Jordan Atlin and her instructor/mentor Merv Kube.
Future full of opportunity for Yukon worker
Jordan Atlin says, as an indigenous woman from Yukon Territory, she has seen a world of opportunity open for her since she decided to take a Women in Trades Training program through the Industry Training Authority in British Columbia.
She says previously she only had her high school education and "wasn’t really doing anything with her life .... and because of that, I didn’t really know anything about myself.”
Then she started her training, and started to gain confidence in her new field.
"I realized I can do all of the assignments and do all of the homework. It wasn't just knowing I could do it, but being confident in doing it made me into the person that I think I wanted to become.”
In the beginning when women were first joining this movement to get into trades, Atlin says she noticed a lot of skepticism from the older workers. "I think they were worried that we wouldn’t keep the integrity of the trade."
"I met a lot of just plain old resistance that made it a little more difficult to get in there. Coming into this trade – that’s how it is for a lot of women."
But with various Women in Trades programs that are now available across Canada, it’s allowing people to just “put the politics aside,” and keep things straightforward for women who just want to do the work and to learn, says Atlin. It's giving more women the opportunity to get the education they need so they can get into a trade feeling more confident, and that they “have more control over their own lives.”
Merv Kube, Atlin’s mentor and instructor at the UA Piping Industry College of British Columbia, says, “I see no difference between men and women in the way they learn. I just don’t attach the gender aspect to it."
He says he has some advice for women who might be thinking about entering into a trade: “Don’t be afraid. Take up the challenge. There is success at the end.”
“Women are really an untapped resource,” says Atlin, and "really have so much to offer the trades”
Atlin says, if she had to just use one word to describe her future it would be ‘opportunity,’ because, she says, “I really believe I can go anywhere.”
You can watch Jordan Atlin’s story here, or click on the video above.