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Doing well with change : what helps and what hinders well-educated immigrant women workers? Koert, Emily Christina

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the strategies that new immigrant women employ to do well with changes that affect their work. This study asked the questions: What helps and what hinders immigrant women workers to do well with changes that affect their work? What would have been more helpful to do well with these changes? Participants were 10 well-educated immigrant women. Data was gathered using semi-structured, open-ended individual interviews consistent with Flanagan's (1954) Critical Incident Technique (CIT). Data was primarily analyzed using the CIT methodology. A total of 182 incidents that were grouped into 9 categories were extracted from the participants' interviews. The categories were: 1) Personal Beliefs/Traits/Values, 2) Relationships with friends/Family/ Colleagues, 3) Taking Action/Building Capacity, 4) Work Environment, 5)Self Care, 6) Skills/Knowledge/Credentials/Education, 7) Personal Issues/Challenges, 8) Contexual Issues/Challenges, and 9) Government/Community Resources. The results reaffirm the findings in the existing literature on immigrant women's thriving, resilience and hardiness and adaptation and transitions after immigration while providing a more personal account of these experiences. Uniquely, while many of the participants spoke of personal sacrifice in order to ensure the well being of their families, the importance of self-care was also highlighted. The factors that immigrant women find helpful and hindering in doing well with change can inform service delivery, program development and future research studies with this population.

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