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More women in trades needed

June 25 2018

Over the past 15 years, Canada’s construction workforce has grown by over 90 per cent, yet women’s participation has grown on average by roughly 1 per cent, notes Keri Salvisburg Miller vice-president, member services at the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada.
While women make up more than 50 per cent of fields like educational services, accounting and investment, they represent only about 4 per cent of Canada’s skilled construction workforce, Sailvisbug Miller noted in a recent column in the Journal of Commerce.
“Making up that lost ground isn’t easy, but it is possible if the construction industry stays focused on showing more young women and their parents why the skilled trades are a great career choice,” he stated.
This decade, up to 25 per cent of Canada’s construction workforce, or about 250,000 workers, will be retiring. “With the skilled trades playing such a prominent role in the future economy, the timing is ideal for women to pursue construction careers,” he added.
However, industry has to do its part by thinking differently about how it keeps women engaged, according to Sailvisbug Miller.

For example, BuildForce Canada’s recruitment tracking shows that while more women are expected to enter the construction trades during peak construction cycles, without further incentives many are likely to leave the industry when projects wind down.

 

 

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