Community

Ally goes to school: Empowering women in the trades

June 24, 2019

Amsted Lead Carpenter Ally W. went back to school last month to mentor a group of high school girls and show them how rewarding it can be for women in the trades. “Thank you for sending us Ally! It was an amazing experience for our students!” said teacher Natalie Wainwright of St. Francis Xavier High School.

Ally stopped in at one of the weekly meetings of the Building Up Girls club, which was formed by Ms. Wainwright this year as a way to expose the school’s girls to the trades and encourage them to consider non-traditional female trades. About 18 girls from grades 7-12 took part once a week after school.

“I was really impressed with their entire initiative and suspect we’ll be seeing more women enrolling in the trades programs at Algonquin College in the future,” Ally said after her visit.

While there, Ally worked with them to build accessibility ramps and brought along some particle board so the girls could take turns cutting it up.

“She was able to really give the girls a hands-on experience and let them try something they hadn’t got their hands on before,” said Ms. Wainwright.

“As a club, all these girls want to be there, so they were super engaged and asked tons of questions,” particularly when Ally explained her career path and how she got into the trades.

“It’s not just about showing the girls the trades, but also about connecting them with women who are currently in the trades. That was important to us,” said Ms. Wainwright, who plans to continue the club next year.