Not registered yet? Register for free.


Delete Account


Shop Donate

#HerPower Tools Winners

Over the past year we’ve had the pleasure of giving away over 70 tool bags worth $150 thanks to our partnership with CUSW and Milwaukee Tool.

If you’re interested in applying for tools, click here for more information and to apply.

Hi my name is Avery and I’m 15 years old, I am exploring construction and am part of the carpentry OYAP apprenticeship program at my school, I love working with my hands and I feel joy when I can look at something and say “hey I made that.”

My name is Zarah Lee Nassy, I am currently in grade 10. I am not 100% sure what I want to do career-wise but I’m really leaning towards doing a skilled trade. I am a visual learner and learn best hands-on. 

I’ve started to learn as much as I can and planning to register as an apprentice very soon. I’m just waiting for my sponsor to finish up the application. I’m excited to learn more about grants and the whole apprenticeship program.
I love working at different places and sometimes outside and always learning something new. So far I’m the only girl at any worksite but I’m getting used to that.

I started the trade when I was 21 in the commercial field for the first three years in Saskatoon. I just moved into more of an industrial site in Yorkton Saskatchewan.
As of right now I definitely prefer commercial jobs but I’m working through this learning curve. In the past 3 years, I have only worked with 2 other girls on site for a short period of time.

I’m a former foster kid of 18 years and just left my career in Social Service of 12 years to begin my journey in the trades – AC and Refrigeration System Mechanic.
I’ve wanted to get into the trades for the last 10 years and I’m so happy to finally take the huge leap of faith and to have the opportunity to do so!

I’m Penelope Gordon and I am a Carpenter Apprentice level One through my school’s dual credit program.
Being raised in a very traditional home, I was often told that my place was in the kitchen, tending to the home, rather than doing the “dirty work” which was “the man’s job”.
I was an academically strong student so it didn’t bother me too much to think a STEM career would suit me. However, I took my first high school construction class and fell in love with working with my hands.

I am currently finishing my second co-op as an automotive mechanic. I say finishing because I am currently in 12th grade and already on the hunt for a long-term apprentice position.
I’ve been trying to reach my goals as an apprentice since the 9th grade and I’ve come so far.

At the age of 46, I am taking a leap of faith and following my passion to become an Electrician!
I have always had an interest in the trades and to have this amazing opportunity through Niagara College and the YWCA is a dream come true. I want to be a role model to not only my daughters but other young and mature women that with hard work and perseverance you can accomplish your dreams and goals.

I have always been a very hands-on person and knew an office job was not for me.
I have wanted to break into the trades, but have found it a bit overwhelming as a woman. I came across the program at Niagara college that is sponsored by the YWCA. I knew right away when I found that program, that it was meant for me.

I am currently enrolled in the Masonry Construction Academy at my high school. I decided to join the program because it seemed interesting and I was curious about the opportunities within the trade.
I have been working co-op on a site for about two months and it has been great! I have learned so much already and can’t wait to continue in my apprenticeship and be able to work full-time after high school.

I’m an electrical apprentice in Ottawa, Ontario. I took interest in construction from a young age, due to the exposure from being a 4th generation electrician and an 8th generation Canadian farmer.
I was always by my father’s side, whether we were building barns, wiring houses, or running heavy machinery.
In high school, I enrolled in an electrical co-op, but was denied by both my teachers and parents because university was a “better fit”.

I’m a grade 12 student taking electrical co-op.
I really enjoy my work. I find it rewarding and fulfilling.
Makayla has plans to get her Red Seal as an electrician.

I’m currently in my last level of training to become a red seal electrician.
I chose to become an electrician because working with my hands always seemed like a better fit.
Over the last year or so, I’ve tried mentoring other women to help them get to where they want to be. I remember being a first/second year and always being afraid to speak up and ask questions about stuff in school to work for fear of being made fun of.

After working at Chrysler for a few years I decided that becoming an electrician was what I wanted to do with my life.
So I enrolled in the electrical techniques program, and while raising my sister, maintained a GPA of 3.8.
As the course is coming to a close, and apprenticeships are hard to come by, I am hoping to learn more, hopefully network to find an apprenticeship to show my sister that women can do anything, at any age.

I did well in school and was always encouraged to pursue higher education because I have always been smart. I followed the advice of all my teachers and went to University to study what I loved: English Lit.
After graduating I travelled to China to teach English. I spent four years there, and while it was interesting, I hated office life.
When I came back I took a local college course to study electrical. I graduated top of my class and immediately applied to the Toronto IBEW and I got in first try.

I’m interested in a career in the trades because I feel like women are underrepresented in the field.
We are raised in a patriarchy where we are still taught that we can’t do the same physical work that men can and are encouraged to work in the lesser-paid female-dominated fields.
As a woman starting plumbing in her 30s, taking the plunge to switch careers was very intimidating but so far it has left me feeling very empowered and I can’t wait to complete my apprenticeship.

My name is Katherine and I am a third-year plumbing apprentice with local 46.
I attended university and as much as I enjoyed it I always wanted to know and possess a red seal skilled trade. I chose plumbing due to its versatility and many career path options.
The work is very physical and I find that I really have to pave my own way in terms of how to use tools safely and efficiently, transport material and install pipe. I have yet to work with other female plumbers despite plumbing being a great career option.

I have always loved to work hard and build things with my mind and hands, so when I discovered welding at the age of 14 I fell in love.
I have now experienced working in multiple welding shops and although I love the job, I have shifted my focus to becoming a millwright and electrician so I can end up with multiple tickets including welding.
I’ve started my co-op as a junior millwright and am so excited to grow my knowledge and skills in a wide variety of trades!

For many years I have been a big believer in the skilled trades as fantastic options to have a challenging and interesting career with unlimited learning opportunities, and excellent income potential. I would encourage young people, especially girls, to consider skilled trades as a career. Secretly I was jealous that they had opportunities that I did not have at their age. In my late 40s I decided to attend college for a diploma in Machining. I was inspired to continue my learning by starting an apprenticeship following my graduation!

I was first introduced to the trades when I built a deck with my grandfather and great-grandfather when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I asked how they knew how to build this and they explained that they were tradesmen. I have had a fascination ever since and explored it more in high school. I really excelled in woodshop and my teacher recommended I apply for an apprenticeship out of high school I have been in my program now for about 4 months and have been loving it.

I am working in the Structured Cabling industry while I go back to school for Powerline Technician at Algonquin.
I have been dead set on Electrical work of some form since I was in elementary school. I chose to move onto the Powerline program because I did not feel as though I was utilizing my full potential in an office job. I craved having something in my hands that I would be able to say I started this, and here is the finished product. Skilled trades gives me that feeling every day.

Hi I’m Ashley! I went to SAIT for the Empower program, a 12-week course that gave me hands on training in 5 different trades. I always wanted to be in the trades but shortly after high school I pursued a business diploma, and when Covid hit I was laid off. I started my apprenticeship at Canyon plumbing in December and have fallen in love with the skilled trade that is pipe fitting. Everyone I’ve worked with has been amazing and let me use their tools while I slowly acquire my own, soon I will be working more independently I need to make sure I’m ready for all types of jobs.

I am a grade 12 student and currently enrolled in a co-op placement at Surefoot Electrical Mechanical and am pursuing an electrical apprenticeship. I am an advocate for women in the trades as I went to a board office meeting in grade 9 to speak about starting a women in the trades class as my school. I would use this information provided and tools to better my experience as an electrical apprentice. I love to learn new things and try out new ways to complete my job to the best of my ability. I am so grateful for the support women are getting in the trades

I come from a background that had no tie to the trades, and I was pushed to find work in a white collar world early on. I floundered and felt lost until I enrolled in a Trades Discovery program where I was introduced to the steel trades, where I fell in love almost immediately. Since then I have completed a 6 month Boilermaker pre-app program at BCIT and am now a registered apprentice with Boilermaker Local 359. The long days and hard work feel so natural and rewarding, and have me feeling confident and proud to be a woman in such a tough trade.

My name is Hailey Nichols, I am 17 years old and currently have my level one in masonry and I plan to go all the way till level 4 for schooling. I am a team player, hard worker, quick learner and love trying new things. Its been a challenge being a women in the trades and I’ve dealt with sexist comments and remarks but I never let it break me down, it only makes me work even harder. I prove to them I know what I’m doing and gender doesn’t matter in what career path you take, its about skill and right mind set. I love new things and learning new skills.

After going to college and university I got an office job and found it very unfulfilling and lacklustre. After I was laid off I took a welding course and haven’t looked back since! I worked with the Insulators Union and after a lot of work I finally achieved my dream of getting into the IBEW! I thought I wasn’t good or smart enough to do it, but after proving myself to them, I got in! Even though some days are hard and I’m drenched in sweat, I love every single second of it and will never look back!

I am a 29 year old single mother and decided to get in to the trades 3 years ago. I went back to school for a 6 month gas Technician course and am now a registered 313D residential refrigeration apprentice for a local GTA company.

I changed career paths and became a millwright apprentice at the age of 25 because I wanted to build a successful career in a field that is in high demand, cannot be outsourced, has great wages and benefits, as well as help continue to pave a path for women in non traditional jobs such as underground mining. There’s still a long way to go before the world mentality is a thing of the past but I try everyday to be my best self and prove that my biological make up has nothing to do with my skills, work ethic, and job performance.

I grew up around machinery and found the love of working and fixing them from a young age. My mentor owns his own car shop, where I found myself working there every chance I could. I started my co-op at McCrackens auto and truck shop in grade 12 and that was where I realized I was going to pursue this for my life long career. It may be hard on your body but I’ve never not been able to overcome the obstacles thrown at me. At little bit of hard work ethic, endurance, motivation and the pride I take in my work has taken me to where I am today.

I am currently enrolled in Fanshawe college for mechanical engineering technician industrial maintenance. My interests in being in the skilled trades began when I was in grade 11, I had gone to a woman in trades night where I was able to try different things like wood shop, metal shop, auto shop, etc. I took all the shops available, coming to build a dream programs, Fanshawe woman of steel and just putting myself out there, final year of high school I did a co-op at Bruce Power as a millwright.

I think having the knowledge of any skilled trade can make you so powerful and strong as a women mentally and physically. My goal is to get an electrical job as soon as possible and start apprenticing as an electrician right away. I would have never thought of becoming an electrician growing up because it always seemed to be looked at as a
“man’s career” and not really an option for a young women. Now more women are working in the skilled trades and becoming leaders for other young women to do the same.

I am a 31 year old queer woman in the trades. I have experience in carpentry and renovation, but am switching paths to pursue apprenticeship as an Industrial Mechanic Millwright. Working in the trades I hope to gain a solid future where I can someday pay off my student debt, own a home, and provide for a family.

I am a twenty two year old women working 40 plus hours a week as a part time worker. I decided to apply to school for this September to start my journey becoming a female electrician! I accepted my offer and I will be starting in September! The trades need more women, and I’m as hard working as they come! I love nature, animals, and being social. I’m an active body and love to consider myself a happy joyous person! I can’t wait for this new chapter of my life to commence!

I am 18 years old and growing up I’ve always been the one out in the garage helping my dad weld, fix cars and I would play in the dirt not being afraid of getting dirty or wrecking my clothes. I am interested in the skilled trades because I am confident in what I do. I was bullied growing up and was told I am a girl who cant do what the boys do and that has always made me want to push myself even more. I know when I get into the trades that I can go around showing all my different tickets that I have got and I can prove to the people that its not just for boys!

When I was 12, my mom signed me up for a girls welding class at St.Clair College. I fell in love with welding and have wanted to accomplish being a welder ever since.

Growing up in a family of male trades workers, I oddly never thought of pursuing a trade. It wasn’t until my mid-20’s when I got a job at IKEA assembling some of the furniture in the warehouse that I realized there was something really calming about working with my hands and putting something beautiful together. After a few years of pursuing other avenues, I started to crave carpentry. All of the sudden I was buying tools and making different wooden art pieces. There have been a lot of roadblocks, and it can be hard to be taken seriously.

I have been very interested in the trades for a very long time. I did a plumbing co-op in my last year of high school and enjoyed it very much and from there I wanted to be able to work with a company that provides plumbing. I’m interested in plumbing because it is always hands on learning and always doing different things learning new things. You get to work with new people learn their ways of doing different projects. As a female it has been very hard to find a workplace that is willing to take a female on as a apprentice for plumbing.

I took a women in trades program and it changed my life. I love working hard, proving myself and showing that women are truly capable of anything. I am the only woman at my workplace but I know I can make a difference in their mindset of female strength as well as my own. The challenges I have faced have only made me want to prove myself more. I go for my cross connection specialist course this month, and I’m excited to grow my knowledge in this trade and prove what I can do.

I have always been a hands on learner. I’m my dads go to for help building or fixing things! I have my g3 and g2 license, I am interested in the skilled trades because it’s out of the ordinary to see a girl working in the trades but me and probably lots of other girls want to show that girls are just as good with hands on work as guys! Even though I just started my apprenticeship I have already heard many times from other women that they are happy to see a woman in the trades and that always makes me happy to show and represent the strength of women.

I’m interested in skilled trades as a career because I like working with my hands and the reward of building something myself. I’ve always been good at construction and have helped my dad with many home projects. Working in trades has been in my family for years, My grandfather was a painter and carpenter and I have enjoyed watching him work on many projects over the years. My other grandfather worked in drywall for as long as I could remember. Currently I’m enrolled in the construction academy and plan to attend a trades college after I graduate High school.

After many years of school and warehousing jobs I finally figured out that I need to be busy and moving at work. I get a great sense of accomplishment from seeing the work I produce with my hands and some tools. Being able to contribute in this way gives me purpose. The flexibility that working in construction gives me allows me to work when I need to, but still leaves time for hobbies like hiking, hunting, and camping. Construction helps keep me fit and strong and gives me the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from all sorts of people every day.

When choosing my courses, I selected Construction and Manufacturing because they interested me and the idea of doing hands on projects was very appealing. In my Construction class, I made two cutting boards that I am extremely proud of. Then came the metal dice that I made in my Manufacturing class and I was hooked on Welding! I have signed up to do a SHSM in Manufacturing and Construction next year and look forward to doing co-op and dual credit programs.

I am a very out going and energetic woman who knows what she wants …I have a huge interest in all trades I know a little about plumbing and would like to be a diesel mechanic but will get as many trade fields as possible… my mind has been made up since I was 11 years old nothing will stop me – I am a go getter!

My name is Madison. I’ve always been interested in skilled trades due to me family. My father works for my company’s block supplier. I’ve always been around trades and working hand on. I have never found it easy to sit in a class, so being able to work in an environment that’s hands on and gives you experience helps me a lot. I really enjoyed the people I’ve got to me and all of the things I’ve done in the skilled trades

I am interested in skilled trades as a career because I personally think we need more women in the field. Whenever my dad works in the garage, or any handy work really, I would be there helping him. I remember one time I had a physics project with my group and I was the only girl ad we had to build a projectile motion ramp sort of thing and I remember that no one had used a screwdriver and a hammer but me. I found it really funny how I had to teach them and I also brought my dad to help because even though being independent is important so is relying on others.

My name is Jasmyn Myers, I’m 17 years old. I’m in school to be a plumber and 1st year apprentice. My teacher offered the plumbing class and i joined!

I am currently an 309A Electrical Apprentice. After working for years in front of a computer, I found sitting all day was not the right path for me and I always found myself wanting a job that used both my mind and body. I was very fortunate to marry an electrician and have been given the amazing opportunity to learn the electrical trade from an experienced, knowledgeable family run electrical business.

I am currently a Co-Op student and an apprentice working at the WhiteWater Service Centre. When I was just a couple months old, I was always interested in what my father was doing because he always had something to do or putter away at. He took me alone with him for every job he had. Sooner than later I was his little helper. Wether it was working on cars, vans, trucks, transports, or even derby cars I was always there to help him. I’ve known since I was in JK that I wanted to be just like my father. anyone says.

My name is Milena, I am a mechanical engineer from Colombia and I have been here in Winnipeg with my husband for 3 months. I started working with some jobs that are not related at all with my career, but I was so lucky that I found the person that is now my current boss at Royal Mechanical. He gave me the opportunity to work in his company, I am learning a lot and every day I think that I am the luckiest person I will have the chance to work first and then attend to the school!

I am currently in my first year in the Welding and Fabrication Technician program at Conestoga College. I became interested in Welding in my Grade 9 tech course. Going into that course, I had wanted to be a physiotherapist and just took tech to fill out my schedule. That soon changed. I fell in love with welding and knew that is what I wanted to do for my career.

I always liked to work with my hands and problem solve and my brother and dad suggested I try a trade. I tried to do a co-op in grade 11 but unfortunately the teacher who was to help me set it up thought I couldn’t do it and said that I wouldn’t succeed and didn’t help me to set up my co-op, but luckily I got a new teacher that found a co-op for me and I ended up loving it. I went to school for a year and graduated the plumbing techniques program and then did the pre apprenticeship program which helped me get the job I have today.

I decided to pursue a career in the trades because in doing so I found a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction. I enjoy feeling pride in my work, and getting to see a job completed, knowing I played a part in accomplishing said job. The transition from working as a technician in the live event industry, into the electrical trade as been relatively smooth. I love getting to expand my skillset, and constantly be challenging myself to learn more and grow.

I am currently attending Fleming College for Blasting Techniques. I hope to get hired on as a blaster’s helper in April, then work my way into a lead blaster position. I was part of the Construction High Skilled Major while I was in high school and was very interested in the trades. The trades will allow me to work with my hands everyday and spend most of my time outdoors, which I love. I finally feel like I’m where I needed to be.

I am an 18 year old Metis woman completing my welding certificate. I want to be a welder because i enjoy working with my hands. Welding is exciting and creative. I feel welding can take me many different paths.

I am an Adult Learner and am at a Crossroads in my life. I am interested in the skilled trades as a career because i will be able to support and be financially secure and independent. Skilled trades are a wonderful learning opportunity and skillset to have. You can get a great job in the trades and there is always room for growth and many awesome opportunities.

I am interested in skilled trades as a career because it teaches and explores how things work. I like to build and create objects that can help our day-to-day lives. Skilled trades look at the world in a practical way and make life easier for everyone. Throughout history, it is those in skilled trades that have invented and explored ways to advance the human race. I believe in the development of skilled trades and promote them as a valuable and necessary component of society.

I am a 29 year old woman who has spent the past 7 years teaching yoga full time but felt the need to change career paths to find a fulfilling job that will not only promise me a good income and independence but as well give me the opportunity to grow in my career. I’ve never been more proud of myself. There is nothing more satisfying than creating something with your hands from start to finish. Being an electrical apprentice has been so rewarding; I have learnt how strong I am (physically and mentally) and I truly cannot wait to see where my career takes me.

I am a 16 year old high school student and registered apprentice through OYAP. I have been apprenticing full time since February. I chose this career path because I like to work with my hands, and like a different challenge every day. I am the first female working on the floor at a company that has been in business since 1932. I am hoping to change some attitudes in regards to what a young women can accomplish.

 I am currently enrolled at Algonquin College in Pembroke for the Pre-Apprentice Electrical Course. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up until I wired a mini trailer in my auto shop. Ever since then I have been working towards being an electrician. I completed a co-op at Safeguard Electric in Petawawa and then I was inspired by my friends at co-op to be the best electrician my small town has ever seen. Not only that but the best female electrician my town has ever seen. I want to inspire other young girls to work their dream trades job.

I started welding, autobody, and construction in grade ten. I really enjoy working with my hands and creating things, and I fell in love with welding. I don’t want to do a job where I’m sitting at a desk, staring at a computer all day, and welding is a very diverse field with a ton of opportunities, so that’s why I chose to pursue welding. I also do construction projects at home, for instance I built myself some ramps out of recycled materials for skateboarding last summer. I am going to be attending SAIT in the fall for the welding program.

I was always a leader, the trades and working with my dad in the shop always interested me. I joined the trades to show young girls/others even if you aren’t the strongest, tallest, or most muscular person to be good in the industry. Breaking the mould isn’t easy and it’s a lot of work, but with the right guidance and will power anything is possible.

When I was in high school, I enjoyed wood working, and have always been a hands on learner. I have helped renovate homes, and have always admired the progress, seeing the bones of the home, all the way to the finished product. I have done insulation, drywall, trim, installation of flooring, paint, as well as a little interior design. I love the whole process of carpentry, and can enjoy helping people, in a different way. I look forward to starting a new career path, with the right tools, and resources to help me achieve my goals. I enjoy working by myself, as well as with a team, and will enjoy learning from the professionals.

I’ve always been interested in building things. I went and graduated university for Industrial Design and realized it wasn’t for me. That program may not have gotten me into that career, but it did provide me with Design Thinking strategies and also experience with heavy duty tools. Im finally in a program that captures my attention and skill sets such as house framing knowledge, and form working for concrete. Im excited to see which part of the renovation industry I will end up working in. I can’t wait to help people’s living space feel like a home!

In Brazil, I always had the dream of working in Trades, but unfortunately, this was impossible for women in that country. I had the opportunity to come to Canada and start realizing that dream. I am the only woman in my college program, but despite the difficulties, I remain confident that I will have an opportunity to start working in this new carrier. These tools will help me a lot in this battle.

I worked 20yrs in Child Welfare. Being a social worker was all I knew and all I saw myself doing. However, a yr ago I took a personal leave. At the time I was drained and felt heavy from the weight of the work I had done for so long. During that time I began working with wood and helped with several renovation projects for family. I quickly realized was that there are other opportunities available to me. This saved my life. It sparked a new passion for me, and new vision for what my future could be. It brought comfort to me during a really difficult time in my life. Working in the trades as a carpenter is my second career.

I am studying as a full-time student. Going into this program, I didn’t know anything about airplanes or engines. I feel like I’ve learned more in the last two semesters than I have the rest of my life. In my first semester, I was learning and working in a brand new facility at the airport. Being able to see a real hangar and do hands-on work with the airplanes and engines made me passionate about my program. I am interested in the skilled trades as a career because I like being able to see the tangible product of my work.

My name is Mackenzie Orban I have been following my passion of working in the trades for the last two years and I have loved every minute of it. The work I do has allowed me to become so much more confident and assured in myself. There is so much to learn about electrical and I know that everyday I go to work I will be challenged but through that I will built skills that will make me an even better trades women.

Newsletter Signup!

Sign up here