Ontario Construction News staff writer
Andrea Martin didn’t have a lot of female role models when she started looking at a career in fall protection.
“I had amazing male mentors and sidekicks, but there were not a lot of women in the safety and fall protection space,” she said.
But with a lead spot in the docuseries “Skilled”, Andrea – and her employer 3M – hope to highlight the skilled trades as a viable and much-needed career path.
“My biggest thing moving forward is having more female mentors,” said Andrea, a fall protection sales specialist with 3M Canada, “to get more women involved in the skilled trades.”
“Skilled” celebrates skilled trades and addresses misperceptions that may be preventing people from pursuing these vital careers.
Produced by Generous Films and 3M, the series focuses on four people who have chosen the trades, including Andrea.
Skilled workers are vital to the success of 3M and its customers, but access to education and opportunity isn’t always equitable. That’s why 3M is focused on sharing “Skilled” in classrooms and advancing our global commitment to create five million unique skilled trades and STEM learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025.
By highlighting four tradespeople, “Skilled” showcases the diversity and breadth of trade jobs, and how workers can find personal fulfillment and professional success.
“The more that we open our eyes, take away these blinders about these jobs, the more we’ll understand that those skilled trades are what make the world go round — they build your house, your office space, our roads,” Andrea said.
The docuseries made its debut Jan. 22 at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and will be screened in the future at various international film festivals, including the Los Angeles International Film Festival and the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival, among others.
By partnering with Teach for America (TFA), the film will also be shown in TFA classrooms — reaching up to 30,000 students —and supported by discussion guides that will facilitate open conversation about the skilled trades and the opportunities available.