This week 100 young women aged 14 and 15 visited the Algoma Steel and Tenaris’s AlgomaTubes plants in Sault Ste. Marie Ont. as part of a Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative to encourage more women to choose a manufacturing career.
While the manufacturing sector offers high-paying and rewarding jobs, and women make up half of the Canadian workforce, their participation in manufacturing continues to lag. Women’s participation has begun to climb somewhat in recent years, but today they still make up only 28 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing workforce.
The objective of the plant tour is to make sure students can experience the manufacturing sector and are empowered to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or trades. Engaging youth is a critical component of Women in Manufacturing, an initiative that aims to increase female representation in manufacturing by 100,000 in five years.
“Plant tours are the first step in beginning to bridge the gender gap in the industry,” said Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME. “We need to pull back the curtain so that the next generation of workers wave can see the high-value opportunities open to them in the sector.”