MONCTON (CNB) - Young women from across the province are being invited to attend a dinner promoting careers in sectors where women have been traditionally under-represented.

The next Skills Work for Women networking dinner will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, at the New Brunswick Community College campus, 1234 Mountain Rd., Moncton. Skills Canada - New Brunswick, in partnership with the Wage Gap Reduction Initiative, is hosting this, the second dinner of its kind this year.

These dinners, which are free to attend, highlight the importance of networking. They give female students in grades 9 through 12 an opportunity to meet various tradeswomen interested in sharing information about a broad range of careers, from welding to information technology.

"Through this great partnership, we want to help young women brighten their futures by promoting skilled trades," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert, who is also acting minister responsible for the status of women. "The event enables the young women who attend to leave feeling empowered and informed about a variety of career choices available to them in non-traditional areas, effectively reducing the wage gap in the province."

Guests attending the dinner will fall into three categories: students, mentors and guests. Students are recruited from secondary schools and are usually young women who have identified a career in the skilled trades and technologies about which they hope to gain more information at the dinner.

The students, female mentors and guests are intermixed at tables. The guests participate in an activity introducing the concept of networking by focusing on the initial importance of finding common ground. Students can then meet with each sector of mentors to ask questions and make connections.

The evening concludes by giving students the opportunity to follow up with any mentors with whom they would like to continue networking.

"Events such as these foster experience and education needed to thrive in these sectors," said Albert. "As a result, industry will have an even stronger labour force that will provide for a stronger economy in the province as we move toward greater self-sufficiency."

Initiatives such as these dinners and the Wage Gap Action Plan Scholarships are intended to help young women and men enter non-traditional sectors, which will essentially help the provincial government grow the economy and reduce the wage gap.

Those interested in attending are asked to contact Mélanie Gallagher at 506-440-6684 or 1-877-253-0266.

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