Advancing Women In Skilled Trades
Wonder Girls Comic Artwork

Workshop 3 : Careers in the Industrial Sector

Women Girls Workshop Overview


To introduce students to the various careers they can pursue within the Industrial Sector with special focus on a career as a Welder.

Part A: Introduction to Careers in Construction

The introduction portion of this workshop consists of a PowerPoint presentation which will introduce students to the industrial sector of the skilled trades. Various careers that fall under this sector will then be examined briefly (for example – blacksmith, locksmith, general machinist, cabinetmaker, etc.). The apprenticeship pathway will then be explored and the under- representation of women in the industrial sector will be examined. Finally, special focus will be on a welder, examining the duties and benefits of successfully pursuing this career. The apprenticeship program for
becoming a welder will be explored in detail, including the number of hours necessary for both in-school and on-the-job training, and skills that are learned in both settings.

PowerPoint Presentation: 25 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

Chocolate Welding

Demonstrate the basic principles of welding using only two materials: chocolate and hot water! In this activity, students will be able to weld together a box girder bridge made of chocolate.

Step 1:

Boil water using a kettle and place hot water in a tall glass bottle with a lid to prevent spills.

Step 2:

Hold the edges of the first two chocolate bars against the bottle of hot water until they melt slightly.

Step 3:

Press the melted edges together in a right angle, and leave to cool in a jig (make a jig by cutting two right angles into a plastic box). This is half of the bridge.

Step 4:

Repeat the above step to complete the other half of the bridge.

Step 5:

When the half sections have cooled completely, melt the remaining long edges and press them together to form a box. Leave the box to cool completely in the fridge.

Materials required:

Watch the following video for step by step instructions and explanation:


Upon completion of this workshop, students will: