Windsor

New tool launched to push for more balanced workplaces

The Workforce Innovators Network, a project by Build a Dream, launched Wednesday with the aim of improving gender diversity in Canadian workplaces.

'It's really opening doors for women' says carpenter's union president

If no changes were made to the country's current rate of growth, it would take almost 150 years to achieve gender parity in senior management roles, according to the Workforce Innovators Network. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The Workforce Innovators Network, a project by Build a Dream, launched Wednesday with the aim of improving gender diversity in Canadian workplaces.

According to WIN, if there were no changes made to the current rate of growth, it would take 147 years to reach parity for women in senior management roles. 

"[Workplaces] need to take a more intentional approach to get more females," said WIN and Build a Dream founder Nour Hachem. 

Hachem said the tool will encourage companies to use different language in the workplaces to promote the advancement of women in male-dominated sectors.

WIN and Build a Dream founder Nour Hachem says workplaces need to work harder achieve gender balance. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Shawn Ramey, president of the Local 494 carpenter's union, said he's seen an increase in interest from women for roles in his sector.

In 2017, there were just two women in the local carpenter's union. In 2018, there were 10 — and three of those 10 are visible minorities.

"It's changed the way people view the construction industry," said Ramey. "One came from a Build A Dream event, [and some] came from the [Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program] and co-op program in the schools."

Shawn Ramey, president of the Local 494 carpenter's union, says he's seen an increase in interest from women for roles in his sector. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Ramey said a lot the interest has to do with schools encouraging more students — male or female — to try the trades.

"There was no link to show [women] the opportunities they have in trades," said Ramey. "It's really opening doors for women."

Ramey said he thinks the WIN tool will give women searching for jobs and companies alike an avenue to reach gender parity. 

The tool provides speakers, workshops, student education and business consultations to develop inclusive practices.

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