New Admiral Partnership Aims to Transform Workplace Diversity
A multi-year partnership between Admiral and an empowering career development program stands to uplift the participation of women in Nova Scotia's trades and technology sectors.
Trades and technology industries have some of Canada's lowest representation of female workers. Nationwide, only five percent of all skilled trades workers are women; in tech, the workforce is roughly twenty-five percent. One organization looking to bridge the gender gap in trades and technology (T&T) is Women Unlimited (WU).
Women Unlimited aim to identify and address the economic, social, and institutional barriers limiting women's full participation in trades and technology in Nova Scotia. Part of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), WU works with employers, industry, governments, and community partners to diversify T&T and create employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed women and gender-diverse people.
The success of Women Unlimited is achieved by supporting diverse women along a multi-phased pathway from recruitment to the transition into employment. Women Unlimited encourages the participation of women who self-identify as African Nova Scotian, African Canadian, Indigenous, New Canadian, 2LGBTQIA+, those living with disabilities and women whose participation is impeded by economic circumstances.
Through a free, 14-week Career Exploration Program (CEP), the non-profit gives participants practical, hands-on access to T&T programs, networking opportunities, and development workshops. Graduates of the CEP are guaranteed placement in their chosen core programming anywhere in Nova Scotia. Throughout the 1 to 2 years of core programming, WU maintains an extensive support system followed by transitional and retention services to assist women as they move into the T&T workforce.
Since WU was founded in 2006, close to 1,000 women have enrolled in the 14-week CEP, with 90% of participants progressing to T&T training programs and/or industry employment – a number that speaks to WU's impact on removing barriers to employment in T&T.
In support of WU's mission of strengthening Nova Scotia's labour market while creating new career pathways for women, Admiral has announced the creation of the Admiral Women Unlimited Bursary and the Women Unlimited Urgent Aid Fund. It's a three-year partnership aimed at helping WU participants with educational costs, cost of living expenses, and emergency financial support during schooling.
The funding will have the opportunity to reach up to 125 women annually at WU programming in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Sydney, including 43 recent CEP graduates set to enter full-time programs this fall.
"Removing financial barriers can have an enormous effect on completing your education. We're excited to partner with Women Unlimited to support more women and gender-diverse people so they can build fulfilling and sustainable careers in the Trades and Technology," said Admiral Canada Site Director Rebecca Cable of Admiral's financial commitment.
The grant, announced at a launch event at the NSCC IT Campus this spring, is part of Admiral Group’s larger commitment to transforming futures in our local communities. The full scope of our social impact strategy will be revealed in the coming months.
We partner with Women Unlimited to give more women and gender-diverse people a chance to break into Trades & Technology and create the career and life they want. We aim to relieve the stress T&T students may experience due to financial instability throughout schooling, allowing them to centre their focus on education.
"Access to bursaries and emergency financial support for women entering the trades and technology field is critical to removing the barriers they face in pursuing their careers," noted Vivian Dixon, Women Unlimited Program Director,
"Admiral's commitment will have an incredible impact on WU participants," she added.
To learn more about the Women Unlimited Program at NSCC, visit womenunlimitedns.ca.