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The right “Fit” for me

The Carpentry and Health Care programs at the Chateauguay Valley Career Centre (CVCEC) are traditionally male and female dominated programs.

Every school year we have a few female students registered for the Carpentry program and a couple of male students registered in the Health Care programs.

While speaking to our current students, it was nice to hear how comfortable and accepted the students feel in the classroom, workshop and clinical environments. There was a general consensus among the students that class gender domination was not an issue when registering for the programs.
“The program interested me, so nothing was going to stop me. I want to do what I love every day.”

The first week of class often brings out feelings of anxiety for some students, but this was not the case for our current students.
“Everyone is so nice and welcoming!”
“The men in my Carpentry class are very nice and respect boundaries. They are very helpful and funny at times.”
“Nursing is such a hands on program, you get to meet everyone right away.”

When questioned on the positive and negative aspects of a gender dominated program, the positive responses outweighed the negative.

“One positive aspect is the different opinions between the two genders, we have different ideas.”

“I feel, whether male or female, we are all capable of the same things.”

“People see men as being stronger, getting a job is going to be hard in Quebec, but it is possible!”

The students are enjoying their programs, gender dominated classrooms are a positive experience at the New Frontiers School Board. Program teachers enjoy having the diversity in their classrooms, the students bring a new perspective to the whole group.

For any person thinking of enrolling in the Carpentry or Health Care programs, but are hesitant to apply, let the words of our current students guide you in your decision.

“As a male in the Health Care field you should not worry if it is a female dominated career. As a male, you have a lot to offer, so don’t be worried. If you have a passion, just do it.”

“People’s expectations are clouded when it comes to a subject as a woman doing a “man’s job” and I say, do what you want, show society that you’re different and you’re good at it. Never tell yourself that you’re not good enough. If you want to build stuff and be a carpenter, do it, it’s awesome!”

“A person’s gender has nothing to do with their career choice. “Prends ta place” and be physically fit.”

“Go with what you love! You have to wake up and go do your job every day. Your life is going to suck if you choose your job based on someone else’s opinion.”

“If you feel you are being pulled into a career path, follow that pull. It’s worth it if it intrigues you.”

Special thanks to the following students for taking the time and effort to provide us with the information for this article.
Alexander Hastings Meffe & Eric Sheaves-Blair – Health, Assistance and Nursing Program
Jenna Jacquier, Isabelle Miles & Corinne Talbot-Roy – Construction Carpentry Program

Shelley Smythe (CVCEC)

  1. Bonnie Mitchell

    This is a great tribute to our courageous and amazing students! Thanks for sharing their story!