Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, Equitable Pathways to Technical Fields and Skilled Trades is a three-year program led by YWCA Hamilton in partnership with ArcelorMittal Dofasco, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB). The project is centered on three goals:
Labour force research indicates that the number of jobs in the skilled trades and technology will continue to grow in Canada. It has been estimated that between 2015 and 2024, there will be roughly 250,000 skilled tradespeople retiring in Canada (BuildForce Canada, 2015). In addition, the Canadian government is investing billions of dollars in the technical fields, indicating that Canada is home to a growing tech workforce (Brookfield Institute, 2019). Women are under-represented in both of these industries. The introduction and retention of women in the trades and technical fields would not only benefit women but also improve all sectors of the economy.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2020), a gender stereotype is a generalized view or preconception about attributes, characteristics, or roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by individuals of different genders. Gender stereotyping is a root cause of discrimination and can lead to violations of human rights.
Gender stereotypes are both descriptive and prescriptive. The descriptive components describe beliefs about what individuals of different genders typically do or how they act. The prescriptive components are beliefs about what individuals of different genders should do or how they should act (Koenig, 2018).