CLAC Supports Ontario's Efforts to Improve Working Conditions for Women in Construction
Cambridge, ON—CLAC applauds measures announced by the Ontario government today that make job sites more accessible and safer for all, including women. Women deserve working conditions that match their needs, and this announcement heralds some important progress.
Given the trades shortage, all barriers to entry and retention must be eliminated. The new measures will further enhance opportunities for women who wish to contribute their skills to the industry.
CLAC, as a member of the CAF-FCA, has been a part of the challenge to champion and support women in the trades. CLAC also has a best-practices guide, which has been distributed to women in construction, contractors, project proponents, and health and safety representatives.
When CLAC surveyed its members about key issues that need to change to improve female participation, the union heard about the following topics:
- PPE – Women need personal protective equipment that fits—particularly fall prevention harnesses.
- Bathrooms – There must be properly equipped bathrooms on site for use by women only with features like proper access, washing facilities, and lighting.
- Shifts – Schedules can be designed to dovetail better with family and childcare obligations.
The changes announced by the Hon. Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training, and skills development and the Hon. Charmaine Williams, associate minister of women’s social and economic opportunity, will address the top two concerns CLAC heard from members—properly fitted PPE and women-only bathrooms. The changes continue to demonstrate a true commitment to workers in construction.