Shea Macgillivray, Site Supervisor – Residential

I became interested in the trades watching my grandfather working on his home doing renovations or other projects. I enjoyed helping him and learning how to use the power tools. I took wood shop classes in high school which then progressed into taking the ADSB house building program, which is sponsored by SalDan Construction Group. Taking the program really turned me to the idea of making construction my career. SalDan helped me further my experience and develop my skills. 

The ADSB House Building Program was what really allowed me to set the foundation for my career. I learned theory along with hands-on experience; building a home from the ground up is not something all students have the opportunity to do. It was exciting and motivated me to continue my journey in the trades.

The world of construction is so busy. Constantly learning and facing new challenges keeps things interesting for me. I enjoy working outside and being hands-on, so this field of work is perfect for me. Now that I am the Site Supervisor for SalDan’s current sub-division development, I have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into running a job site.

I have been very fortunate to work with very supportive and motivating coworkers. They have been patient and willing to take their time in teaching me the “tricks of the trade”. I have faced challenges such as learning new tasks and becoming fast and efficient in all that I do. Overall, having a company and co-workers that show respect and equality is a major reason I am able to continue my growth in construction.

I believe that there has been a shift in the way people perceive those who decide to work in construction. We continue to see young women enroll and try out the House Building Program through ADSB, which has been great. I also have noticed that going into the trades and going through with apprenticeships is a more common topic now a days. Although it is something that can still be seen as “non-traditional”, it’s not as prominent as it used to be.

If you are interested and motivated to join the trades, do it! You are more than capable. Even if the trades end up not being something that you want to take on as a career, it can equip you with amazing skills. You learn a lot of practical information and techniques. Be confident and if you make a mistake, keep trying and ask lots of questions!

I believe that it is important to recognize that construction can be for many different people. It is a stigma that the trades are for men and that women are not capable of the same things. There are plenty of people within the industry that can do one trade, and not so much the other! This goes for anything in life, really. Throughout history, construction has been deemed a “men’s world”. Now a days, I believe that society is doing a better job at shedding light on the fact that your gender does not dictate what you are capable of. Hence “Women in Construction Week” now being shared and supported all around the world.


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