Gender, migration and the global race for talent

Anna Boucher
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In the global race for skilled immigrants, governments compete for workers. In pursuing such individuals, governments may incidentally discriminate on gender grounds. Existing gendered differences in the global labour market related to life course trajectories, pay gaps and occupational specialisation are refracted in skilled immigration selection policies. This book analyses the gendered terrain of skilled immigration policies across 12 countries and 37 skilled immigration visas. It argues that while skilled immigration policies are often gendered, this outcome is not inevitable and that governments possess scope in policy design. Further, the book explains the reasons why governments adopt more or less gender aware skilled immigration policies, drawing attention to the engagement of feminist groups and ethnocultural organisations in the policy process. In doing so, it utilises evidence from 128 elite interviews undertaken with representatives of these organisations, as well as government officials, parliamentarians, trade unions and business associations in Australia and Canada over the period 1988 through to 2013. Presenting the first book-length account of the global race for talent from a gender perspective, Gender, migration and the global race for talent will be read by graduate students, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in the fields of immigration studies, political science, public policy, sociology, gender studies and Australian and Canadian studies.

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‘Boucher's book makes a valuable contribution to understandings of gender bias within skilled immigration policies in OECD countries. I believe that the book will become an essential reference work on the gendered dimension of skilled migration policies…. This book deserves to be read not only by scholars and students but also by policymakers and anyone interested in the gendered dimensions of international migration and, in particular, of selective immigration policies.'
Abdelsalam Marfouk , University of Liege and IWEPS
International Migration Review

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