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Plenty of Union Support for Women in Trades

During International Women’s Month, St. Albert Gazette is celebrating women that are making a difference in our local business and community landscapes. Learn how Building Trades of Alberta and Build Together are supporting and encouraging women in the trades.

Building Trades of Alberta and Build Together (Women of the Building Trades of Alberta) are excited to discuss their Supporting Working Parents Campaign.

Alanna Marklund, United Association Canada’s Special Representative for Youth, Diversity and Indigenous Relations, explains, “This campaign focuses on the importance of accessible, affordable and quality childcare for working parents. As women working in the skilled trades, we recognize that childcare is a barrier that disproportionately affects women, but we also acknowledge that it isn’t just women who experience this barrier. Childcare is a family issue.”

How does it affect families? Marklund points out, “From long hours and long commutes, it can be difficult to find childcare centres that coincide with a tradespersons’ working hours. We have developed practical and reasonable solutions for government, industry and unions to work together to create an environment where tradespeople are still able to be productive and have accessible, affordable and high quality childcare.”

The truth of it is this, “Without childcare, parents can’t work. We must focus on the flexibility required for working parents if we intend to eliminate this barrier faced by so many.”

This campaign is just one of the many ways Building Trades of Alberta and Build Together are creating a safer, more positive working landscape for workers, and particularly for women.

Marklund says, “The mission of Build Together, Women of the Building Trades of Alberta, is to attract and retain more women, youth, Indigenous, new Canadians and other underrepresented groups to the unionized skilled trades in Alberta. We will achieve this through ongoing commitment to increasing diversity, understanding and community within Alberta’s organized construction trades using mentorship, promotion, advocacy, education and more. We champion inclusion in the unionized trades and are dedicated to challenging stereotypes and all forms of harassment and discrimination, both in and out of the workplace.

Kayla Lamouche, a Build Together Member, discusses why trades are a valuable career path for women.

“I believe that the trades are an excellent path for women because they make higher income, which equals a better quality of life and builds confidence,” she says. “In the unions, you get the same pay as everyone else. Some things that women don't know about the trades is you do not need to be strong. There are a lot of mechanical advantages and techniques you can learn to help. What I personally love the most about my trade is that I am constantly learning and get to work with a lot of people from all over the world, and I get to give my children a better quality of life.

During International Women’s Month, women should take some time to consider a career in the skilled trades. With support from Building Trades of Alberta and Build Together, there is plenty of support on the job, through the union and in the community.

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