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Release of the study Immigrants: Getting Positioned for Strategic Jobs: an initial overview of the situation among the city’s businesses

Montréal, May 25, 2016 – As part of the Salon de l’immigration et de l’intégration au Québec, today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal released the study Immigrants: Getting Positioned for Strategic Jobs, with Government of Québec representatives in attendance. Backed by data from a survey conducted with close to 700 private companies in Greater Montréal, the study reveals that immigrant workers are well positioned to advance to executive positions, but obstacles remain.

“Our study shows that the outlook is positive for executive level positions opening up for immigrants in the next three years,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The results presented today confirm this: 84% of companies surveyed look favourably upon hiring immigrants for strategic positions. However, hurdles remain, because immigrants do not rise to executive positions in a similar proportion as non-immigrants. The main obstacles to their career advancement that emerged from the study were fluency in French and familiarity with business English, cultural barriers, particularly when it comes to management, and insufficient or inadequately recognized experience.”

“The recommendations resulting from our study are meant to better equip immigrant workers and employers to bring the proportion of immigrants in executive positions to the same level as non-immigrants,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Immigrant workers can achieve fulfilment in a job that reflects their potential. And ultimately, by promoting their retention, the economies of Québec and Montréal will benefit.”

A few study highlights:

  • Immigrant executives (83%) have a slightly higher retention rate than non-immigrants (79%).
  • Limited command of French is the main hurdle to immigrants being appointed to executive positions (22%).
  • Immigrants currently account for 14% of executives.
  • The companies surveyed believe that 38% of qualified employees for management positions to be filled in the next three years are immigrants.
  • 60% of employers surveyed believe that immigrants who work for them are as qualified as other employees to hold executive positions.

Possible solutions to foster the professional advancement of immigrants:


  • Better equipping immigrant workers so that they acquire the skills necessary to hold executive functions.
  • Having a diversity policy to help integrate immigrant workers to the company and to support their advancement to executive positions.


  • Not being afraid to ask for feedback from managers or a resource person to identify areas for improvement to advance to an executive position.
  • Expanding their professional network to help in their job search and familiarize themselves with the local business culture.

To consult the complete study:

Immigrants: Getting Positioned for Strategic Jobs is a Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal study conducted in partnership with the Conseil emploi métropole, with the cooperation of L’Oréal Canada and with the support of Momentum Technologies. Data collection and processing were done by the firm SOM.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca


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