Q&A with Chaylene Deboer

Chaylene at work
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Chaylene Deboer is a certified Red Seal electrician with 8+ years of experience. Chaylene encourages girls and women considering joining the trades to just do it! 

chaylene at workHow did you get into your skilled trade?

After high school I was unsure what I wanted to do for a career and felt kind of stuck. My mother suggested a trade as it only takes 4 years to be certified and I could easily have spent 4 years at the entry level job I was currently at. After some quick research I decided to try electrical and dove right in to a Foundations course.

After getting some hands on experience in the classroom, I realized I really enjoyed the work, and the course curriculum was interesting to me too. When my course was complete I got hired out of a practicum and had no regrets! 

What keeps you motivated?

I love the flexibility that my certification gives me. I can choose so many different paths within my career that allows me to evolve and continuously learn! I love that I can use both my body and my brain equally, so I am never bored! Every day is different and the satisfaction that comes from being able to look at my work and say "I did that" is like no other. 

Why is it important to you for women to participate in the skilled trades?

It is important for women to participate in skilled trades because we bring unique and valuable talents to a workforce that has been predominantly male. We live in a world where differences are celebrated and that should be reflected in the workplace too! The more women that join skilled trades, the more barriers for women will be broken down, making it easier for those that follow. 

What advice or message do you have for girls and women interested in pursuing a career in the trades?

Just do it! I had thoughts of "I won't be able to do that" or "I'm not strong enough, fast enough, smart enough...." but the truth is, anyone can do anything with the right attitude and a little bit of bravery! There is a growing number of women in trades and a wonderful community of support out there, and we're waiting for you to join us!