree in OECD countries is only three percentage points below that of men. In Australia it is almost equal. Among all permanent residents over 15 years of age entering Canada in all entrance categories in 2007 (total 188,480), the number of skilled men and women were almost equal. 13% of men had a BA, 6% an MA and 1% a PhD. In comparison, 16% of women had a BA, 5% an MA and 0.8% a PhD. [4]

Moreover, in some countries there is an equal or even higher proportion of foreign-born non-OECD female migrants in skilled occupations than native-born. This is the case in the UK and Portugal. In Belgium the proportions are almost the same. At the other extreme, there are markedly lower proportions of migrant women in skilled occupations in most Southern European countries, which tend to be countries with high levels of de-skilling and a concentration of female migrants in less skilled sectors.

Percentage of women (15-64) in highly skilled occupations by origin, 2004
Native-bornForeign-bornForeign-born, non-OECD
Austria38,225,318,6
Belgium42,941,642,5
Denmark43,338,633,9
Finland42,832,521,9
France37,730,031,1
Germany46,030,5..
Greece36,613,56,8
Hungary40,842,740,8
Ireland40,047,9-
Italy43,929,220,4
Luxembourg51,338,526,3
Norway42,238,923,8
Portugal25,733,631,3
Spain36,221,612,3
Sweden45,438,325,7
Switzerland44,138,029,2
United Kingdom36,243,739,8
"-" indicates that figure is not significant
".." no explanation
Source: Table I.15. SOPEMI 2006

Main origin countries for highly skilled immigrants in OECD countries by gender, 2000
Country of BirthFemaleTotal%
Philippines562.215887.47763,3
United Kingdom509.8871.075.16047,4
Former USSR506.999930.15054,5
Germany440.991856.67951,5
India429.547999.56643,0
China400.495816.96649,0
Poland235.147446.49652,7
Mexico234.781474.07249,5
Canada217.106422.16751,4
United States205.847391.44852,6
France199.630365.81454,6
Source: Dumont u.a. (2007:11)

Women's employment in the health sector, in particular, has significantly contributed to altering the gender balance in skilled migration. Throughout the 1960s, the UK depended on Caribbean and Irish female nurse migration. Canada, too imported female nurses from countries in the global South to cut costs and even out fluctuating shortages in the 1980s. [5] Large numbers of Filipina nurses went to the US through the 1970s and 80s. Since the late 1990s, reduced investment in states like Australia, Canada and the UK in doctor, nurse and teacher training has led to significant shortages in the education, heath and social work sectors which cannot be met locally, forcing these and other states to recruit (often female) workers abroad. in particular Throughout the 1960s, the UK depended on Caribbean and Irish female nurse migration. Canada, too imported female nurses from Third World countries to cut costs and even out fluctuating shortages in the 1980s (Stasiulis and Bakan 2003:107). Large numbers of Filipina nurses went to the US through the 1970s and 80s.

Since the late 1990s, reduced investment in states like Australia, Canada and the UK in doctor, nurse and teacher training has led to significant shortages in the education, heath and social work sectors which cannot be met locally, forcing these and other states to recruit (often female) workers abroad. Over 90% of migrants in the nursing sector are women, and in many countries this constitutes the largest single health profession. [6] In the UK the number of female migrant nurses rose by 49,000 or 92% from 1997 to 2004 compared to an increase of 1% among non-migrant nurses. Male migrant nurses displayed an even higher percentage rise of 184% (15,000) during this period [7], but the proportion of male nurses to female nurses still remains small. A significant number of migrant doctors in the UK – about 54% of new full registrants to the General Medical Council in 2002 – are women. [8] In England in 2000 40.2 per cent of EEA doctors, 36.75 per cent of UK qualified doctors and 26.2 per cent of non-EEA doctors were women. [9] As such, it was the EEA qualified medical migrant workforce that was the most feminised.

Women also form a small but significant minority amongst migrant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals entering any of the major countries of immigration in any year. [10] In Australia in 2005, between one-quarter and one-third of the total number of computing professionals entering through the major skilled migration streams, or as family migrants, were women. In Canada, between 1998 and 2000, about 20% of all computer programmers and systems analysts entering as principal applicants within the skilled stream, and about 10% of computer engineers within the same period, were women. Even though these proportions seem small, they must be set within the context of large total (and in most countries, until recently, rapidly rising) numbers entering through this category. For instance, in the UK, between 1995 and 2002 there was a rapid growth in migrant ICT professionals and ICT formed the seventh largest industry, even among female work permit holders. [11]

Fußnoten

1.
See SOPEMI (2007).
2.
See Dumont et al. (2007).
3.
See EMN (2007a,b).
4.
See CIC (2008).
5.
See Stasiulis and Bakan (2003:107).
6.
Many other associate health and welfare professionals, such as physiotherapists and social workers, are also largely staffed by women, though not to the same extent as nursing and midwifery.
7.
See EMN (2007b).
8.
See Kofman et al. (2005).
9.
See Raghuram and Kofman (2002).
10.
See Raghuram (2008).
11.
See Raghuram (2004).

Kurzdossiers

Länderprofile

Länderprofile Migration: Daten - Geschichte - Politik

Ein Länderprofil enthält Informationen über Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration in einem bestimmten Land. Diese Informationen bestehen aus: Daten und Statistiken, Geschichtlichen Entwicklungen, Rechtlichen und politischen Maßnahmen, Aktuellen Debatten in den Ländern.

Mehr lesen

Infografiken

Zahlen zu Asyl in Deutschland

Wie viele Menschen suchen in Deutschland Asyl? Woher kommen sie? Wie viele Asylanträge sind erfolgreich? Und wie viele Menschen werden abgeschoben? Wir stellen die wichtigsten Zahlen zum Thema Asyl und Flucht monatlich aktualisiert in einfachen Infografiken dar.

Mehr lesen