Ontario Construction News staff writer
For Ontario’s carpenters, every day is a good day to “think equal, build smart, innovate for change.”
“Today we recognize the many strong and intelligent women in our day to day lives,” Union Local 27 tweeted on International Women’s Day. “It’s important to recognize all the Sisters in the Brotherhood for all the hard work they do and the vital roles they play in our union.”
Related International Women’s Day stories:
Celebrating Women in Construction in Middlesex County
Ontario’s residential builders highlight opportunities for women in construction
At a town hall event hosted by Carpenters Local 27 last month in Woodbridge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about childcare and other issues important to women in construction.
“We need more women in trades,” Trudeau said. “We’re also moving forward on increasing the grants for apprenticeships so people can afford to go and get training in the trades.”
The prime minister spoke about immigration, technology’s impact on Canada’s workforce and the importance of support skilled trades careers.
“I’m standing here in this training centre that is proof positive that you will continue to be able to adapt to all the new technologies, all the new opportunities that come in with the world that is transforming,” he said. “Everyone says the future is going to be all digital and the future is going to be all science and technology. Absolutely, yes, . . . but building a house is never going to be done by a robot.
“The skills you have are always going to be necessary and they can’t be offshore.”
Rokhaya Gueye, a member of Carpenters Local 27, is involved on committees that address equity and inclusion within the union. She worked in the telecommunications industry for two decades and In 2019 lost her job and decided to become a carpenter, a goal since she graduated from George Brown College’s (GBC) construction engineering technician management program in the late 1990s.
Gueye told the prime minister that access to childcare is the biggest barrier for women getting into skilled trades careers. Her own goal of working in construction was delayed because she was a single mother and was not able to find childcare.
“The session was informative . . . and he was able to tell us about everything that is happening right now,” she said. “People from different groups, whether you are a journeyperson, doesn’t matter we were able to ask questions . . . and it was mind-boggling.”