Re: Voc Ed, Feminists, Women's Studies

Alice Macpherson (alicemac@Kwantlen.BC.CA)
Fri, 10 Jul 1998 07:44:05 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Elizabeth Homer wrote:
> I think things will go as they have gone in athletics, e.g., when
> there were few women in athletics it was said that women were biased
> against being involved in athletic activities. If we can get our foot
> in the door in Trade and Industry, the numbers will grow. (I would
> target electronics.)

Please be aware that "targeting" a trade is a almost foolproof way to
ghettoize it, lower the wages and have it labelled as "women's work" in a
tone of voice that implied that it must be easy or isn't important.

Approximately 10% of the adult population does tradeswork. Of that number
approximately 3% are female. (Canadian stats and I am removing the
hairdressing/barbering trade as this one area skew the stats considerably
since it is fairly well gender balanced).

Much work has been done by Women In Trades & Technology groups over the
years to try and open up these areas to and attract more women. The foot
has been in the door for decades but the numbers have not changed

Yes, "the resistance on the part of males is very strong in T & I" and at
home and on the part of many females. It will take continued education and
positive role models for young women to see tradeswork as a viable life

The biggest boost that I have seen to getting women into trades is from
women who are in the trades encouraging and mentoring other women.
The management and the unions must take down the barriers, but it takes
more than that to make it attractive.

I have been a tradeswoman (mechanics) since 1971 - tried to get in since
1969 but couldn't break the gender barrier. Tradeswork has allowed me
financial independence - I own my home and am debt free. In '93 I was
hired full time to teach mechanics at Kwantlen. My partner is a
cabinetmaker and there isn't much that we can't do for ourselves.



Of course my job looks easy, I'm doing it!

* Alice Macpherson, TQ, ID phone: (604) 599-2697 vm 9954 *
* Kwantlen University College email: *
* 8711 Lansdowne Road, Richmond, B.C., V6X 3V8, Canada *
* "Life Long Learning includes Everyone" *

new message to this message