Empowering Women to Pursue a Career in Trades

  • Alberta

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

In support of a gender equal world and a diverse and inclusive workforce, Inter Pipeline and Pembina Pipeline Corporation have joined forces with Women Building Futures (WBF) to provide women the opportunity to transition to skilled trades through an introductory power engineering program. As women are generally underrepresented in construction and operations in our industry, this three-way collaboration presents a unique opportunity for women to gain the experience needed to change their career trajectory.

“As a longstanding supporter of WBF and the opportunities they create for women to enter the trades and unlock rewarding careers, Inter Pipeline is extremely proud to be a sponsoring partner of this new program alongside Pembina,” said Anita Dusevic Oliva, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services at Inter Pipeline. “Like all of WBF’s programming, this power engineering program continues to help open the door for a diverse and inclusive workforce in our industry. It’s something we’re all very excited about.”

Jess Thomson, Director Stakeholder Relations at Women Building Futures added, “At Women Building Futures, our mission is economic security for women, and that means a strong focus on employment. More specifically, employment with employers that have our shared values of safety, a commitment to diverse and inclusive workforces and a commitment to career progression for our graduates. Both Inter Pipeline and Pembina share those values, and that’s what makes this partnership so powerful.”

Women on site

The Power of the Program

The Power Engineer Career Accelerator is an introductory program of basic safety certifications and workplace readiness. This is the second class underway, with women from all walks of life on site at the Redwater Olefinic Fractionator site and the Pioneer 1 facility located in Fort McMurray.

Upon completion of training with WBF, students will transition to either NAIT or Lakeland College for their 4th Class Power Engineering training. After becoming 4th Class Certified by completing their required steam time with Inter Pipeline or Pembina, the students will return to either NAIT or Lakeland College to complete their 3rd Class Power Engineering training and then once again be eligible for an internship at one of the operating sites upon completion of training.

“I think a great part of this program is the work placement. I had a work placement too, but I had nowhere near the mentorship that these women are getting today,” said Shauna Petrock, Senior Analyst, Technical Training at Pembina. “The mentorship that men and women are displaying these days is just great to see.”

Our Partnership with WBF

  • WBF is a not-for-profit organization fostering economic security for women through employment-focused training in the construction, skilled trades, maintenance, oil, gas and driving industries.
  • In 2019, Inter Pipeline committed $580,000 to a partnership with WBF to raise awareness and provide pre-apprenticeship training to women in Alberta’s Heartland area. Inter Pipeline saw alignment with its commitment to diversity and inclusion and the opportunity this partnership provided for women looking to enter the trades and unlock rewarding careers. This training is offered through WBF’s Journeywoman Start program, a 17-week classroom and hands-on pre-apprenticeship training program that introduces students to six different industrial trades. Learn more about our partnership with WBF here.

Hear a few WBF graduates talk about the impact the program has had on their career by watching this WBF video. Learn more about WBF and its program offerings by visiting Women Building Futures’ website.