Highly Skilled South Asian Migrant Women in Australia: Hidden Economic Assets

  •  Najia Syed    
  •  Cathy Banwell    
  •  Tehzeeb Zulfiqar    


Finding a balance between work and family life is challenging for many women, particularly migrant women living in Australia without family support. This study provides insights into their dilemmas, difficulties and strengths in terms of household responsibilities and employment pressures. Design: Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with ten South Asian skilled mothers living in Canberra, Australia. Findings: Participants were positive about contributing to their family’s income and gaining financial independence. However, as skilled migrant women, they struggled to use their work skills due to increased demands of domestic responsibilities. They often negotiated work and family life by seeking low-prospect careers. Conclusion: The socio-cultural factors faced by South Asian migrant women have a significant impact on their work-life balance. Deskilling, increased work pressures and lack of support may negatively impact their career aspirations and well-being. Flexible policies can help mitigate these barriers to help migrant women maintain a work-life balance.

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