Advancing Women In Skilled Trades
Wonder Girls Comic Artwork

Workshop 2: Careers in Construction

Women Girls Workshop Overview


To introduce students to the various careers they can pursue within the Construction Sector with a focus on a career as an Electrician

Part A: Introduction to Careers in Construction

Students will be introduced to the construction sector of the skilled trades, with a focus on the under- representation of women within this industry. Various careers that fall under the construction sector will then be examined briefly (for example – ironworker, plumber, sheet metal worker, stonemason, electrician, etc.). Special focus will be on the electrician, examining the duties and skills necessary for a successful career. Finally, the pathway necessary to pursue a career in construction will be explored. This information will be presented in a PowerPoint presentation. Powerpoint

PowerPoint Presentation: 24 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

Build an Ice Tray Battery

Materials required: 5 galvanized nails, copper wire, empty ice cube tray, single LED light, vinegar.

Step 1:

Tightly wrap a piece of copper wire five times around each galvanized nail just under the head of the nail. Leave a tail of wire extending straight out from the nail about 3″ (8cm).

Step 2:

Fill six wells of an ice tray with distilled white vinegar.

Step 3:

Create a circuit by placing each nail into one well of vinegar and making sure the copper wire is bent so that it does into the vinegar in the next well. The wire is an electron bridge from one well into the next. Make sure the wire from one nail does NOT touch the nail or wire in any other well. There should be only vinegar between the metals in each well.

Step 4:

Place one “leg” of the LED into the well with only a copper wire inside it and place the other “leg” into the well with only a nail in it. The bulb should light up! If it doesn’t, try lifting the bulb out of the well, rotate it a half-turn to move the legs to the opposite well, and lower it back into the vinegar.

For an explanation on how this works and a video walkthrough on how to perform the experiment, visit:


Upon completion of this workshop, students will: