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Women Becoming Construction Industry's Biggest Boosters

A rising number of female role models are stepping up to pave the way for more young women, according to BuildForce Canada, as it gets set to celebrate International Women's Day, and the difference women are making in the construction industry.

"Industry culture and attitudes are changing from the inside out," said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. "One of the biggest changes we're seeing is in the number of successful female tradespeople sharing their experience, and actively encouraging more young women to join them."

Jamie McMillan, a Hamilton ironworker since 2002, has been an inspiration to hundreds of young women. McMillan speaks in high school classrooms and at national trade events, opening doors to all of the career possibilities for young women in the skilled trades.

"We need to get the word out that women can do these jobs, and do them well," says McMillan. "Awareness is important, because the more women realize it's a great way to make a living, the more women we'll see in the skilled trades."

Canada's construction industry wants and needs more women. With up to one-quarter of the workforce retiring over the next decade, that leaves 250,000 positions to fill.

BuildForce Canada is encouraging more women to consider a career in construction through its Careers in Construction website, www.careersinconstruction.ca

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