Build A Dream Expo Encourages Woman To Give Skilled Trades A Shot

A special guest at the fourth annual Build a Dream Expo has one message for young women in Windsor-Essex — gender doesn't determine anyone's future.

Contractor and TV personality Sherry Holmes spoke to more than 1,200 parents and young women about her experiences breaking into male dominated trades at the Ciociaro Club Thursday night. Her work on her father Mike's shows Holmes on Homes, Homes Inspection, and Holmes Makes It Right were stepping stones to Holmes Next Generation on the DIY Network, which she co-hosts.

Build a Dream has identified lack of awareness as the primary reason young women don't enter skilled-trades. Holmes tells AM800 News career opportunities in skilled trades, science and technology are there for anyone who has the passion, skill and the will to give it a shot.

"I really hope that they can absorb everything they can, try everything because you never know what you could be amazing at unless you try it," she says. "I'm hoping five years from now that some of these girls are going to want to peruse an education in trades. They're going to want to be plumbers, masons, and carpenters and whatever else. Just get out there and try, I hope I can encourage something."

The 31 year old says joining her father's contracting business wasn't something that was high on her to do list growing up; 16-years-later she's been a fixture behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Holmes had to get over a fear that faded quickly once she got out there and tried.

"I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do everything that some that some of the men could and maybe they would disrespect me for it or it would be kind of embarrassing for me," says Holmes. "Then I realized if I want to do it, I can do it."

Women of prominence from several fields where women were under-represented spoke at this year's expo.

— with files from AM800's Peter Langille.