A variety of programs and resources provide help for women who are looking for employment, ranging from mentoring in business development to training in the trades. If you are looking for new employment or want to advance in your career, the resources here can help you find work that offers job satisfaction and independence.
Women in Trades
With a high demand in B.C. for skilled tradespeople, you can build a rewarding career in the trades, including those that have not traditionally hired women. Some programs are designed to get you started in trades.
- Women in Trades – Get support from the Industry Training Authority training initiative, which helps women get training; find funding and paid apprenticeship opportunities; and match their interests with B.C.’s labour market. Watch the ITA Women in Trades video.
- Women in Trades Training Service Providers – Find out about programs specifically designed for women interested in a career in the trades. Several institutions offer trades exploration programs that give you hands-on experience in a variety of different trades using a range of tools and equipment.
Find out what women say about their careers in trades with these personal stories:
Find out the range of trades programs
you can train for at the Industry Training Authority
Women in Science and Technology
Technology drives some of the most dynamic sectors of British Columbia’s economy, creating new employment and career options for women. See how these organizations can support your career in science or technology.
- Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology and Women in Science and Engineering – Find mentors, career tools, networking and support for women pursuing a career in science and engineering.
- B.C. Women in Technology – Find out about events and contacts to build relationships and share lessons among women technology professionals.
- Women in Communications and Technology – Connect with women in the communications industry through workshops, social events, scholarships and mentorships in B.C.
- Ladies Learning Code – Discover workshops and mentors who can help you learn how to build a website and improve your technical skills.
- Women in Mathematics – Learn about “career starters” for women mathematicians and the mentors’ network to support women interested in careers in math.
- Women in Engineering and Geoscience – Check out how EGBC builds a strong and supportive community to encourage and promote women in their industry.
- Achieve Anything Foundation – Learn about opportunities for girls and women in aviation, aerospace, marine, defence and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields through hands-on events. Apply to attend Operation: This IS you! events sponsored by organizations like the Vancouver Police, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, and Canadian Coast Guard. Learn about The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! annual event.
Find out what women say about their careers in science and technology with these personal stories:
Women in Business
Many women find employment and a career by creating a business of their own. By establishing a business, you can create employment that you control while building long-term employment opportunities in your own community. Check out these resources to support women in business.
- Women's Enterprise Centre – Discover essential business services for women starting, purchasing or growing a small business. The Women’s Enterprise Centre offers guidance, skills development, networking and referrals to mentors and other resources and business services in B.C.
- Forum for Women Entrepreneurs – Find programs and events that support and mentor women who are venturing into new business opportunities or who are ready to grow their existing business.
- Young Women in Business – Connect with young women who are becoming leaders in business through mentorships and events ranging from case analysis workshops to yoga and style workshops.
- Business Loans for Women – Get access to financing for women seeking to start a new business or to expand or purchase an existing business.
- Small Business BC – Grow a successful and sustainable business with help from expert business advisors, educational services, easy-to-use free resources and engaging community events.
Find out what women say about their careers in business with these personal stories:
- Jennifer, Vonbon – Discover how a frustrating search led Jennifer to setting up and growing a small business.
- Tressa, Men in Kilts – Find out why Tressa’s desire to spend time with her family led to a unique business development.
- Trish, BikeHike Adventures – Learn how Trish spent years leading tours and then decided she could run a business for herself.
- Ravi and Amy, Bombay Brow Bar – Discover how two sisters grew a business idea from a personal obsession they wanted to share.
Education / Skills
Education opens doors—for developing your career, finding a job, earning a higher income and expanding your life choices. Explore post-secondary education and skills training opportunities:
- Blueprint Builder – Build your own career plan and find B.C. resources to choose a career, access education and funding, and get a job.
- EducationPlannerBC – Search for post-secondary education programs by interest, subject, type of credential or institution.
- Co-operative Education Programs – View B.C. co-op education programs by institution or program type. You can also find contacts and learn about academic and work terms.
- Trades Training BC – Explore trades programs, learn about apprenticeships and entry-level training, and use the BC Trades Training Seat Finder to identify openings you could apply for.
- StudentAid BC – Find out how to fund your post-secondary education through student loans, grants and scholarships, and learn about programs that help with loan repayment.
- Canadian women university leaders and researchers – Learn about Canadian women who are working in a range of academic environments and roles.
- Upgrading – Planning to upgrade or finish high school level courses to prepare for post-secondary training or education? Find a post-secondary institution or school near you that offers adult upgrading courses.
- Skills Training for Employment Program – Check out programs that offer skills training and employment support. You’ll find programs for young adults, survivors of violence and/or abuse, and older workers.
Personal Development for Women
Building your confidence and job skills can help you find employment and move ahead in your career. See if these programs for women can help you get the employment you want.
- Minerva Foundation for BC Women – Find support that helps women and girls gain the confidence and skills they need to prosper and become leaders. The B.C. program offers leadership programs, education awards and culturally-relevant programming developed in partnership with Indigenous women.
- Bridges for Women – Discover employment training and supportive programs that help women impacted by violence or abuse rebuild their lives and economic stability, with in-person and on-line programs. The program is available to women on southern Vancouver Island and the south Gulf Islands.
- FOCUS @ Work – Access a free employment program that helps women reconnect with their confidence, strengths, talent and experience, and build connections. Participants develop customized work search strategies to find the right career path and meaningful employment. The program serves women across Metro Vancouver.
- YWCA Employment Programs – Access free employment programs that are specifically designed to help women build confidence and find meaningful employment. Develop customized work strategies to find the right career path for you. Programs available in the Lower Mainland include FOCUS @ Work, Changing Gears, and LEADS.
- Dress for Success – Community program focused on empowering women with the tools they need to enter the workforce. Provides career development training, job search assistance, and professional workplace attire. Dress for Success has locations in Vancouver and Kelowna. Contact your local WorkBC Centre to learn more about community programs available to you in your area.
Call or visit your local WorkBC Centre
for more information about career preparation programs in B.C. Use our interactive map
to find a WorkBC Centre in your area.
Attending post-secondary for the first time?
Are you starting your post-secondary journey?
- Changing location.
- Living on your own.
- Facing new academic challenges.
- Juggling school and work demands.
- Managing your money.
The guide From Surviving to Thriving: Developing Personal and Academic Resilience
gives you resources, checklists, worksheets, a coping strategies planner, and a choice of four strategies for managing stressful situations.
From Surviving to Thriving
can help you prepare for challenges and pressures that may arise. The guide will help you identify your personal strengths and develop strategies to manage stress, address challenges and reduce worry and fear. Know when and where to ask for help, and build a network of people for mutual support.
Survivors of Violence and/or Abuse Program
If you’ve fled a situation of violence and/or abuse and face barriers to employment, learn about a program for those who are unemployed or have insecure employment. The Survivors of Violence and/or Abuse (SOVA)
program provides skills training and employment support based on each participant’s needs. Support can include counselling, mentoring, child care, transportation, disability supports, work experience, wage subsidies and equipment.