The Career Exploration Trades & Technology for Girls events are designed to bring together young females from grades 9-12 from various high schools to network with female mentors who are employed in the non-traditional skilled trade areas.
A similar program was established by Skills Canada Ontario and initiated here provincially with the help from partners such as Enterprise Saint John, Irving Oil, NB Power, Women in Nuclear-NB and the Wage Gap Reduction Initiative. We are able to use the same structure here in NB for what is called the Career Exploration Trades & Technology for Girls.
This event is designed to introduce young women in high school to the skilled trades and technology sectors and to female mentors who are currently working or studying in a related career field.
The current format fosters a positive environment in which young women have the opportunity to hear speakers discuss the rewards and challenges of their chosen career path, and to connect with mentors from their community. Mentors provide students with advice, guidance and inspiration by sharing their experiences. Participants leave empowered and informed about exciting non-traditional careers.
The goal is to expose students to these career options early on while they are still in the process of deciding on their future career paths.
The event typically begins with a dinner and keynote speaker who is a woman in a non-traditional career. Students then break out into groups and we do a round-robin with the various mentor booths.
The ‘round-robin' style provides each group the opportunity to meet with a mentor for 8-10 minutes and rotate to the next mentor booth and so on. Each mentor talks about her job and students get the chance to ask questions and learn more about that specific occupation.
The event is meant for young women to learn more about careers in the non-traditional fields and also to dispel the myths they may have about these careers by talking directly with women who work in these jobs.
Employers are also encouraged to take part in the Career Exploration Trades & Technology for Girls. Employers can have booths at the event and they can encourage their female employees who work in a non-traditional job to become a mentor at a dinner. Employers may also help sponsor dinners in their regions.
Ultimately, the goal of the event is to help increase awareness about non-traditional careers and lead to more females pursuing careers in non-traditional fields.
If you are interested in learning more about the Career Exploration Trades & Technology for Girls, or being a mentor at an event in your region, contact Tammy McDonald at (506) 462-5910 or firstname.lastname@example.org