Director of Competitions & Young Women’s Initiatives, Skills Ontario
The skilled trades and technologies face a daunting gender gap — one that Skills Ontario is helping to bridge through its Young Women’s Initiatives.
There’s no “right way” for a tradesperson to look. Skilled trades and technologies provide outstanding career opportunities for all, with job security, good pay, and flexibility, to name a few perks. However, there’s a drastic imbalance in how many women pursue and work in these fields compared to men. Skills Ontario works to ensure that Ontarians not only acknowledge the benefits of these careers, but also recognize that these careers are suitable and excellent for everyone.
Inspiring young women
Representation plays a key role in career exploration. With this in mind, Skills Ontario offers experiential, mentor-led learning opportunities for all those who identify as women through Young Women’s Initiatives for nearly twenty years. Skills Ontario hosts Career Exploration Events and Young Women’s Conferences to showcase careers that may have once been considered untraditional for women. These events are hosted by and involve female skilled professionals, giving young women an opportunity to be inspired by successful tradespeople who look like them thriving in these careers.
“We’re committed to motivating all youth throughout their career discovery,” says Jennifer Green, Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiatives at Skills Ontario. “Part of this is ensuring that Ontarians are aware that women are equally suited to working in skilled trade and technology careers as men. It’s important that we spread this message and that our future leaders know there’s nothing standing in the way of a career in these amazing fields.”
Making connections through mentorship and employment
It’s because of Skills Ontario’s commitment to representation that the organization includes mentors and employers in its initiatives, making sure that all groups have a voice and can connect with each other. Skills Ontario also supports employers’ programs to provide opportunities to women that address the deficit of diversity in these fields. Women aren’t only welcome in the skilled trades and technologies — they’re essential to the sectors’ success.
Skills Ontario is continuing to address the employment gap within the skilled workforce, allowing young women the opportunities to explore, ask questions, and learn in an environment they feel comfortable in.