Men & Women and Tools: Bridging the Divide

Revealing how Canadian women still represent less than three percent of trades workers despite the many equity initiatives that encouraged them to work in this field, this discussion explores the disparity and why it continues to exist. Approaching the issue from the perspective of a tradesperson, the author focuses on male resistance to the inclusion of women in technical work. Drawing from firsthand interviews with several male and female tradespeople, this investigation presents a short play from their words, illustrating deeply-ingrained notions of masculinity and female roles. Deconstructing the play line by line, the author weaves together scholarly research and lived experience to explore the historical and cultural origins of the ideas expressed.