Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




equity, diversity, inclusion, trades, women, social justice


Over the past number of years, it has become apparent that Canada is facing a significant skilled labour shortage. As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, the pressure to train and hire skilled trades workers has only increased; in order to fill the growing labour gap, intentional measures are needed to attract and retain a more diverse group of students. This organizational improvement plan aims to capitalize on a recent strategic plan and its central commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice. Through a case study focused on balanced enrolment by gender in trades training, this document considers a number of potential solutions before focusing on policies and practices related to recruitment, application, and admission of women into two trades programs. Principles of transformational leadership and transformative leadership theory are entwined with a change roadmap and a change process of appreciative inquiry to create a matrix for change at College on the Water (a pseudonym). A project community map is created and key responsibilities are outlined, as are the critical elements of a communication plan. Lessons learned from this case study can be applied to other programs that are inequitable in representation, whether by gender, socioeconomic status, race, or other differentiation. The immediate goal is to ameliorate an imbalance in student enrolment, and the larger goal is to help the institution’s social justice focus and responsibilities progress. To this end, a global benchmarking tool will be used to measure the institution’s current state and to set a pathway for a better future.