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

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Harrison looks to test viability of solar power

Harrison has applied for a grant to see whether solar power is an option for its village buildings

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Funding uncertain, but Agassiz’s Storytime in the Park will go on, organizer says

The literacy program takes place each summer in Agassiz, Harrison and Seabird Island

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read