From the office to the field, there is a place for everyone on Coastal GasLink. Labourers, equipment operators, engineers, community advisors, medics, chefs, administrators, environmental monitors, skilled tradespeople and project managers are just a few of the diverse roles filled by women working on Coastal GasLink.
Creating diverse, career-building opportunities is part of our commitment to create an extraordinary legacy for all people in British Columbia. Our goal is to expand the skills and capacity within local and Indigenous communities to leave a lasting and prosperous legacy that will deliver significant economic benefits today, and for decades to come.
In advance of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re featuring a few of the hundreds of extraordinary women working on Coastal GasLink, making a difference for their communities and demonstrating our legacy in action.
Jaimee connects local and Indigenous community members seeking training and work experience with the Pathways to Prosperity program, a six-day ‘training-to-employment’ program launched by SA Energy Group that provides local & Indigenous women and men with the skills and training they need to launch a rewarding career in the construction industry.
Jaimee’s passion for her work lies in watching program members grow their confidence in their skills and in themselves.
“Everyday I get to change lives, because I get to invite people in to have opportunities to become a pipeliner,” Jaimee explains. “I want them to know: this is their life, they can conquer it, and they can climb any mountain that’s set in front of them.”
Participants are trained by leading construction experts and local Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs. They graduate with the foundational skills and certificates needed to start working on the project right away. The Coastal GasLink project represents a unique opportunity for workers starting out in the industry to get those valuable hours while also benefitting from a meaningful and well-paying job on one of Canada’s biggest projects.
Creating an extraordinary legacy holds a personal meaning for Olamide, an Engineer-In-Training with TC Energy. Both of her parents work in the energy industry, inspiring her to become an engineer. While studying at the University of Calgary, Olamide joined TC Energy as an intern. She’s since supported the completion of Coastal GasLink’s Kitimat Meter Station.
“Every day I wake up, I still can’t believe I’m the one out here getting to see this come to construction,” Olamide says of her time working on Coastal GasLink. “This is one of the most impactful projects in Canada right now, and to be someone on the ground witnessing it happen is so incredible.”
Olamide is proudly carrying her family’s legacy forward for the next generation of engineers as she embraces the opportunities at TC Energy, where she’s currently working on the Canada Gas Measurement Projects team.
“It’s almost like my dad is passing on the baton. It’s such an awesome feeling.”
Respect for the environment is foundational to Coastal GasLink’s extraordinary legacy. To ensure that we’re upholding our environmental commitments, Michelle, a Field Supervisor, Environment and Compliance from Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction, guides a team that collects information and conducts field studies to develop assessments and plans to protect the environment.
Being committed to achieving the highest standard of environmental protection is second nature to Michelle, who grew up in the picturesque coastal community of Prince Rupert where she was able to experience first-hand the species and wildlife that the project proactively protects.
“It’s a pretty proud moment, to know that I did that work and I did that work well,” says Michelle.
She’s proud to be able to combine her respect for the environment and love for the outdoors to help protect the diverse habitats in which Coastal GasLink operates.
Integrity, collaboration and respect are at the heart of Coastal GasLink’s commitment to creating lasting opportunities for Indigenous communities in northern British Columbia. That’s why we partner with Indigenous communities to have their members on-site to see first-hand the work happening along the project corridor.
Brianna represents her community, the Nee Tahi Buhn Band, in that important role as a Construction Monitor and Community Liaison. She observes, records and reports on construction activities as they occur to keep her community informed of the latest construction developments.
“They have somebody right in their community, who is grassroots and who is a part of every phase and stage of the project right there from the beginning to the end,” Brianna explains. “They feel like they are being heard and that what they say is taken into consideration and that it matters."
Safety is always our number one value, but over the last year amid the pandemic, health & safety has taken on a greater meaning. Now more than ever, we have to work together and look out for one another. As a Safety Coordinator, that’s a responsibility Lindsay is proud to take on. Lindsay spends her days working with our team members and workers in the field to ensure everyone goes home safe at the end of the day. Her priority each day is not only ensuring the safety of our workforce, but also the safety of the surrounding Indigenous and local communities.
She embraces the challenge, knowing that no two days are ever the same.
“This is one of the biggest projects going on in North America right now, and I wanted to be a part of it,” shares Lindsay. “I love the excitement of it, I love the go-go-go!”
Elise, a Project Engineer with IPC, never pictured herself working out in the field. Last summer, she couldn’t have been happier to be on-the-ground in Kitimat, putting her stamp on the project’s first Direct Pipe Installation.
Elise and her team helped to safely complete Coastal GasLink’s first Direct Pipe Installation near Kitimat, a highly specialized trenchless construction method that installs pipe underneath a waterway.
“It blew my mind for a moment,” explains Elise of how it felt to mark such an important milestone on one of Canada’s largest projects. “It takes awhile to sink in. You realize the magnitude of what’s being done.”
Speaking from her own experience, Elise has advice for women and girls thinking about pursuing engineering.
“For any girls wanting to go into engineering, the sky’s the limit,” says Elise. “Everyone I find is super welcoming and very receptive. I think the industry definitely benefits from having strong female individuals.”
Keeping Indigenous groups informed is key to Coastal GasLink’s success. Shirley, a Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison for the Skin Tyee Nation, embodies that every day through observing, recording and reporting construction progress to her community. Not only does Shirley inform the Nation of construction progress as it happens, but she also gets to be part of developing Indigenous participation in the energy sector.
“We can rebuild economically and socially through training and education for our families and our communities at large,” says Shirley.
Shirley, who advocates for input and recognition of Indigenous voices, exemplifies and directly supports the dialogue between Indigenous groups and Coastal GasLink in her role on the project. The Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison program facilitates transparency and collaboration with Indigenous communities so that their culture and values can be preserved during every step of the project.