Brighter Futures for

Women in Trades

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices is Committed to Finding Opportunities for Tradeswomen

National News

Office to Advance Women Apprentices expands to Cape Breton

Cape Breton is experiencing a boom in the construction industry – and with it, comes the need to grow and diversify the skilled trades workforce. To support this growth, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices has opened an office in the region that will offer wraparound support services to engage, support and grow the number of tradeswomen and apprentices. 

As a project of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices Cape Breton is the seventh office of its kind to open in Canada. Based on the successful OAWA model established in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2009, the office will work to identify and eliminate barriers to increase opportunities for women in the skilled trades. 

Maggie Budden, a Red Seal Ironworker with Local 752, has taken on the role of Project Coordinator and will lead the office, working closely with local unions, contractor and employer partners, and current and potential tradeswomen. 

Read Maggie’s journey through the trades and her understanding as to why a support office is needed for women in trades.

Featured in photo: Maggie Budden, Project Coordinator for Office to Advance Women Apprentices, Cape Breton and Jack Wall, President of Cape Breton Building Trades Union

what we do

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices

Canada has 1.2 million construction workers, but women only currently represent approximately 4% of the construction trades.

The Office to Advance Women Apprentices Newfoundland and Labrador was established in 2009 with funding from the provincial government, with a mandate of increasing employment opportunities for women in the skilled trades.

The office provides ongoing support to tradeswomen seeking work or already employed in the skilled trades. This includes providing career services, employment supports, and networking opportunities for tradeswomen. The Office to Advance Women Apprentices has partnerships with employers, trades unions, government, and training institutions to assist in accomplishing these goals.

The organization has expanded and now has six provincial offices across the country in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

Taylor and Mitch Shaking Hands

who we are

Our Stories

Discover the stories of the tradeswomen and employers supported by the Office to Advance Women Apprentices.



The story of one young apprentice who – with support from the Office to Advance Women Apprentices and Boilermakers Local 203 – found her dream job.

Read Her Story



Guy J Bailey Ltd. can boast about its strides and work with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices to include diversity and inclusion as part of the company’s mandate.

Learn More



The Local actively supports its women members and has worked closely with our office to help many of them find work.

Learn More

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