The Sydney Tar Ponds project celebrated local women’s leadership in the trades and technology fields today, March 19, at a special symposium held at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. About 100 people, including representatives from local businesses, not-for-profit organizations and education, attended the symposium, which featured networking, discussions and presentations from women working in trades and technologies. Guest speakers included Stephanie MacInnis Langley, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and Anna Marenick, human resources manager with Irving Shipbuilding. “This project has been extremely successful in advancing the role of women in the trades and technology industry,” said Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “With the province attracting more employers and more jobs than any time in our history, the time is now to increase and advance more women in the trades and technology careers.” The federal and provincial governments, partners on the cleanup project, have been supporting a number of employment and training initiatives for women in Cape Breton. They have supported non-profit organizations specializing in education and career development, as well as funding internship and scholarship programs for young women training for careers in trades and technology. “By creating training and employment opportunities for women in trades and technology, the government of Canada and the province of Nova Scotia are empowering women,” said Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada and Minister for Status of Women. “In doing this, the government partners are also strengthening families and the communities in Cape Breton, while supporting economic growth and paving the way for future leaders.” As part of the symposium, innovative leadership awards were presented to representatives from Techsploration, the Ann Terry Society, and Women Unlimited Cape Breton for recognition of their successes in promoting women’s leadership in the trades and technology industry.