"Women have the desire and potential to be key contributors to the future of Canadian skilled trades and active STEMM industries, and we are pouring resources into drawing women in.
Let's work together and elevate PPE in Canada to fit women's needs - comfort, safety, and inclusion."
President & CEO of Helga Wear
B. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering,
Concentration: Computer Integrated Manufacturing
I left my engineering career path to start Helga Wear - making women's workwear.
Why? On the job, I couldn't find personal protective equipment (PPE) or protective clothing for women, and men's PPE didn't fit me properly. I noticed that: PPE in Canada was not made for women's body proportions, safety gear and clothing didn't meet women's basic anatomical needs, and that wearing men's PPE was just considered the norm.
For me, PPE was an exhausting ball and chain - on top of the tools and equipment I had to lug around to perform my job, I was dragging around heavy, bulky, sloppy safety gear and clothing that restricted my mobility, dexterity. Not to mention what a major pain it was to take on and off for basic toileting. This impacted my physical health and safety, my productivity, and my psychological safety.
So I modified my safety gear to work for my body: to fit me, to reduce the excess fabric, and to give me an option for quick hygiene breaks that didn't involve removing my outerwear. Once I created a design that met my criteria, I was excited to be moving around effortlessly, saving at least an hour each day on toileting breaks, and not feeling so out of place. It felt great.
Because of the positive impact proper-fitting safety clothing had on me, I was moved to launch into the unknown world of entrepreneurship - to bring tradeswomen and women in active STEMM jobs like mine options for women's safety clothing truly designed for their bodies.
To work for inclusive systems change - to strengthen our people, our families, our communities, and our Canadian economy.
Helga Wear applies gender-informed design practises: women's body dimension & proportion data, womenswear grading rules, and field testing on working Canadian tradeswomen in the development of our safety gear and clothing for women.
"Women should be fit with proper protective clothing,
not forced to fit in to whatever happens to be on-hand."
Book Jodi for a lunch and learn to show your company/co-workers the value of safety wear for women!
I enthusiastically encourage any parties interested in discussing how to make proper-fit PPE part of their legacy to contact me for a discovery call. I will happily provide you with information and resources to support the adoption of safety gear and clothing for women on your job sites.