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Top Trades That Canadian Women Have Conquered

Updated: May 31, 2023

Women in Canada have made significant strides in various industries and professions. However, certain trades still face challenges in terms of representation and equal opportunities. In this article, we will explore the top trades that have traditionally been underrepresented by Canadian women. We will delve into the reasons behind these disparities and discuss potential solutions to encourage greater diversity and inclusivity.

The Gender Gap in Trades

Understanding the Disparity

The gender gap in trades refers to the significant underrepresentation of women in certain vocational fields. While progress has been made in bridging this gap, it remains a pressing issue. Understanding the factors contributing to this disparity is crucial for creating effective solutions.

Factors Contributing to the Gender Gap

Several factors contribute to the gender gap in trades. Social stereotypes and cultural biases play a significant role in steering women away from these traditionally male-dominated industries. Lack of access to information and limited exposure to trade opportunities further exacerbate the problem. Additionally, the physical demands of certain trades and a lack of support networks contribute to the underrepresentation of women.

Trade 1 - Construction

Overview of the Construction Industry

Construction is one of the most prominent trades where women are underrepresented. The industry involves the planning, designing, and building of infrastructure projects. From residential buildings to large-scale infrastructure developments, construction offers various career paths.

Key Statistics

Statistics reveal that women make up only a small percentage of the construction workforce in Canada. According to recent data, women comprise less than 5% of the total construction workforce, highlighting the need for increased gender diversity in this field.

Challenges Faced by Women in Construction

Women in construction often face unique challenges such as prejudice, discrimination, and a lack of mentorship opportunities. The physically demanding nature of the work can also deter some women from pursuing careers in this trade. However, efforts are being made to break down these barriers and create a more inclusive construction industry.

Trade 2 - Electrical

Overview of the Electrical Industry

The electrical trade involves the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems. It is another field where women are underrepresented. However, with advancements in technology and a growing demand for renewable energy, the electrical industry offers promising opportunities for women.

Trade #3 - Plumbing

Plumbing is an essential trade that involves the installation and maintenance of water supply and drainage systems. While traditionally male-dominated, more women are breaking barriers and pursuing careers in plumbing.

Trade #4 - Automotive

The automotive trade encompasses various roles, including automotive technicians, mechanics, and engineers. While women have historically been underrepresented in this field, they are making significant strides and contributing to the industry's growth.

Trade #5 - Welding

Welding is a trade that involves joining metal parts using heat and pressure. Women welders are becoming more visible and are challenging the notion that welding is exclusively a male profession.

Trade #6 - Carpentry

Carpentry involves working with wood and constructing structures. While traditionally considered a male occupation, more women are breaking barriers and excelling in carpentry.

Trade #7 - HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)

The HVAC trade deals with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Women are increasingly pursuing careers in this field, contributing to the design, installation, and maintenance of these systems.

Trade #8 - Heavy Equipment Operator

Operating heavy machinery and equipment is a trade where women have been historically underrepresented. However, more women are entering this field and showcasing their skills as heavy equipment operators.

Trade #9 - Industrial Mechanic

Industrial mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing machinery in various industries. While women face challenges in this trade, their numbers are steadily increasing, bringing diversity and new perspectives to the field.

Trade #10 - Ironworker

Ironworkers are involved in the construction of structural frameworks using steel and iron. Although it has been a male-dominated trade, more women are breaking through barriers and making their mark as ironworkers.

Trade #11 - Automotive Service Technician

Automotive service technicians are skilled professionals who repair and maintain vehicles. Women in this trade are challenging stereotypes and making significant contributions to the automotive industry.

Trade #12 - Instrumentation and Control Technician

Instrumentation and control technicians play a vital role in ensuring the proper functioning of industrial processes and equipment. While traditionally male-dominated, more women are pursuing careers in this technical trade.

Trade #13 - Boilermaker

Boilermakers construct, assemble, and repair boilers, tanks, and other large containers. Women in this trade are breaking barriers and bringing their skills to this challenging profession.

In conclusion, while progress has been made in increasing gender diversity in various trades in Canada, there is still work to be done. The underrepresentation of women in certain trades is a complex issue influenced by various factors. By promoting inclusivity, providing mentorship programs, and addressing systemic barriers, we can strive towards a more equitable future where women have equal opportunities in all trades.


Why are these trades underrepresented by Canadian women?

These trades have traditionally been seen as male-dominated, leading to social stereotypes and biases that discourage women from pursuing careers in them. Limited exposure and lack of support networks also contribute to the underrepresentation.

Are there any initiatives in place to encourage women's participation in these trades?

What can employers do to promote diversity in traditionally male-dominated trades?

How can we challenge stereotypes and encourage young girls to pursue careers in these trades?

What are the benefits of having more women in trades?

Are you a woman interested in pursuing a rewarding career in the skilled trades? Contact NDC today to explore the possibilities and resources available to support your journey. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with information, guidance, and opportunities tailored to empower women in the skilled trades.

Take the first step towards breaking barriers and achieving your goals in the skilled trades. Contact NDC now and let us help you navigate your path to success!

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