Leading a Gender Diverse Team in the Skilled Trades
March 07, 2023
- We sat down to talk to Harvey to learn more about his experience and approach to leading a gender diverse team.
- Within any team, it’s important to support and take pride in each other’s accomplishments — regardless of gender.
- Having more diversity in the workplace provides different views and perspectives, which helps to create a safer and more engaged workforce.
We sat down to talk to Harvey, a Distribution supervisor who leads a gender diverse crew in the skilled trades. We wanted to learn more about his experience and approach to leading a gender diverse team.
1. What’s your approach to managing a gender diverse team?
I currently have 2 women working on my team. One is an apprentice Power Line Technician (PLT), and the other is a Labourer with aspirations to become an apprentice PLT.
I simply manage people. I try not to manage any person on my team differently than another. There are different roles on my team, based on apprenticeship years and growth in employee knowledge and skills. In some situations, a team member may need modifications to their work environment, but those special considerations apply to both male and female employees.
Overall, my team members are very outgoing and outdoorsy people who seem to thrive on working and learning outdoors.
2. How do you promote communication and conflict resolution among your team?
On our crew, all members support each other and take pride in each other’s accomplishments — regardless of gender. If issues arise between members of the crew for whatever reason, we discuss the situation and find a compromise that all involved parties can agree on.
3. What advice would you give to women wanting to enter the skilled trade workforce?
I encourage women to come into the trades with an open mind. Allow yourself to learn everything you can about the skilled trade you are interested in by:
- talking with people working in the trade
- attending summer camps that promote careers in skilled trades
- job shadowing a co-worker working in the trade
- attending the Skills Assessment and Trade Orientation (SATO) to experience some of the requirements needed for the job
Only then decide if this is the right path forward for you.
Some of the benefits of entering a career in a skilled trade include a paid education through apprenticeships. There are many education opportunities that employees can participate in at SaskPower. Plus, endless career growth opportunities, a competitive pension plan and health benefits. A major benefit is also job security. Once you’re done your trade time and schooling, you’re guaranteed a permanent position, which isn’t always the case in some other educational routes.
4. What’s been your experience in leading a gender diverse team?
It’s been a very rewarding experience leading women who are advancing and flourishing in the PLT trade. I feel pride and extreme happiness whenever any of my employees do well at work or at home.
5. What advice would you give to a manager or supervisor with a gender diverse team?
Diversity makes a team a more well-rounded group. Supporting women isn’t a challenge, it’s a benefit. Having more diversity in the workplace provides different views and perspectives, which helps to create a safer and more engaged workforce. We see all team members as equal, regardless of gender.
- The Road to Becoming a Power Line Technician as a Woman
- Finding Your Place in Skilled Trades as a Female
- 5 Questions with Emma on Women in Skilled Trades
- Advancing Women in Skilled Trades
- Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
- Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
- IBEW Supporting Diversity and Inclusion in the Trades