Unlocking the Toolkit Girls Forums

In November 2016, Manitoba Status of Women partnered with Manitoba Women in Construction, Skills Canada Manitoba, Manitoba Construction Sector Council, WISE Kid-Netic Energy, Workplace Education Manitoba, University College of the North, four school divisions and others to hold three successful “Unlocking the Toolkit Girls Forums” in Winnipeg, Beausejour and The Pas.

The Girls Forum is a one-day event to expose girls in grades 5 and 6 to non-traditional trades and STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) careers through engagement in activities and group mentorship from trades and STEM women and female students in non-traditional trades and careers. Girls learn about the importance of developing ‘essential skills’ in their school years so that they will be able to use these skills throughout their future careers. At each activity station, the essential skills used in that trade or STEM career are highlighted.

Manitoba is experiencing a shortage in the number of available skilled tradespeople; a national trend that requires a targeted multi-pronged approach by various levels of government and community stakeholders, working in partnership. Across Canada, various governments are exploring strategies for introducing girls and women to non-traditional occupations.

Women continue to be underrepresented in non-traditional occupations, specifically the skilled trades and STEM sectors (science, technology, engineering and math) in our province. Girls continue to be underrepresented in non-traditional trades training and enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math university and college programs.

More Girls Forums are being planned for 2017.

Photo of girls using bricks and mortar to build a wall.
Masonry: building
a wall with bricks
Photo of girls controlling robots.
Dash robot programming
Photo of a girl standing in front of an overturned boat. She is wearing a protective suit, eye googles, and a face mask.
Suiting up for
boat repair work
Photo of girls filling miniature sandbags and placing them around little houses in a container. The container will be flooded with water to see if the sandbags hold.
Flood proofing
with sandbags

New Release

For more information, please contact MSW at msw@gov.mb.ca.