Building a foundation of respect - Part 7 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 7

Myths and facts about women in the skilled trades The challenges:

  • Outreach and recruitment to traditionally underrepresented groups
  • Attracting and retaining the brightest and the best from all sources of labour

The solutions:

  • Eliminate non-job factors such as gender-specific traits and/or racial, age, dis/ability, appearance preferences or culturally specific behaviours from recruitment, job evaluation and advancement processes
  • Treat people as professionals, not as stereotypes that make assumptions about job ability/inability

Eliminating non-job factors from recruitment includes planning the interview process

  • Use an interview panel of at least two people rather than a single interviewer. This may capture information that a single interviewer may overlook.
  • Strive to include panel members from underrepresented groups. This can provide perspectives from a different viewpoint.
  • Train interviewers on unconscious bias and awareness of invisible barriers affecting women and other underrepresented groups.
  • Identify standardized interview questions based on the qualifications required to be successful in the skilled trades, not on traits associated with gender, race or culture.
  • A few key traits to look for, in addition to evidence of technical training and skills, are a candidate's time management skills, ability to overcome obstacles, and ability to work well in a team.

Did you know? Workers from traditionally underrepresented groups have been prevented from working in construction due to barriers such as stereotypes and unconscious bias; not due to ability or inability.


OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Developing effective communication skills to create and sustain a respectful and inclusive workplace

Previous installment: How bias can influence personal and business decisions




In honour of Labour Day we celebrate Canadian men and women in construction skilled trades

What is the single most important personal quality of an excellent tradesperson?


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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.