Kleihauer-Ward, Elke

Elke Kleihauer-Ward is from southwestern Ontario, in the Stratford area. She attended high school there, and a guidance counselor saw something different in her, encouraging her to think about the trades, and to become an apprentice. At the time this was an unusual path for a young woman to follow, and it wouldn’t be easy. Elke endured harassment from her fellow workers as she successfully moved towards becoming the first female Tool & Die Maker in Canada – quite an achievement! And she did not rest on her laurels, as she went on to become the first female high school Machine Shop teacher in Canada. For this Elke was nominated for the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, back in 1997. Elke faced a lot of pushback during her career, but she fought through all that, and as a pioneer she of course opened the door for others to follow. Elke was interviewed over zoom by Scott Masters in the summer of 2021.