Women in trades centre opens
July 25, 2018
The new BC Centre for Women in the Trades officially opened June 28 in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
The centre, headquartered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW 213) offices, will provide programs and services to women in the construction industry.
The project was funded by both the provincial and federal government, and was created with the help of the BC Tradeswomen Society, BC Federation of Labour, BC Building Trades, Construction Labour Relations Association of BC, and BC LNG.
“The provincial government realized years ago that something needed to be done to encourage women to enter the trades,” BC Tradeswomen Society president and electrician Lisa Langevin said. “But while B.C. was putting money towards recruiting, they weren’t looking at retention.”
The former government realized it needed to look further forward, Langevin said, and turned to her organization to identify stumbling blocks for women in the trades. She didn’t have to search long to find them.
Of 100 electricians at a major hospital project in Abbotsford, B.C. only one was a woman, she noted.
The Centre maintains a database that employees can use to receive notices about jobs and upcoming events. Employers can use the database to find female workers for projects.
“If a company wants to hire women, this database will help,” Langevin said.
Other networking efforts, she added, will include a leadership workshop for women and social events.