A skilled tradesperson is an asset, not a gender.
BCCA’s Construction Workforce Equity Project (CWEP) is a pilot program announced in April 2018, and funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. It’s main goal is to ensure that BC’s construction employers can more easily adopt and champion HR policies guaranteeing the equal and fair treatment of women in BC’s industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) construction workforce.
This is a “fix the system, not the women” project to help drive a culture shift in BC’s construction industry that will contribute to improved retention of women in the trades, and in the longer term lead to a decrease in the number of unfilled skilled tradesperson jobs in BC’s construction sector.
The CWEP is a multi-partner initiative focused on organizational change. It is provincial in scope, provides supports to both union and open shop construction employers, and is focused on retention of tradeswomen through improved policies and practices on the part of employers that will reach into the workforce as a whole.
Research shows that equal and fair treatment of all employees is essential for a safe and productive workplace overall.
CWEP is framed around three action areas with a complementary emphasis on policy, practice, and value.
Virtual HR Team
- Turnkey online Policies and Guides for inclusive, harassment-free construction sites
- Equity Advisors to personally assist construction employers managing escalating situations
- Construction-specific training programs targeting key segments of the workforce:
- Crews (digital training only)
- Site Supers and Foremen (classroom training)
- Executives and Owners (classroom training)
Exemplary Employer Campaign
- Promotion and celebration of construction employers who are ahead of the curve
Founded on Partnership
CWEP brings together an influential group of collaborating partners, who already support construction employers through their daily activities of saftey, training, benefits and business services. This partner network is one of the most powerful elements of the CWEP approach.
The Construction WorkForce Equity Project is generously funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training through the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement (BC-LMDA) and the Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program (SLMP). Read about the funding announcement: Premier Horgan unveils supports for women building a career in the trades.
The CWEP also receives funding from these project partners
The CWEP Governance Committee is responsible for overseeing the development of the CWEP project, ensuring good governance, accountability, and transparency, and to ensure achievement of the stated objectives of the project. The committee is comprised of women in construction. The committee will review all elements of the project before they are introduced to the public.
Lisa Stevens, BCCA COO
Shelley Gray, CEO of the Industry Training Authority
Debra Dotschkat, GM and Co-Owner of Glass Canada Inc.
Christy Kerr, Finance, Administration Manager & Co-Owner of Kerry Controls Inc.
Mary-Anne Bowcott, Journeyperson - Plumber & Owner of WestCom Plumbing
Amy Carr, Journeyperson - Sheet Metal Worker for Lewis Sheet Metal
Karen Anderson, Journeyperson - Carpenter for Theatre North West
Becky Lupton, Journeyperson - Electrician for Seaspan Shipyards
Tamara Pongracz, Chief Instructor Trades Access, BCIT, Red Seal Plumber, Winner of the BCIT Teaching Excellence Award and the Outstanding Women in Construction Award
Faith Dempster, Regional Manager of the Skilled Trades Employement Program, BCCA and Red Seal Welder