B.C. government seeks to recruit more women into construction industry

Workplace culture needs to change to keep women in the contraction trade workforce

Western Investor
March 28, 2019

construction worker


The B.C. government wants more women working in trades and has launched a pilot program to encourage the trend.

Women make up 4.7 per cent of the province’s construction trades workforce but the Builders Code aims to boost that figure to 10 per cent by 2028.

Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training said the goal is to retain more women in the workforce and fill trades gaps needed to build multiple high-dollar projects. 

Mark said an expected 41,000 trades jobs are expected to open up in the next decade while at the same time women continue to be 50 per cent more likely to leave that workforce than men.

And, she said, it’s the culture that needs to shift. Studies have found women face discrimination, bullying and harassment on job sites, she said.

The BC Construction Association said such a code of conduct is needed because there is no standard for behaviour on B.C. worksites, and that many employers lack the skills, knowledge or resources needed to take action against harassment or bullying. 


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