There is a feeling of momentum in the participation rates of girls and women in trades programming in the district.

“Traditionally, the percentage of girls and young women participating in trades programs, including software development, has mirrored the national average of women who are in these occupations,” said Rob Wielgoz, district vice-principal, Trades and Transitions. “We’re seeing a growth in participation in recent years however, to a point where now we have double the numbers of female student participation relative to those in the workforce.”

Wielgoz said this is exciting, because it means events like Girls Exploring Trades and Technology are having an impact and helping to push against stereotypes to open new career pathways for women. The goal is to see the student participation numbers shift the workforce numbers, over time.

“In Canada, females make up nine per cent of the software developer workforce,” he said. “Our goal is to see this workforce percentage double, as well.”

He said opportunities continue to open up for women in trades – from carpentry and plumbing to aerospace and horticulture.

“By indexing the district’s gender equity goals as double the national rate of employment in each sector with the national rate, we can both reflect on and contribute to improving gender equity in historically male dominated industries,” said Wielgoz.

Trades and Transitions is still accepting applications for TNT programs. Students who wish to apply can contact their school counselor or visit the TNT website for more information.

This story has been reproduced with permission from School District 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). The original posting can be found here.