Women in Construction (WiC) network, supported by the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA), is celebrating five years. In May 2013, a group of dedicated women came together with the intention of developing a forum that would promote and support female participation in the construction industry. Five years later, WiC is still going strong with chapters in Victoria and Nanaimo.
“Women make up over 12 per cent of the construction workforce in Canada. With the Island being hit with a labour shortage, I think we can move that dial and support more women into the industry,” stated Cheryl Hartman, chair of WiC’s Victoria chapter. “Our events provide an opportunity for industry members to come together in support of the mentorship, professional development, and growth of all women in construction.”
Over the past five years, WiC has hosted site tours, powerhouse panels, and social mixers for a vast network of individuals, ranging from students and engineers to project managers and tradespersons. The events are open to anyone who considers themselves a ‘woman in construction’, as well as those who support women working in the industry.
“We’re proud of the work our Women in Construction network is doing to empower women within the industry,” said Rory Kulmala, VICA CEO. “We’ve watched the network mature from its infancy to where it is today, growing in membership size and expanding the diversity of roles these women hold within their respective companies. It’s time for all members of our industry to support the inclusion and advancement of women working in the skilled trades.”
In a recent poll conducted by the Industry Training Authority’s Women in Trades Training initiative, tradeswomen report high levels of job satisfaction and increased confidence. VICA’s Women in Construction network is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers who are focused on mentoring the next generation of workers to create a vibrant and welcoming industry.