It can be about advertising
for workers in places where women, aboriginal people, visible minorites
and persons with disabilities might see the ad, and realize that it may
actually be directed at them, instead of seeing it in a regular newpaper
and thinking it is only for others. Posting in community centres,
and listservs and special interest newspapers will reach a broader audience
with the welcoming message where it is noted that applications are being
sought from designated groups as well as the general population.
Recruitment can start early. It is also about providing hands-on experiences that give a real sense of the feel of the work, including some tangible accomplishments from which to draw that sense of personal efficacy, self-esteem, and well-being.
(Insert we can do it movie clip from the GETT Video)
Still under Construction
Donna Milgram and IWITTS is devoted to practical initiatives to increase both recruitment and retention. IWITTS is the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science in the United States, and Donna delivers workshops all over the world through on-line seminars! Their WomenTech project is getting real results!
When you see the faces of those who have learned a new skill in which the mind, hand and spirit have been connected, it becomes clear what is necessary in our Technology Education classes in schools. WITT groups across Canada have been working with schools to develop Role Modelling Programs, where trades, technical and operational (TTO) women go into the schools with their tools and stories, sharing what life is like for them as workers in their communities. The students get to see and question the experience of women working in technical fields, and some programs have expanded to include men as well, in a variety of work roles. It is always good to hear from women who have been working in the field. The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has posted an interview with Valerie Overend, carpenter, instructor, WITT advocate, etc, who represents women on the Forum. She poses useful questions and suggestions about how to make choices when you are considering training in an apprenticeable trade.
The following photos were taken the day I taught my friend Bobbie from New York how to use a chain saw, and we made winter wood for a person who was too ill to do their own. There are two elements there to raise one's self-esteem: learning new tool skills with machinery, and helping someone who needed it. Charles and Rachel the Bull Terrier rounded out the crew.
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