There have been occasions when sisters Kayla and Marsha Kindrat head to a work site and they’re met with a look of shock and surprise. Kayla is a Level 1 Apprentice Plumber and her older sister is a certified Red Seal Journeyman Plumber and both work in Brandon, at All Around Plumbing and Heating Electrical.
“The look of surprise isn’t a bad thing” says Kayla. “People are just sometimes surprised to see two women plumbers on the job. They are surprised in a good way. People have been really supportive. They say things like ‘good for you. That’s awesome.’ They say encouraging things.”
Contactor’s Corner owner Geoff Gregoire says, “they both have great attention to detail and interaction with our customers. Our customers love working with Marsha and Kayla. They bring a unique dynamic and are a great part of the team here.”
Both Marsha and Kayla have come to the trade through Assiniboine Community College. Marsha completed her program in 2016 and was the inspiring factor that led Kayla to enroll. Kayla wanted to be able to work with her hands, to analyze problems and develop solutions. She says that part of the job is very satisfying. It gives her a really good feeling of accomplishment when a renovation is complete. She adds, “being able to contribute my skills and knowledge into a trade that is so male dominated definitely gives me the drive to push as hard as I can. It’s less expected, so showing what women can do in the trades is a huge motivator to continue on.”
Of the 14 students Kayla went to school with there were only two women in the class, herself included.
Statistics Canada’s Labour Force survey (2018) cites just 4% of women currently employed in trades. In Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador boast the highest percentage of women in trades, at nearly thirteen percent. To learn more about programs and supports for women considering a career in trades, visit www.womenapprentices.ca. And to learn about the programs offered in Brandon, visit www.Assiniboine.net.
Kayla knows that she has the unique opportunity to inspire other women and girls just as her sister has done for her. “I definitely look up to Marsha. She’s such a strong, independent person. I’m proud to say that my sister is the one who got me where I am today.”
To read more stories about women in trades, or to learn about opportunities for employers to get involved, contact the Office to Advance Women Apprentices in Manitoba, or click through their links at womenapprentices.ca.