Women in Trades

nicole leclair

Spotlight on Nicole LeClair

Nicole LeClair is a Welding Engineering Technologist, a Welding Instructor at Mohawk and a major supporter of women in trades.

Nicole thoroughly enjoys sharing her love of the trade with future welders and always tries to mentor and advocate for youth to enter the trades. There is ample opportunity to succeed in the trades, especially welding.

Nicole has also recently created a welding bursary award. Her mission is to make grants in support of students who want to pursue welding at the post-secondary level within the province of Ontario, and is committed to providing the bursary on an annual basis.

Donate or learn more about the Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award.

Read Nicole's advice on women entering the trades  »

"Just give it a try! If you’re at the age that you’re still in high school, try it because you won’t know until you do. If you’re thinking of exploring the option at the post-secondary level, you can do what I did. Before I went into a full-time program, I took a night class. I discovered that I really liked it, and it was enough for me to drop everything and move to Sudbury for the Welder/Fitter program, then later doing a 3 year Welding Engineering Technology program. 

Also, try to surround yourself with supportive people and if you can find a mentor, it can certainly be very important to have one. At times, I feel like sometimes even one gesture can change a person’s outlook; just to know that they’re not alone because there are other women that went through similar situations. So find a mentor to look up to.  

I always tell people that they shouldn’t be afraid to fail because you may not be good at it right away. It’s a skill that needs practice and doesn’t come easily. Like they say, skilled labour isn’t cheap and cheap labour isn’t skilled. It is a good skill to have and you have to work your butt off! There’s blood, sweat and tears but you have to persevere. Ignore the people that want to put you down and stay focused on your path. These things helped to get me to where I am today and surely they can help you too!"

Nicole was also recently featured as a Women in Steel with the Canadian Welding Association. Read Nicole's story (PDF).

Why skilled trades?

The skilled trades workforce is predominantly male - in fact women only represent 3 to 5 per cent.



Mohawk CE featured women in trades

An anonymous research survey about women working in the skilled trades was recently undertaken, and closed on February 28, 2018. For those that took the survey, we thank you. 

Your participation helped us:

  • Gain an understanding of the current local skilled trades workplace environment
  • Identify ways to help women explore opportunities in skilled trades through communication and education

The study is expected to be completed April 2018, and a summary of results will be posted on this page.