Advancing Women’s Careers in the Industry
Labour market research has proven that women are an untapped human resource in our industry, both as workers and as role models. This program is designed to promote the advancement and retention of women through two distinct recruitment streams. The first targets women who have recently completed or are in the process of completing post-secondary studies in wood processing and related courses. The second stream is geared towards women currently working in production positions in the woodworking industry. The ultimate goal is to have the mentorship program available to everyone in the industry (production and non-production employees), however, the initial phase of the program concentrates on production workers. Mentorship of women by women will create a community with shared goals and objectives, including combatting common barriers and challenges.
Opportunities for long and satisfying careers exist for women and we want them to stay in our industry and to flourish. However, we understand at times women may feel challenged, isolated or simply in need of guidance and counsel from women who have experienced similar career paths. This is often true in, but not limited to, the first year or two of employment. By sharing life and work experience, a mentor can help mentees navigate challenging circumstances or they can simply provide such things as inspiration, knowledge, insight, guidance, support or encouragement.
Mentorship is a proven, beneficial relationship that supports learning, development and advancement. Mentor-mentee relationships are confidential and the term of the formal mentorship program is one year, yet the relationship could last a lifetime. Many of the initial mentors are from the woodworking sector, but could also come from other sectors (skilled trades, other manufacturing etc.). They will be company and tradespeople, educators and association managers who can contribute with experiences and knowledge that can provide guidance, support and encouragement to mentees.
A Valued Recruiting Tool for Today and Tomorrow
We anticipate that this program will initially encourage more women to consider long-term careers in our industry. Eventually, it is hoped that strong mentorship will also prove a valuable recruiting tool to attract more women to enter the industry. We can all work together to create a strong community of women in woodworking while influencing positive change in our industry