Older anglos struggle to find jobs: study
A new study about aging anglophones in Quebec has revealed some concerning results.
While the study revealed that many, especially older, women feel cut off by language barriers and feel forced to rely on family and friends for help, it also found that even professional, active, younger anglophones can feel cut off as well.
Marina Boulos is a prime example. Boulos is bilingual, and has headed large non-profit organizations in Montreal and New York, but said as an anglophone, finding an executive job in Quebec is a challenge.
She turned 50 on Wednesday.
“It is discouraging, because it limits your choices and your employment prospects,” said Boulos, who has taken an interim position as the head of Chez Doris, a Montreal women's shelter
Recently, in an interview for a large francophone public institution, Boulos said she was told her English wasn't an asset.
“Your bilingualism is of no purpose… You are seen as more multicultural so you would be a better fit in a more multicultural organization,” she was told.
Intoday’s job market, ageism exists, but being an older anglophone is even tougher, said Lynn Tabasa, senior headhunter at Proforce Personnel.
“Working in a predominantly French company, there are still some barriers,” she said.
Difficulty finding work is just one of the findings of a recent report of anglophones 55 and up in Quebec. It found many, even those nowhere near ready to retire, feel their access to jobs is limited.
“I think that the people feel, people especially in their 50's, need a great deal of help,” said Sheila Goldbloom, a senior who has been involved with several senior community groups. “I think that's a very important silent group in our society.”
They remain silent because those without work often feel embarrassed, especially if their French isn't strong, added Kevin Erskine-Henry of South Shore Community Partners.
“Even getting general work such as even at a dollar shop – they cannot manage to get because of the lack of French-language skills,” he said.
That's why the Quebec Community Groups Network wants policy makers to realize there are issues here that need specific attention, explained Celine Cooper of the group.
"They need to take into consideration that there are different needs,” said Cooper.