International Women’s Day of 2022 is all about breaking biases! In recognition of this theme, we’re highlighting women in traditionally male-dominated careers who are challenging gender stereotypes and discrimination. We hope that you’ll celebrate their achievements by becoming inspired to take action against gender inequality in your own way!


Lora McMillan

Role Title: Senior Superintendent and Manager of Special Projects at Ledcor Group

Education: Building Renovations Program at George Brown College
Carpenter’s apprentice for home renovations

What are your current responsibilities within your role?

I work alongside the estimating department to bid on jobs. Once we get hired to do a job, I manage the superintendents and the project managers to make sure we deliver a great building on time and within the budget. I do a lot of people managing, coaching, and mentoring, and I also use my technical knowledge to come up with new and better ways to build things.

Why did you choose this line of work?

My family has been in construction, and I always enjoyed making things for myself. Now I’m able to build my own house or make my own furniture, and it feels so rewarding.

I like construction management because it’s larger than life. I can be building a high-rise condo or a massive warehouse and be responsible for millions of dollars, but I also love managing people and always trying to get the best out of my employees. I love how the job changes every day. I don’t have any set hours, so I manage my own schedule day to day. I am able to travel around the city and sometimes the country, and I am always learning. Construction is a more casual environment, so I can be myself more authentically, and there’s so much room to grow. Also, it pays really well, which helps a lot!

What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your role?

Construction is still a very male-dominated industry, sadly. Women make up only approximately 2.2% of onsite roles. It can be difficult to try to fit in, while also being your true self. The construction industry is not very welcoming for women and is often considered intimidating, but that’s something that’s slowly changing. Long ago construction is what you did if you had no other plans, but now construction is full of intelligent and passionate people who are proud of what they can create and how much they know. It’s also an industry that is growing quickly, and with so many people retiring there are an incredible amount of opportunities.

Do you have any advice for women looking to get into this field?

Just do it! It’s an incredible field and women do so well. All the women I work with are top performers. We have a great eye for detail, amazing communication skills, and excel at problem solving. All these attributes make us very successful in the construction industry.


Jordan Roszell

Role Title: Aquatic Science Biologist (Future PhD student at University of Toronto)

Education: Bachelor of Science in Zoology at University of Guelph
Ecosystem Restoration Post-Graduate Certificate at Niagara College
Master of Science in Integrative Biology at University of Guelph

What are your current responsibilities within your role?

I am conducting a review on the use of a fish management technique currently used throughout Canada. I am compiling a report that provides information on how it is used and potential future considerations.

Why did you choose this line of work?

I have always been interested in biology and ecology since I was a child. I am especially fascinated with fish and trying to decrease human impacts on the environment.

What do you wish you had known before you started a career in this field?

While learning and studying core theories are essential for some programs, the university or college doesn’t provide you with everything. Reach out, volunteer, and connect with organizations and people or role models. If you want to work in something with hands-on experience, find those experiences. They will help you tremendously when you are applying for jobs.

Also, making connections is key. Never be afraid to reach out to anyone for advice or help, or even to show interest in a role or future role.

Do you have a mentor or role model in the field who inspires you?

My role model is my future PhD advisor, Dr. Bailey McMeans. She is a strong advocator for environmental and ecological awareness, education, and protection. She always encourages her students and tackles everything with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. This makes things fun while you are learning and dealing with complex problems and research. It also helps encourage people (scientists and students) to ask questions, get involved in science, and just want to learn more about how to protect our environment.


Bailey Gackstetter

Role Title: Helicopter Pilot

Education: Commercial Helicopter Training Program at Great Lakes Helicopter Flight School

What are your current responsibilities within your role?

In aviation you must wear a lot of hats because flying contracts can be very seasonal in the helicopter industry. In addition to flying, I am the dispatch coordinator, flight school administrator, and the charter flight liaison. In these roles, I am responsible for the scheduling of aircraft and pilots, aircraft dispatch, logbooks, maintenance tracking and communication with our maintenance facility, flight inquires, new student recruitment, and student enrolment.

Why did you choose this line of work?

I have always had a dream to fly helicopters! I find them to be amazing vehicles that have the ability to access different areas and facilitate various operations. One of the reasons I initially chose this profession was the possibility to work towards being a search and rescue pilot or in another role related to helping others. There are a lot of different avenues the industry offers to pilots, such as charter work, agricultural spraying, and flight instructing. I love coming to work every day and being around helicopters in any way I can. After moving into my current role, my passion for the industry has only increased and I am grateful for the opportunity to help guide the next line of students that are pursuing similar goals and aspirations.

Do you have any advice for women looking to get into this field?

I think the community you surround yourself with can make all the difference in your chances of success. Choose to surround yourself with people who will challenge you and support you in your goals. Do as much research as possible. Speak to many pilots and people in the industry before you form an opinion on whether this path is for you or not. Join Woman in Aviation groups, such as the Ninety Nines or Whirly Girls. Focus on the path that’s best for you!

How do you advocate for change and empower others in your role?

To advocate and empower you must build a culture that allows for positive change. Just because the industry is male-dominated or someone says you will never get a job in this line of work doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance. I hope to help empower more women to join aviation by showing them the perspective of possibility and to help break down barriers. By showing up and participating in the aviation industry, we are empowering the next generation of women pilots.