December 15, 2017 11:46 am
Updated: December 15, 2017 1:02 pm

More and more women climbing into trades positions in Manitoba

WATCH: From auto body shops and the cabinetry business, to the plumber coming to fix your toilet, the number of women signing up for a career in trades is slowly rising. Global's Zahra Premji reports.


From welders to mechanics, the number of women signing up for a career in trades is slowly rising.

Construction, plumbing, heavy lifting and building are often seen as a man’s job, but, over the last two decades there’s been a steady climb in women entering the industry.

RELATED: Women account for just 4.5% of skilled trade workers in Canada: report

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In 1997, there were just 65 women registered as apprentices in Manitoba. Now, 20 years later, there are more than 1,300 women in trades.

Aubrey Doerksen studied cabinetry and is now a Cabinetry and Wood Working Instructor at Red River College.

“I think it’s becoming more like ‘okay what’s the big deal, okay there’s a girl, what the big deal?’,” Doerksen said.

She added that while there still aren’t full classes of women in cabinetry and other trades at the college, there are more and more every semester.

“I was never the only female in my class. Sometimes I think that’s a bit of an anomaly. There might still only be one or maybe even none,” Doerksen said.

RELATED: ‘You Got This’ campaign encourages women pursuing careers in trades

One of Doerksen’s students, Kaylene Drescher-Wiesenbacher, is now an apprentice in cabinet making and she said she has never let gender be her barrier.

“I love working with my hands. I love being able to build something and have the satisfaction of seeing it at the end,” Drescher-Wiesenbacher said.

Passion has to guide someone’s career, not their gender, she said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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