The plight of single women in Canada has been ignored by policy makers. This is the truth I have experienced it since the recession hit and being in and out of short contracts. It is very unfair and hard when hiring managers in ivory towers do not realize this. Publications from 2009 provide information and facts around this (see the link below). https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/canadian-women-their-own-are-poorest-poor
Every interview I have had, I wonder what world management are living in. Why have you moved around so much they ask? Or I get the snobbery remarks that I cannot hold a job, one family member even made it personal telling me perhaps I had not gotten over the death of family members who died when I was young and to get surgery to reduce my breasts. Not only are such comments hurtful, they are insulting.
Policy makers take care of people with children, those with family to take care of receive benefits and support. But the single woman with an elderly mother who wants to help her receives very little by way of support. Nor does the single woman trying to hold on to her job, employers have no sympathy and will let me go first. She is young or so it went for the last ten year, she can find something else - take anything in time you will come up. But the years have flown and rather than coming up, my life has quickly deteriorated and the hard work I put in has not paid off.
I am still young but I have no savings for retirement, I went into debt taking on requalifying to Canadian standards, getting my qualifications in HR and then my Masters degree. My only hope is that I can get a management job overseas. As a visible minority I see my time in Canada as a failure. I saw women in leadership roles in Zimbabwe, South Africa, the UK and the US, first generation through to second and third. Some were business owners, some were in banking, others in science and business professions. I am not new to Canada anymore, I have been here 14 years so I have both the skills and experience. In South Africa my friends are all doing well - they have their training paid for by companies, a perk I did not have in Canada and some of them women around the same age as me, receive paid training in Dubai flying frequently for business and traveling. They have done extremely well, are home owners and in good management roles.
Since my Mum is under my care, I am responsible for her but I have not been able to help her at all. Rather, she has been the one helping me. It is a shameful experience to go through when you are the only one in your family to go to university and the only one who cannot get a decent job. She does not qualify for public pension as she lived most of her life in Zimbabwe and the state of affairs there means she will not get any money from the government there either.
Policies are supposed to be in place to protect those who are most vulnerable but in my experience they do not. Companies protect themselves, senior management and make the vulnerable even more vulnerable. They have big lawyers and backers to protect them while ordinary women like me ask for help which falls on deaf ears when our rights are not upheld.
Poverty is sexist. Poverty is man made. Poverty is wrong. I went to university to study so I could get a good job and move into management roles and if it is not in Canada then I hope and pray it will be elsewhere. What has taken place in my life could have been prevented if the right people had supported and helped me to stay in jobs rather than let me go. If they had stopped harassment issues I have and continue to face. The world is not a fair place but we shape it and change it through the decisions we make and those in power making the decisions that affect single people need to know.