Women Building Futures celebrates progress and empowerment in Saskatchewan

Published On
June 26, 2024

Women Building Futures (WBF) is celebrating the graduation of the fifth and final class from the BHP Trades Readiness program. Partnering with global resource company BHP enabled WBF to expand our mission of fostering economic security to women and gender-diverse people living in Saskatchewan.

We’ve run five BHP Trades Readiness classes since the program first launched in Saskatoon in 2023; 47 women have graduated from the program. This 9-week introductory construction trades program equipped women with essential hands-on skills, paving the way for a career in mining.

“As we celebrate today, I want to say how proud I am of all our graduates. Having women represented on teams makes them better, and I encourage you to show up every day as your whole and genuine self, ” says Carol Moen, WBF president and CEO.

Addressing the gender gap in the workplace

Despite strides made over the decades, women remain under-represented in the construction trades, transportation and related fields, including mining.

The mining industry is a critical sector in Canada, generating billions of dollars in economic activity and providing well-paying, stable careers for thousands of workers.

Canada’s mining industry, like other sectors, is dealing with a tightening labour market due to an aging workforce and expansion opportunities. Mining needs a robust labour pool to meet employment demand. The sustainability and expansion of the industry depends on attracting, hiring and training the next generation of skilled workers.

That’s been the experience of BHP. They have found that their most inclusive and diverse operations outperformed other operations on a range of measures, including lower injury rates, better adherence to work plans, and an improved ability to meet production targets.

“At BHP, we believe in the power of diversity and inclusion to drive performance and innovation. Supporting programs like the WBF Trades Readiness program aligns with our commitment to fostering a diverse workforce and providing opportunities for women to thrive in the mining industry”, said Karina Gistelinck, Asset President, BHP.

Further growing our impact in Saskatchewan

The collaboration on the BHP Trades Readiness program has helped WBF make significant strides in our mission. “We are grateful for BHP’s support of our mission and for the opportunity to work together to lead positive change and create opportunities for more women to pursue resilient careers in the mining industry,” says Carol.

As we celebrate the completion of this initiative and support our graduates as they find employment at the Jansen mine site, we’re looking ahead to the next stage of our work supporting more women in Saskatchewan into the skilled trades.

WBF is now offering our flagship trades exploration program, Journey to Trades, in Regina in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, Enbridge, TC Energy and Pembina. 18 students started training in May 2024.

Thank you, BHP, for helping us take these important steps forward. Thank you, Saskatchewan, for welcoming us.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to expand, innovate and strive to surround women with support on to their path to economic security.