Build Together is a national CBTU program that promotes, supports and mentors women in the skilled construction trades.
A skills gap is coming—and that’s good news
In Canada, women represent only 4% of the construction trade workforce. In other skilled trades, that number is even smaller.
Studies and industry reports show that a large population of skilled trade workers are gearing up for retirement. An estimated 300,000 new workers will need to be recruited from outside the construction industry over the next ten years to compensate for this gap.
This is an enormous opportunity for women seeking secure, well-paid and fulfilling employment.
Construction: The last frontier
Construction is seen as the “last frontier” in terms of increasing numbers of female representation. Other industries & sectors- the military, law enforcement, etc. have surpassed 15% female representation. The numbers of women in construction has remained unchanged for years. The tradeswomen of Build Together, together with industry support—plan to change this.
For centuries, construction workers passed on the knowledge of their craft from father to son. This generational “passing of the torch” led to insular recruiting strategies in the past. Contemporary advertising strategies perpetuate the assumption by heavily gearing images and language towards men. The Build Together program has tailored strategies to actively recruit & retain women to the industry.
* Build Together is an initiative of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU).
Where we are and where we’re headed
To date, Build Together has:
- Gained the support of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) as one of its national initiatives.
- Created online platforms where tradeswomen and industry network and support the cause.
- Attended many events across the country such as trade shows, career fairs, mentorship dinners, as well as networking functions.
- Spoken at conferences, schools and events across the country.
- Given back to the community by way of charity donations and volunteerism.
- Been featured in media outlets across the country.
- Mentored individuals who expressed interest in the trades and needed further support and encouragement.
Moving forward, Build Together plans to:
- Build partnerships and create a sponsor recognition program of like- minded organizations who have goals to further the success of women in the trades.
- Continue providing mentorship and support to apprentices, journeypersons, and women considering the trades.
- Continue challenging and debunking the existing myths and stereotypes of women in the trades.
- Continue providing awareness and exposure to careers in the trades.
- Launch a structured mentorship program specifically geared towards retention of women in the industry.
- Support and assist in the creation and operations of provincial Build Together programs through the CBTU’s provincial councils across the country.
If you want more information or would like to get involved, contact Lindsay Amundsen at LAmundsen@buildingtrades.ca.