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Women’s Firsts in Nova Scotia

March 8, 2013 is International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate and mark the economic, political and social achievements of women worldwide. Here in Nova Scotia, women have been making headway into in-demand science, trades, and technology careers.

For example, Andrea MacDonald of Bridgewater is the first licensed female tug master in Nova Scotia. Andrea enrolled in a three-year marine program at the NSCC Strait Area Campus in Port Hawkesbury, taking classes as she could, working towards becoming a watchkeeping mate. After completing the program and writing an extensive series of exams for Transport Canada, Andrea started as a casual deckhand working for Svitzer Canada in the Strait of Canso, climbing the ladder to tug master. More about Andrea’s story can be seen in her Women in Action web video.

Also, Jennifer Jesty from North Sydney became the first Aboriginal woman to graduate the paramedic program at the Centre for Emergency Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additionally, Jesty was the first Aboriginal woman to become a member of the Nova Scotia Firefighters Association.

The list of career firsts goes on: Jen Willis was recently the first heavy duty equipment technician apprentice registered in Nova Scotia; Cmdr. Josee Kurtz of Halifax became the first woman to command a Canadian naval warship; Brenda Daniels was the first female plumber journeyperson in Nova Scotia; Donna Bonner the first African Nova Scotia woman to earn her Red Seal in carpentry; and Sgt. M.J. DeLuco became the first female RCMP officer to command a district in the province.

Women’s workforce participation is spreading beyond traditional careers. Women make up half the population; securing their participation in all industries helps create a deep talent pool.

For International Women’s Day, and every day, Techsploration celebrates all the women who are contributing to their communities’ well-being, and congratulates all the women who are thriving and making ‘firsts’ in their careers, regardless of occupation and industry.