A Windsor-made video which encourages women to join underrepresented occupations has caught the eye of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The video called #BecauseIts2016 was produced by Nour Hachem-Fawaz, Terry Weymouth and Nicole Best and directed by Dan Brown. Released Wednesday, it features biology researchers, electricians, police officers, roofers and other workers from Windsor and Essex County.
At first, the faces of these people are hidden until the video reveals all of these people are women working in these professions.
The title of the video is a play on Trudeau’s “Because it’s 2015” comment when asked why he decided to have a 50 per cent cabinet.
“This is fantastic,” Trudeau’s Twitter account posted about the video Friday morning following his participation on a gender equality panel at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
Hachem-Fawaz, who works for the school of skilled trades at St. Clair College, said the team did not deliberately release the video close to Trudeau’s event, but the timing worked out perfectly.
“I think him having a world platform to have his voice heard and having his voice talk about the issue when it impacts a lot of women, not only locally, but across Canada and globally,” she said. “For us it’s a meaningful moment for us to know that we’re making a difference and we’re helping to shed some of that perception.”
The goal of the video is to take gender away from occupations, said Hachem-Fawaz, who along with the other members is working on this campaign on her spare time.
“We looked at all the areas where women are significantly underrepresented and that people can really associate with those stereotypes they have unconsciously,” she said.
Brown, who shot the video on his smartphone, said most of the shots were done “on the fly” which gives an authentic feel to the video.
All of the women featured in the video were filmed in their own work environments. No actors were used.
Weymouth, an electrician who also appears in the video, said now is the right time for more women to start considering these types of occupations.
“There’s lot of opportunity and I think that there’s aging baby boomers and there’s going to be opportunity in the future,” said Weymouth, the national skilled trades coordinator for Unifor. “We’re hoping (the video) generates conversation with more women asking themselves why they’re not looking at these (jobs) as options.”
Trudeau’s tweet quoted Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board trustee Fabio Constante’s post on Twitter.
“It was not because we sent Justin Trudeau an email that he saw the video,” said Brown. “It was because Windsor-Essex rose up and decided it was important that he see this.”
Hachem-Fawaz said the video was also made to intentionally showcase the Windsor region. She and Brown said the group working on the #BecauseIts2016 campaign plans to work on additional videos profiling working women in the area.
“Hopefully when we have a global reach we can start bringing attention to our beautiful city that’s doing a lot of great work when it comes to women in work,” said Hachem-Fawaz.
As of late Friday afternoon the video has been viewed more than 2,200 times.