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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Feeding ducks bread crumbs is a harmful habit

Wild Arc suggests to never feed wildlife in general

UVic political scientist wants B.C. pulp mills to help produce masks, gowns

Claire Cutler says Canada needs to become self-sufficient when manufacturing PPE

Greater Victoria Public Library offers new online resource service to cardholders

Friends of the Library provided funding for the service

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read