International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Experience of Skilled Migrant Women in Switzerland: Challenges for Social and Professional Integration
Juliana Nunes-Reichel, Marie Santiago-Delefosse

Recent studies on skilled migrants’ integration in Switzerland indicate that women are the most vulnerable group. However, authors tend to focus on a descriptive level, without considering the influence of context, language and the heterogeneity of migrants’ experiences. This qualitative study aims to investigate integration process from participants’ perspective: their challenges, strategies and the impact of the migration experience on self-image. Semi-structured interviews (n=30) were conducted with two groups of skilled migrant women and data was analysed by thematic content analysis. Results indicate that there are similarities between participants’ experiences concerning the importance of their first encounters when arriving in Switzerland. Their migratory project and expectations seem to be key elements for motivating integration strategies. Professional and social integration imply dealing with shifting boundaries of belonging and a dynamic negotiation of self-image between diverse groups, which they consider as a resource but may also lead to different perceptions of deskilling.

Full Text: PDF