Aboriginal women learning trades but struggle to find careers

April 29, 2014

More aboriginal women are enrolling in trade schools, but they continue to face significant barriers in finding careers after graduation. As many as half of the aboriginal women enrolled in BC’s Squamish Nation Trades Centre leave their trade after completing their training. The attrition rate may be due to a number of factors, including childcare—statistically, aboriginal women have children at a younger age—and a lack of drivers’ licenses, which are required for many trades jobs. Others suggest that women in general leave the trades after facing sexism on the job site. “I was the only female carpenter on site and I found that right away, the guys really didn’t think that I could hold my end of it,” said one Trades Centre graduate. Some are now suggesting that the BC government should take a look at labour regulations that will encourage hiring more qualified women and marginalized persons to complement its public training programs. CBC