Old Jobs but New Thinking
It's not every day you have an opportunity to inspire young women and be looked up to as a role model. But that's exactly the kind of experience that Marion Organ, engineer with Nalcor Energy Lower Churchill Project and Amy Rumbolt, millwright with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, were given when they volunteered with Techsploration, a program created by the Women in Resource Development Corporation.
Nalcor Energy is a proud sponsor of this program, which provides young women an opportunity to explore trades and technical and technology-related occupations, while creating awareness about the critical role of work in their lives. In 2010, two groups of grade nine girls from Mary's Harbour and Churchill Falls travelled to St. John's, Newfoundland and spent three days with a Nalcor mentor.
Amy and Marion helped create a schedule of events for the girls and helped introduce and educate them on non-traditional female roles in the workforce.
"It was a great opportunity to tell the girls that they're capable of work in the trades sector," said Amy. "I really enjoyed seeing a group of girls get excited about career possibilities in the trades" even if some ended up feeling like it wasn't for them, they were still given the chance to take a hands-on approach to learning about their options."
The girls participated in activities such as building small wind turbines and planes, touring the Holyrood Generating Station and the St. John's sewage treatment facility, taking a tour of the College of the North Atlantic campus and having lunch with women who work in the trade and technical industry.
"The program allows women to make informed career choices, while also changing the social attitude towards women in trades," said Marion.
Nalcor is continuing its sponsorship of Techsploration this year, allowing more female role models from the company the opportunity to share their career experiences with young women. This year, girls from Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Churchill Falls will participate in the program with role models from Nalcor.
"It was great experience for me to be a role model in this program," said Amy, "I still keep in touch with some of the girls, so you really do build a great connection and feel good about helping them."