Searching for employment: highly educated immigrant women and combined capabilities


  • Tytti Steel University of Helsinki
  • Marjut Jyrkinen University of Helsinki


working life, job seeking, capability, immigration, employment services, gender


Our paper addresses the ways in which highly educated immigrant women encounter and experience employment services in Finland. This qualitative study examines a group of women who have experience with both governmentally funded Employment and Economic Centre services (TE Services) and services offered by the third sector. The research question in this paper is as follows: How do the employment services support the capabilities of immigrant women job seekers trying to find work? Our analysis is inspired by Sen’s capability approach and Nussbaum’s concept of combined capabilities. The first empirical section addresses women with a foreign background as job seekers and their internal capabilities. We look at the enabling factors and hurdles faced by highly educated immigrant women trying to enter the job market due to their gender and age. In the second empirical section, we analyse how the combined capabilities are constructed through contacts with employment services.

Articles: Politics and policies



How to Cite

Steel, T., & Jyrkinen, M. (2017). Searching for employment: highly educated immigrant women and combined capabilities. Finnish Journal of Social Research, 10(1), 35–42.