Advancing Women In Skilled Trades

Myths Busted!

Myth Busted!

The real deal on Women Working in Skilled Trades and Technology

There are many misconceptions about women in non-traditional roles, esspecially when it comes to women in skilled trades and technology. Below, we dispel some of these common myths about women working in male dominated non-traditional occupations with the real facts.

Business Woman. Woman Engineer. Woman in Helmet with Documents.




The only path to money-making career is with a university degree

While university is one path to a good career, pursuing a skilled trade apprenticeship and earning a Certificate of Qualification is a different – and equally respectable – path to a great and well-paying career

Careers in the trades are for students who don’t like school

The skilled trades industry is full of smart, dynamic people who have invested many years and thousands of hours in training and schooling to receive their professional designation. The work often involves math, science, technology, chemistry and physics

Careers in the skilled trades and technology are not full-time or permanent

The vast majority of workers in skilled trades and technology work full time(97% in 2007)

Training in skilled trades and technical fields may not lead to a job


It is estimated that 40% of tradespeople currently in the workforce will retire over the next five to ten years in Canada. These jobs offer an opportunity to make some big bucks. With the aging workforce comes concern about whether enough younger workers will be available to replace older workers as they retire. Women trained in skilled trades and technical fields are in high demand!

Women don’t belong in trades and technical fields

The sentiment that women don’t belong in the trades is an outdated stereotype. The skilled trades require agility, endurance, balance and coordination – not a specific gender

Women and men are represented equally in most occupations

Technical fields and skilled trades are highly paid jobs in Canada, and women are under represented in these fields. Women hold less than 4.5% of all skilled trade jobs across Canada

Jobs in which women are traditionally employed pay salaries comparable to jobs in which men are traditionally employed

The gap between women’s and men’s incomes is substantial with women in Hamilton, Burlington and Grimsby earning 73% of men’s wages, lower than the Ontario rate of 78%. One of the most important reasons for the continuing gap in incomes is ongoing segregation in employment between “men’s work” and “women’s work”

Women are not strong enough to handle heavy labour

The strength requirements for non-traditional jobs are often exaggerated. Many non-traditional jobs are less physically demanding than housework, and many traditional women’s jobs, such as nursing and waitressing, are just as physically demanding as some non-traditional jobs

Women don’t like skilled trades or technical jobs

Researchers have found that most tradeswomen have a high degree of job satisfaction

Women do not have the mechanical or mathematical aptitude for skilled trades or technology

There is no difference in women’s and men’s innate skills and potential. Recent research shows that, despite widely held stereotypes, girls perform as well as boys on standardized math tests