New code aims to increase number of women working in B.C. construction industry

Goal is to have 10% of skilled trade jobs held by women by 2028

The Landing condo development is seen under construction in Langley, B.C., on Monday December 10, 2018. The British Columbia government and an industry association are backing a new code to reduce harassment, bullying and hazing to encourage more women to pursue careers in construction. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

The British Columbia government and an industry association are backing a new code that aims to reduce harassment, bullying and hazing to encourage more women to pursue construction careers.

The province and the BC Construction Association say the Building Code includes the goal of having 10 per cent of skilled trade jobs held by women by 2028, which the association says would be a first for a Canadian province.

READ MORE: Skilled worker shortage hangs over B.C. industrial growth

To reach that goal, another 9,500 women would have to join the workforce.

The announcement on International Women’s Day is also supported by other agencies including the Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC, the BC Construction Safety Alliance and the company LNG Canada.

The code widens the safety definition to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing or harassment.

It gives employers tools and training to promote safe behaviour.

The association says it is also trying to retain women in the workforce at a time when the province is suffering from a shortage of skilled workers.

Andy Calitz, CEO of LNG Canada, says the company is committed to supporting equity and diversity.

“Our support of the builders code will help the province grow and retain its skilled labour pool,” he said in a statement Friday.

“We look forward to working with contractors and suppliers whose commitment to safety and diversity matches our own.”

The association says B.C. faces a skills shortage of 7,900 workers. Women make up only 4.7 per cent of trades in the industry.

It says women and other under-represented groups are seeking trades at a higher rate than in the past, but retention rates are low with anecdotal estimates indicating that less than 50 per cent of women continue apprenticeships after the first year. The retention rate for men in the first year is estimated at 70 per cent.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Surrey firefighters not among 267 being sent to battle Alberta wildfires

‘We haven’t been called upon to be deployed,’ Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis told the Now-Leader on Tuesday

Surrey man charged with impersonating cop in Newton

Harmit Johal, 42, is charged with one count of impersonating a peace officer and two counts of fraud

B.C. government grants $250K to help robotics students

Two high schools in North Surrey among schools benefiting from grant to First Robotics BC

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Most Read