Championing Gender Equality in Skilled Construction Trades: Carpenters’ Regional Council Elevates Commitment with OAWA Expansion

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EDMONTON, AB, May 21, 2024 /CNW/ – The Carpenters’ Regional Council (CRC) is reaffirming its dedication to gender equality in the skilled construction trades by expanding the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) into the Prairies region. This strategic move, supported by CRC’s investment, aims to foster inclusivity and diversity within the industry.

“Ensuring careers in the skilled trades are more accessible for women is a priority to help make our industry more inclusive and to address Canada’s labour shortage,” stated Jason Rowe, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Carpenters’ Regional Council. “Complementing our initiatives like Sisters in the Brotherhood, our investment in OAWA is another way we are providing leadership to attract and retain more women in the trades.”

Recognizing OAWA’s pivotal role in advancing women in the Red Seal skilled construction trades, CRC has invested significantly in OAWA Prairies, and worked to standardize OAWA’s framework across multiple regions to ensure the continuation of the vital support services it offers.

“We’re focused on educating women about the incredible career opportunities available to them in the skilled construction trades and creating pathways for them to succeed,” affirmed Emma Pollard, Project Director for OAWA. “Working in collaboration with our industry partners, we are committed to enhancing a worksite culture that supports women in male-dominated industries.”

OAWA’s commitment to inclusivity spans both union and non-union sectors. It offers tailored services such as resume building, interview preparation, and networking events, acknowledging the unique challenges women may face in male-dominated industries and equipping them with essential tools for success.

Moreover, OAWA fosters partnerships which are instrumental in creating opportunities for tradeswomen and cultivating a supportive environment within the construction sector. By facilitating connections between tradeswomen and employers, OAWA not only assists individuals in finding employment but also promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Since its inception in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2009, OAWA has expanded its footprint across Canada, providing assistance for over 2,000 employment opportunities and supporting more than 4,000 women. However, women remain underrepresented in the skilled construction trades, highlighting the ongoing need for initiatives like OAWA.

The CRC’s unwavering dedication to foster an inclusive and diverse workforce is demonstrated not only through OAWA, but in addition to other initiatives such as the Sisters in the Brotherhood Women’s Employment Readiness program.

As OAWA continues to expand its reach and impact, supported by the Carpenters’ Regional Council, it will continue to make strides towards a more inclusive and equitable future in the skilled trades.

Please visit Office to Advance Women Apprentices.

For further information: For more information, visit or contact Emma Pollard, Project Director, Office to Advance Women Apprentices, at or 587-337-8709