Creating Space for Women in Technical Occupations

In 2019-20, women represented close to half of the post-secondary students at Canada’s polytechnics, yet they continue to be under-represented in a number of technical occupations.  Recognizing that industry partners also want a more diverse workforce, polytechnic institutions have been increasingly proactive about attracting women to traditionally male-dominated programs.  Summer camps, open houses and skilled trades programs reserved for women have been developed to address this shortfall.

Conestoga’s Pre-apprenticeship Program for Women

Conestoga offers a 34-week program for low-income, unemployed or under-employed women designed to equip students with skills and strategies to secure an apprenticeship position as a general carpenter.  The program is offered tuition-free and provides 26 weeks of practical theory and hands-on experience, followed by an eight-week paid work placement.

NAIT’s First Female Auto Body Instructor

Cecile Bukmeier has years of industry experience under her belt and is the first female instructor in NAIT’s Auto Body Technician program.  Bukmeier is one of Alberta’s top technicians, earning gold medals from Skills Canada Alberta in 2013 and later at the national level.  As an industry leader, Cecile is also a strong champion and advocate for women in the trades.

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