President, Women in Nuclear Canada
Addressing the climate crisis requires all hands on deck, and the trades in particular play a big role in creating a clean energy future. Lisa McBride, President of Women in Nuclear (WiN) Canada, discusses the importance of considering a career in nuclear.
What types of opportunities are available for women in nuclear?
There are so many opportunities for women to be part of the nuclear industry today, with numerous key projects, and innovations happening right now. Canada is host to the full lifecycle of nuclear energy — we have uranium mining, nuclear power plants, decommissioning activities, nuclear waste management, and of course small modular reactors, all of which creates a real need for a talented, diverse workforce. The industry has opportunities in a range of fields for women in skilled trades. WiN Canada is committed to supporting greater gender diversity in the skilled trades for women.
Why is this industry more important than ever right now, and what role can it play in fostering positive advancements in society?
Today we’re staring at an unimaginable climate change crisis. Trades play a big part in creating a clean energy future for generations to come. We know that nuclear-generated electricity is the only source of energy that provides reliable energy 24 hours a day with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Thousands of individuals, including a growing number of women, work in trades at our nuclear facilities and in the supply chain every day.
What advice can you offer to young women looking to pursue a career in this field?
As we’ve been sharing during our Confidence Gap Workshops, confidence is action before feeling. Even if you are the only woman in your class or in your department, you deserve to be there, so step out in confidence even though you might not feel confident at first. Find a mentor who can support you on your journey. So many women have blazed the trail in trades that are willing to mentor the next generation.
What organizations would you recommend that women who are interested in trades turn to?
The nuclear industry in Canada has a bright future and I know all of our major nuclear utilities and suppliers are looking for more women in their workforces. WiN Canada supports women working in all areas of nuclear business and is a great resource group with free membership. As well, Skills Ontario and Skills Canada offer great resources and opportunities for women pursuing careers in all skilled trades.