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

Rainbow crosswalk coming to Chilliwack school district parking lot

Fractious debate at school board meeting ends with 4-3 vote

Hard rock tribute band Led Zepagain returns to Chilliwack Cultural Centre

‘It’s as close as you’ll ever get to the real deal,’ says Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page

Mayor and city staff stay mum on possible Abbotsford aerospace plant

Economic development staff have met with a U.S. firm looking for places to build a large plant

Chilliwack chef comes home to offer ‘super-addicting’ flavours at Royal Hotel

Jason and Miranda Harper took ownership of the Royal Hotel Café and Wellington Local House in August

Highway 1 closed at Herrling Island

Westbound traffic is stopped, and some cars have been seen driving the wrong way on the highway

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in 2015 shooting death of young South Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Break out the tiki torches: Open fires allowed again in B.C.’s coastal region

All open fires allowed effective at noon on Sept. 18

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Most Read