When Ronda Frigault began her plumbing career, she quickly adapted to being the only female on the job.
“Twenty years ago there were no other tradeswomen on any job site. There were no plumbers, there were no carpenters, there were no electricians, especially around HRM,” she said.
When Frigault gained her Red Seal, she was only the second woman in the province to do so.
A clear indication that trades were, and still remain a male-dominated field of employment.
WATCH: Women in skilled trades
Frigault believes it’s not that there aren’t jobs in the trades available to women, it’s that role models are hard to come by and they would help positively influence women to pursue work in trades.
“I think a lot of times the women just haven’t seen a lot of female role models in these careers so they don’t necessarily think it’s an option, but through these programs like Techsploration, we’re definitely being able to see a lot more of them.”
According to Statistics Canada, there were nearly 7,000 males enrolled in apprenticeship training in Nova Scotia in 2015, while there were only 405 females participating in the same programs.
Junior high students participating at Techsploration, an event aimed at engaging young females, got a chance to partake in workshops led by tradeswomen.
“I think that the mentors and role models are really inspiring because they give their story of how they got to be who they are and I like following in their paths because I want to be successful in life,” said Bailee Ens, a Grade 9 student from Ridgecliff Middle School.
Tradeswomen like Frigault had the opportunity to engage youth in potential career paths they may want to follow that are non-traditional roles for women.
“It shows you so many different career options and how to get into them and that you can pursue them because you get to see actual women in these fields and being successful,” Aurora Rulka said, another junior high student from Ridgecliff.
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