Women in construction trades


Construction trades were once exclusively occupied by men, as they involve physically demanding tasks. But in 2024, women are increasingly present both as tradespeople and as general or specialized contractors. In this article, we discuss women who are taking their place on construction sites!

More women in construction trades, but not enough!

Last year, the Commission de la Construction du Québec (CCQ) published statistics on the presence of women working on construction sites, in collaboration with the Programme d’accès à l’égalité des femmes dans l’industrie de la construction (PAEF).

And what were the conclusions of this report? Well, in 2022, a record number of 7,200 women were working in construction. This represents an increase of nearly 970 compared to the previous year. However, this figure only accounts for 3.65% of the total industry workforce.

Nevertheless, it is a proportion on the rise, and out of the 7,200 women working in the field, 1,900 began their career in 2022. However, this is still less than the average of the five major European countries, which reported 9% of women in construction!

Inclusion measures

The PAEF 2015-2024 aims to increase the number of women in construction trades. To achieve this goal, measures have been implemented to create inclusive and respectful work environments, while addressing discriminatory or inequitable situations. 

Additionally, several videos and posters are available on the CCQ Website for employers who wish to raise awareness among their teams. For example, in one video, the 10 most commonly heard myths on construction sites are discussed, including the infamous: “Women are not strong enough to work in construction”!

To support a healthy and inclusive construction industry (in the context of labour shortages), the CCQ, along with employer and union associations, government departments and agencies, as well as educational institutions, have joined the program.

construction trades

And to bring more women into the construction industry, the Régie du bâtiment du Québec has relaxed its hiring criteria:

  • A woman with a diploma (apprentice cards) can work without needing a guarantee of hours or a letter of commitment from an employer. She has two years to complete 150 hours of work and be considered a journeywoman.
  • A woman without a diploma can work in construction if an employer guarantees her 150 hours of work for 3 months.
  • For every female apprentice on a construction site, the employer can hire one additional apprentice.

Hiring assistance for women

The CCQ has implemented means to encourage women to work on construction sites:

  • Their applications are automatically submitted when the CCQ refers workers to employers through the construction reference book.
  • A personalized training program allows women to diversify their learning with the active support of a journeyman or mentor (Women’s Training Program in Business).
  • Financial incentives are offered to eligible companies.
  • The work team can receive training to facilitate the integration of women into their workforce.
  • 10% of registration slots for development activities are prioritized for women.

women in construction

Work at height

According to CCQ statistics, women in construction predominantly practise two trades: carpentry/woodworking and painting (3 out of 7 women). These trades are particularly at risk of falls from height, and this is where safety equipment becomes an incentive to continue practising their profession.

Indeed, harnesses, work platforms, and professional ladder stabilizers (specifically designed for construction sites) can give women the desire to pursue these risky construction trades, as they feel safe when performing their tasks.

ProtecMi designed the professional ladder stabilizer to reduce falls from height and injuries on construction sites, making the task of workers much more enjoyable! Our device even won the CNESSTs top prize for Innovation in 2020!

Construction trades

The aluminum ladder stabilizer

The professional aluminum ladder stabilizer from ProtecMi meets the safety measures required by CNESST on construction sites when using ladders. One of these measures is that the ladder must be securely anchored with a ladder stabilizer or another method.

Using a ProtecMi aluminum ladder stabilizer ensures the ladder is securely immobilized and leaves a few inches of space between the ladder and the wall or roof edge (another measure to comply with, under penalty of hefty fines)!

Employers: order your ladder stabilizers!

To order your ProtecMi aluminum ladder stabilizers, visit the Buy section of the ProtecMi Website.

Ladder stabilizers are delivered within a maximum of 72 hours, to all cities in Québec. For delivery to other provinces in Canada, please contact us at 450-753-1010 to place your order.