Student, Fleming College
Fleming College’s focus on recruiting and training women to study in its skilled trades programs is empowering students across Ontario.
Many people have deeply-ingrained misconceptions about the skilled trades — that they’re for students who didn’t do well in school or that they’re better suited for men, for example. Fortunately, more and more intelligent young women are helping to break down these stereotypes and highlighting the qualities that make trades careers so appealing.
An array of exciting career opportunities
Cassie Caveen is a graduate of Fleming College’s post-secondary electrical techniques program and a current student in the electrical pre-apprenticeship program. For her, becoming an electrician is an exciting and rewarding journey. “I really enjoy the diversity of electrical,” she says. “There are so many pathways you can take. Being an electrician involves doing a lot of new things, troubleshooting, creative thinking, and problem-solving.” The work keeps her on her toes, with new challenges to tackle every day.
There are many exciting career opportunities for women in skilled trades, from electrical to carpentry, cooking, welding, and beyond. Fleming’s School of Trades and Technology offers all these programs and more, providing hands-on training in world-class facilities and incorporating the latest techniques in a variety of apprenticeship, skilled trades, and technology programs.
The strength in diversity and inclusion
Fleming is proud to have women like Caveen as students. The school recognizes the importance of recruiting and training women to work in skilled trades — including opening up opportunities for women, addressing skills shortages, and diversifying the economy.
Accordingly, the college is taking steps to ensure that women are encouraged and supported when entering trades programs. It has fostered an environment where all students are respected and where resources, tutoring, and other learning supports are easily accessible.
Knowing that there are these other girls in my class and other women in the field — that it’s not just me, myself, and I — is comforting.
Caveen appreciates the supports and inclusivity at Fleming. “The class is more diverse than I expected,” she says. “Knowing that there are these other girls in my class and other women in the field — that it’s not just me, myself, and I — is comforting.”
Thanks to the support of Fleming and other women in her program, Caveen has entered the trades beaming with confidence and motivation. She encourages other young women to consider the trades, despite contrary advice they may be getting from well-meaning onlookers. “Don’t listen to other people’s opinions on what you should be doing. If you think you’d like something, just try it,” she says. “If you like it, keep going.”