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A continuum of required support was identified, which included (4) critical steps that enhance the successful employment and retention of women in non-traditional occupations, namely:

  • Career Awareness
  • Skills Assessment/Training
  • Employment Support
  • Mentoring.

While not every woman will require the additional supports and resources associated with each level of the continuum, our research indicates that all four elements identified are key factors for success. The following case studies provide concrete examples of programs and initiatives that are providing women with support in one of the critical areas of the continuum.

Young engineer working for alternative energy with wind turbine



Techsploration is a not-for-profit educational association that assists young women from diverse backgrounds in exploring a wide range of career options.

Techsploration holds several events that provide young women from grades 9 through 12 with opportunities to learn and develop an awareness of potential occupations in science, trades and technology.

Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)—Go ENG Girl

For the past 9 years, the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) has held a one-day outreach event called ‘Go ENG Girl/GÉNiales, les lles’ at 14 universities across the province of Ontario (1 offering in French).

The event educates and informs female students in grades 7 through 10 (along with their parents) about careers in engineering.

Women Unlimited

The Women Unlimited Program (Nova Scotia) is a comprehensive program that supports diverse, unemployed or underemployed women considering to or working in the fields of trades or technologies.

The Women Unlimited model offers a continuum of services with four components: Gender Diversity Recruitment, Career Decision-Making Program, Supportive Intervention Services during Trades and Technology Training and Employment Access and Retention.

Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA)

The OAWA is a non-profit organization fully funded by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The mandate of the OAWA is to assist women in finding employment in their trade after they have received their trades training, which will enable them to log their hours for their apprenticeship.

Hydro One Women in Engineering University Partnership (WTTE)

Hydro One, as part of its larger WTTE initiative, is working with four university partners: Western, Waterloo, Ryerson and the University of Ontario: Institute of Technology (UOIT), on programs focused on attracting young women to engineering, while supporting and mentoring undergraduates and providing early career support.

Hydro One provides financial support to the universities, as well as offering women engineers who work at Hydro One as mentors to the university students.

To read the full case studies, please download the Bridging the Gap Case Study document.

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