Tuesday, October 09, 2018
If you think construction isn’t women’s work, you’d be wrong. In fact, not only are women building the nation through careers in the skilled trades, they are industry leaders.
“I can’t think of a more rewarding career,” says Ashley Duncan, a journeyperson insulator. “I help build the infrastructure we all use every day, and that is so incredibly satisfying.”
Duncan is secretary-treasurer for Build TogetHER BC, which is the women’s committee of the BC Building Trades.
Build TogetHER will welcome Theresa King, the first female president of the Florida Building Trades, to Burnaby next week for a free talk at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown on her journey from the tools to the top. The presentation is aimed at anyone who wants to know more about women in the trades, some of the barriers they face, and how to overcome them.
King started her career as an electrician and worked her way up into a leadership role.
“We are so excited to be able to host someone like Theresa, whose story is such an inspiration,” says Duncan, who just last month became vice-president of the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 118 — the union’s first female vice-president in Canada.
Build TogetHER co-chairs, refrigeration mechanic Julia Ballantyne and electrician Sandra Brynjolfson, echo Duncan’s sentiment.
“Women represent only about four per cent of the skilled construction trades, but with people like Theresa and others paving the way, the only direction that figure can go is up,” said Ballantyne.
Brynjolfson, who is mentorship coordinator at the BC Centre for Women in the Trades, has a particular kinship with King, both of them being electricians. “I know the work and I know what it’s like to be the only woman on a job site. She’s fighting at the intersection of women’s rights and workers’ rights.”
Theresa King will speak at the Hilton Metrotown, 6083 McKay Ave., on Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to everyone. There will be opportunities for questions and networking. Please RSVP to [email protected].
Contact the BC Building Trades office