Harper government supports more Canadian women in non-traditional occupations

EDMONTON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today highlighted the Government of Canada's commitment to increasing the role women play in non-traditional occupations.

"Empowering more women to succeed in non-traditional careers makes sense for Canadian women and Canada's economy," said Minister Ambrose. "The Government of Canada is committed to making sure Canada's labour markets meet the demands of a modern economy."

To meet this priority, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a number of measures to better connect Canadians with job opportunities. These measures will contribute to increased representation of women in all occupations, including skilled trades and other non-traditional occupations, many of which are experiencing skills shortages.

Status of Women Canada will continue to provide funding for innovative projects that identify promising practices that increase the participation of women in non-traditional sectors.

The Minister made her comments while touring the Women Building Futures facility in Edmonton, Alberta. Women Building Futures is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that helps women achieve greater economic independence through training, employment and mentorship. Its graduates become first-rate trades people who provide companies with new talent and competencies.

Women now represent nearly half the Canadian workforce, yet continue to be under-represented in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2009, women represented just 22.3% of Canadians with occupations in engineering, mathematics and natural sciences. In 2012, women represented only 4% of those working in construction trades, and 20% of those working in primary industries such as forestry, mining, oil and gas.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting projects that yield concrete results for women and girls in Canada while strengthening families, communities and the country. The federal government's support through Status of Women Canada for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2006-2007, from $10.8 million to close to $19 million, its highest level ever. Since 2007, more than $6 million had been approved through Status of Women Canada for projects that support women in non-traditional occupations.

SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only:

Amber Irwin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Works and
Government Services and
Minister for Status of Women
819-997-5421

For all other inquiries, contact:

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications
and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
613-995-7839

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For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.