Supporting women in the skilled trades

by | Jan 4, 2021 | 0 comments

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has conducted a number of research initiatives and has developed a set of goals to support women in skilled trades.

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has conducted a number of research initiatives and has developed a set of goals to support women in skilled trades.

Key goals are:

Increase the number of women apprentices, journeypersons and supervisors where they are underrepresented in proportion to the total number in a skilled trades workplace.

Create respectful and welcoming workplaces through meaningful policy and education. Workplaces should be safe, healthy, inclusive and equitable, free of harassment, bullying and discrimination.

Based on research projects in 2018 and 2019, it also developed a set of recommendations for employers with the goal of attracting and supporting women in the skilled trades.

For Employers:

Implement Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Initiatives

  • Offer mandatory training about respect and emotional safety in the workplace for management, administrative staff, journeypersons and apprentices
  • Sign up, borrow, or take part in the development of a code of conduct for your workplace
  • Make it safe to report bullying incidents and inform people where to report; have a contact at your workplace
  • Ensure there is a transparent process for investigation and ensure there are consequences
  • Implement an anonymous annual survey about bullying and harassment
  • Keep track of the numbers and make the numbers public

Hire Women

  • Reach out to diverse communities and groups of women when advertising employment opportunities
  • Be transparent about hiring processes and available opportunities
  • Develop a high-quality on-boarding process and prepare the team to welcome the new person

Prepare the Workplace

  • Review all policies and practices using a gender-diversity lens and re-adjust them where necessary to ensure there is equity
  • Ensure gender-neutral language is used in policies, collective agreements and in all day-to-day operations and transactions
  • Provide uniforms and personal protective equipment that fit women’s bodies
  • Ensure there are separate, safe, secure and clean washrooms and change rooms for women

Support Career Advancement

  • Support professional development opportunities for women
  • Outline the advancement policies to all employees
  • Offer promotions based on skills and seniority
  • Provide women with leadership positions on worksites

For more information, visit www.caf-fca.org.

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