Advancing Women In Skilled Trades
Wonder Girls Comic Artwork

Workshop 1 : Women in the Skilled Trades

Women Girls Workshop Overview


To introduce students to the four sectors of the skilled trades and to explore several myths surrounding women in the trades

Part A: Introduction to the world of technology

The introduction portion of this workshop consists of a PowerPoint presentation which will introduce students
to local labour market information highlighting the need for more skilled trades workers in Ontario. Statistics on
the number of women who are currently in the skilled trades workforce will be given. Then, the 4 sectors of skilled trades in Ontario will be explored (construction, motive, service and industrial) with examples of careers that can be pursued within each sector. The myths and stereotypes about work in the skilled trades will be examined, with a focus on the gender stereotypes that continue to discourage more women from pursuing these careers. Finally, the pathways to a career in the skilled trades will be explored, with a focus on apprenticeships.

PowerPoint Presentation: 26 slides

Part B: Mentor/ Role Model Component

Research indicates that one of the most important factors to the success of young women in technical fields and skilled trades is providing mentors and role models. Young women need to see examples of other women successfully following non-traditional career paths. For this portion of the workshop, choose from the following options:

1. Mentor Presentation

A contact list of local women in the skilled trades and technical fields has been provided in this toolkit, along with their contact information. They may be contacted to make presentations to students regarding the challenges and benefits of pursuing a career in the skilled trades and technical fields.

Mentor Contact List
2. Mentor Brochures

Brochures of local mentors have also been provided in this toolkit which can be used as case studies
of successful women pursuing a skilled trade or technology. They include information such as education, salary, employer, skills, challenges, and benefits of various careers in the skilled trades and technical fields. These brochures can be used as supplementary materials in addition to a mentor presentation, or alone if mentors are unavailable.

Mentor Brochures
3. Video Clips

There are several video clips located on the accompanying USB drive of women working in the skilled trades and technology that can be shown in addition to the ones already embedded within the PowerPoint presentations. These can be used as supplementary materials, or as the primary method of exposing young women to mentors in the skilled trades and technical fields.

Part C: Experimental Learning Exercise

Tools of the Trades

Introduce young women to the day-to-day tasks of a journeyperson by allowing them to freely experiment with various ‘tools of the trades’.

Material required:

Set up a station in the classroom where a variety of tools and materials can be laid out on the table. Before beginning, discuss safety precautions of using each tool and risks involved. Discuss how journeypersons often work with a variety of different tools, equipment and machinery that requires focus and the following of many safety precautions. Then, allow students to explore the station, encouraging them to try using the tools. Ensure close supervision of students during this time. Encourage them to experiment with joining the pieces of wood together using the hammer and nails.
Ask them to measure out certain lengths of wire and cut it using pliers. Reiterate that women are equally as capable as men to use these tools in their daily lives or as part of a career path. Once they have a feel for using these tools, encourage them to build something unique using the materials provided.


Upon completion of this workshop, students will: