About Women, Work, and the Economy

This website will highlight work being completed by University of Waterloo academics, Drs. Nada Basir, Ana Ferrer, and Bessma Momani, who are researching areas related to women, work, and the economy.

Each of these academics have ongoing research projects, and we will utilize this website to share more about this work, as well as a centralized location to share surveys and recruitment for research activities.

Below you will find descriptions of some of our ongoing projects:

Dr. Bessma Momani, is currently working on a 5-year research project funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on bringing visible minority women into the Canadian economy. This project seeks for Canada to realize the economic, social and cultural benefits of immigration, newcomers must integrate successfully into Canadian society. To provide newcomers with the information required to make informed decision, language skills adequate to their settlement and integration goals, and the support they need to build networks within their new communities.

Drs. Bessma Momani and Nada Basir hold a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grant called "Partnering to Improve Imigrant Women's Entrepreneurs' Success" which, in collaboration with the Maker's Collective, seeks to identify ways to better serve Canadian immigrant entrepreneurs in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Drs. Bessma Momani and Nada Basir hold a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant called "Digital Transformation of Work: Racialized Immigrant Women and Skills Retraining". 

Dr. Nada Basir is exploring the impact infertility has on women’s day to day work experiences and long-term career impacts. With the rise of the average age of first-time mothers, infertility rates have risen. In Canada, roughly 1 in 6 couples experience infertility; this number has doubled since the 1980s. Findings from this study will help inform government policies and organizational practices around diversity and inclusion and advancing women to leadership roles. This project is funded by a UW/SSHRC Robert Harding/Lois Claxton HSS Endowment grant.

Dr. Ana Ferrer’s work has recently focused in exploring the connection between the economic environment and fertility. Recent publications include exploring the connection between sex ratio imbalances and the immigration decision [“Speeding up for a son: Sex ratio imbalances by birth interval among South Asian migrants to Canada”] (2020) Canadian Studies in Population, 47, pp.133-149 (with Alicia Adsera)], and the impact of housing prices on fertility [“The Effect of Housing Price Changes on Fertility: Evidence from Canada” (2019) (with Jeremy Clark), Economics: E-Journal, 13 (2019-38): 1–32]

Dr. Ana Ferrer is currently working in two projects pertaining women and work, “Looking for work? Understanding the unemployment transitions of women and men in Canada” (with Tammy Schirle (Wilfrid Laurier) and Annie Pan (UWaterloo)) explores labour market transitions of Canadian women, connecting their labour decisions to their family situation. With the project, the team seeks to (1) update our knowledge on gender differences in labour market transitions, with a view to illustrate the unique and evolving experiences of women in the labour market; (2) investigate the phenomenon known as discouraged worker and added worker effect, which particularly affect women; (3) highlight the situation of immigrant women relative to Canadian-born women in the labour market “Skill Gaps and Career Progression of Immigrant Women across Europe”(Alicia Adsera (Princeton University) and Virginia Herranz (Universidad Alcala de Henares)) looks at the job integration of immigrant women in OECDE countries.