Pilot program to teach girls skilled trades
The construction field is a male-dominated one, with women accounting for only 11% of construction workers and 27% of architects and engineers. Aiming to change those numbers in the future, the Home Depot Foundation is teaming up with Girl Scouts of the USA to offer construction workshops for Girl Scouts in eighth-12th grades.
The pilot program will launch in the fall in Atlanta, Houston, and Denver, providing hands-on carpentry and other skilled trade lessons.
“The statistics undoubtedly underline the imbalance of talent and roles held by women within the construction trade industry,” said Shannon Gerber, The Home Depot Foundation’s executive director. “We’re proud to introduce this next step on our journey to preparing youth for the skilled trades, and we’re especially grateful to help bridge the opportunity gap for young women.”
Home Depot will also award scholarships to 12th-grade Girl Scouts as part of its $250,000 Path to Pro program for trade college and postsecondary programs.
Female professionals will lead the classes and provide career advice for young mentees.
“At Girl Scouts, we help girls discover who they want to be by introducing them to a wide variety of experiences to see what sparks their interest. From the very beginning, one of those experiences has been the skilled trades,” said Suzanne Harper, senior director of national programs and partnerships. “We are thrilled to partner with The Home Depot Foundation to provide this innovative, hands-on skilled trades experience that will allow girls to see themselves in these essential careers by connecting with role models to whom they can relate.”
With tight labor markets expected over the next few years of the post-pandemic recovery, there will be opportunities for women to make their mark in male-dominated heavy industries. Investment in educational programs can help introduce them to these fields and provide experience they can bring with them upon entering the workforce.