As a not-for-profit organization, Skills Canada-Ontario is dedicated to promoting the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first-choice career options for Ontario youth. One of their programs is geared towards young women: 'Skills Work! For Women' Networking Dinners.
These events are held throughout the year at various locations in Ontario and it's an opportunity for young women in grades 9-12 to meet and network with women (called 'mentors') who work in a skilled trade (e.g. auto service technician, industrial mechanic (millwright), electrician, painter, information technologist, hairdresser, chef, etc).
Last night, I attended the event held at Centennial College's Ashtonbee Campus. As mentors, we talk about our journey and experience in the skilled trades. What an average day is like for us, what types of equipment we use, our skills and training, advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the trade, some challenges and successes in our career, educational requirements for the job, how apprenticeship works, etc.
The question/answer period is interesting as the high school girls have a chance to ask us what they really want to know... usually questions about pay scale, how we adapt to our environment (especially if we're in a male-dominated career), what did our family and friends think of our career choice, etc. It's also a good time as many of these girls are tailoring their high school courses to their chosen career. So it's beneficial to know what subjects will help them in the trade, for example maths and sciences are important as an auto service technician.
If your daughter is thinking of a career in the skilled trades, the networking dinners are a great way to get connected with tradeswomen.
For information on Skills Canada, click here.