Inspiring Young Women in Construction


Construction is a massive industry in Canada, representing nearly 12 per cent of the country’s national economic activity. Despite the industry’s size and importance, women are heavily underrepresented, comprising only 12.6 per cent of its labour force and 4 per cent of tradespeople. 

In recognition of this issue, we are seeking to make a positive change for women in the construction industry. During the construction phase of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, we have been working together with our constructor, Crosslinx Transit Solutions, to bridge the gender gap in the construction industry and encouraging young women to join the field. 

Studies have shown that the top barrier to entering the construction field is lack of information, and that the information available is predominately geared towards boys. For the past two years, Crosslinx has been tackling both of these issues by hosting events that introduce young women to career opportunities in construction. 

High school girls learn about the interesting technology used in the construction industry for designing buildings and stations.

At these events, young women have had the opportunity to engage directly with female construction professionals in a variety of specializations, including skilled trades, construction management, engineering and environmental specialization. 

“We take our successful female staff out to these events to encourage and inspire girls to pursue their dreams” said Viva Isbasoiu, Community Benefits Liaison Officer. “We are amazed every time by their level of engagement, questions and how much they actually know.”

Youth combine creativity with critical thinking to build tall structures that can withstand wind and weight.

Last year’s sessions were conducted in partnership with the YWCA, which works directly with youth from a number of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. This year, Crosslinx partnered with For Youth Initiative (FYI) , a non-profit that operates out of the York South-Weston neighbourhood and provides stability and mentorship for local youth as they work to achieve their educational and career goals. This is also the second year that Crosslinx partnered with Skills Ontario, the host of the Young Women’s Conferences, that show female students that the skilled trades and technologies offer many great opportunities. 

Young women from across the province explore careers in the trades and technologies through hands-on activities and engaging with female mentors. 

Initiatives like Crosslinx’s Women in Construction program are part of our commitment to bringing benefits to the communities we are in during the construction of the Crosstown. For more information on our Community Benefits Program, click here.

All statistics taken from the Construction Sector Council’s 2010 report The State of Women in Construction in Canada: