The Future of Women Leaders in the Skilled Trades Looks Bright

With women representing only 6% in under-represented trades, you can only imagine how much lower this number drops when it comes to women in leadership positions. ITA in partnership with the BC Centre for Women in Trades (BCCWITT) is hoping to change this.

BCCWITT and ITA have developed a fully funded training program to help women build their leadership skills, recruit and retain women and diverse people in the trades, and shape the future of the skilled trades industry.

“I am excited to see the engagement and growing participation of tradeswomen in this program and their drive to develop leadership skills,” says Tara Fong, Director, Trades Inclusion & Access at ITA. “In many trades jobs, there aren't often opportunities to meet and interact with other tradeswomen. Initiatives like the Regional Representative Leadership Program are important as they bring people together and help build a network where tradeswomen and other tradespeople from underrepresented groups can share their stories and uplift each other.”

The Regional Representative Leadership Program is running multiple cohorts this year throughout the province. Most recently, the first cohort of 2021 ended in late September. A group of 13 tradeswomen attended a week-long intensive training program in Harrison, B.C.

“More tradeswomen in leadership positions helps ensure their voices, perspectives and experiences inform the development of skilled trades in British Columbia and will inspire more women to seek rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” says Executive Director for BCCWITT, Karen Dearlove.

Coming from a range of trade backgrounds, regions, and apprenticeship levels, these future female leaders connected and bonded with one another over the week, building a strong and diverse network.

Throughout the week, some of the training they participated in included:

  • Learning about ITA and BCCWITT
  • Understanding workplace rights and responsibilities 
  • Identifying barriers and supports
  • Developing their communication skills
  • Managing biases in the workplace for leaders
  • Learning how to create projects, proposals
  • Forming partnerships

“I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in the Regional Representative Program. It was so uplifting to be surrounded by such strong and courageous women.” 

- Natasha Zsiak (she/her), Steamfitter Apprentice

We are still seeking applicants (tradeswomen and underrepresented people) for upcoming cohorts of our Regional Representative Program. If you are interested in honing your leadership skills, meeting like-minded folks, and participating in a fun and challenging program, this could be a great opportunity for you!

Visit the BCCWITT page to learn more about how you can apply.

Want to join an upcoming cohort of the Regional Representative Program?

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!