‘The more equal we feel out here, the nicer it is for all of us,’ .– says Robin Hebbard
Robin Hebbard was one of the handful of women who worked as heavy equipment operators and simulator trainers at Syncrude’s Aurora mine in 2007.
Female workers now account for roughly 30% of the workforce at the Aurora site. The increase was most noticeable in the locker room, which had 135 lockers and 180 women.
“We saw two to three women per locker,” Hebbard explained.
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She raised the issue with her director, and the corporation switched one of the men’s locker rooms with the smaller women’s locker room in December, freeing up 213 lockers.
“It’s really great to have a remedy to the issue and a space for all the women to feel comfortable,” she said. “The more equal we feel out here, the better it is for all of us.”
Hebbard credits the success of the Aurora site to programmes such as Women Building Futures, which provides support services to assist unemployed and underemployed women in discovering different careers.
Women Building Futures collaborated with the Aurora site to recruit and support female heavy equipment operators, according to Thomson.
Careers The Next Generation is also working to increase the number of women working in trades.