DCN ARCHIVES

September 13, 2007

Justyna Werbel hopes her Pink Nail Project initiative will attract more women to the trades

VINCE VERSACE

Justyna Werbel hopes her Pink Nail Project initiative will attract more women to the trades.

Entrepreneurship

Student launches Pink Nail Project to draw attention to trades careers

Proceeds will fund bursaries for women entering non-traditional skilled trades

Industrial design student Justyna Werbel is a woman with a mission: to encourage women to enter non-traditional skilled trades, such as construction.

She’s doing that through an awareness campaign called the Pink Nail Project.

As part of a thesis project, the 24-year-old student at the Ontario College of Art and Design is powder-coating standard three-inch spiral nails pink.

So far, she has produced 2,000 and another 3,000 are in the works. Nails are being sold at Dudley Hardware, in downtown Toronto. Proceeds will fund bursaries for women entering the trades.

“I needed an icon for the campaign,” says Werbel, who gained first-hand exposure to construction working summers as a general labourer for the City of Windsor. “I decided to use something that was familiar to people across the board.”

Down the road, Werbel hopes to partner with Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity, which has a program that promotes the involvement of women in construction of its homes.

“If there is a pink nail on the site, dialogue will stem; questions will be asked,” says Werbel. “Hopefully, these women will now know there is an opportunity for them to go into the industry.”

The campaign has the backing of the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC). The organization has invited Werbel to participate in its mentoring efforts.

“We think the Pink Nail project represents a great opportunity to get the word out there (about career opportunities in the industry),” says CAWIC president Angela Wilson of Dufferin Construction.

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