Status of Women
Council of the NWT
Status of Women
Council of the NWT

Northern Women
in Mining Oil & Gas Project

The NWT Bureau of Statistics, NWT Apprenticeship shows that less than 3% of people working in trades positions are women. This number has remained constant for close to two decades.

The Northern Women in Mining, Oil and Gas Project (NWMOG) is a highly innovative pilot project that is specifically designed to determine if the number of northern women in industrial/trades occupations can be significantly increased through a dedicated and strategic information and training initiative.Women, particularly Aboriginal women, are significantly under-represented in these occupations as well as in the overall workforce.

Traditional approaches to training and skill development have not been increasing the number of women in industrial and trades occupations. Women in the north face many barriers to accessing employment in these sectors. Such barriers often include being the primary, and possibly only, caregiver in the family. It also includes lack of support from partners and family in pursuing rigorous training. There are restrictions based on limited education levels and opportunities, limited financial resources to further one’s development, and the perception that trades and industrial occupations are best suited to men. These, along with significant social issues including physical and sexual abuse, and substance addictions all create barriers to women working in the mining, oil and gas industries.

Despite these challenges, women have proven they can compete and succeed in industrial and trades based occupations. Many employers report that women often exceed in these positions due to their concern for safety and attention to detailed work.

The Status of Women Council of the NWT and the NWMOG project partners believe that given the right training and skill development opportunity, the number of women in industrial/trades occupations can be increased dramatically.

Industry representatives have committed to provide on-going advice on labour market needs and required training, project information sharing and advertising, and human resource, financial and in-kind support over the term of the project. Industry representative have also committed to considering participants for industrial jobs and apprenticeships upon successful completion of the training.

The Northern Women in Mining, Oil and Gas Pilot Project is specifically designed to answer the following research question:

Given the current population of unemployed and underemployed women in the Northwest Territories, will a dedicated, women-only, partnership-based and strategic approach to training and development be successful in increasing the interest level and participation and retention rates of women in industrial and trades based occupations in the northern mining and oil and gas industries?

Our partners include HRSDC (Pan Canadian Innovations Fund), GNWT Department of Education, GNWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment, DeBeers Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Diavik Diamond Mines, BHP Billiton, the Kimberlite Career and Technical Centre, NWT Mine Training Society, Native Women’s Association of the NWT, Public Service Alliance of Canada, and the Mackenzie Gas Project.