Are you a lady looking for a new career or wanting to change course with your life? You may want to consider researching job and career placements in the construction industry in British Columbia as there are tons of opportunities out there. The Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) is also a great resource to lean on when exploring your workplace decisions. In Canada we have the Red Seal Program for people to work towards, with in class and in the field training and mentoring, to get you to the top of your chosen construction field.
In this article we get to chat with Ashleigh Kaliszuk who is not only a world class content creator and photographer, but also has a career in construction and advocates for other ladies to do the same. She shares her perspectives and stories with the North Shore community and you can connect with her at the bottom of the article if you would like to work with her on content marketing or have questions related to getting started in a construction career. On top of this she also rips her dirt bikes and loves getting out in nature.
What do you love most about living locally here in West Vancouver?
The dog walks are the best. I have two Bull Terriers, and they’re my whole life. I love walking my bigger one along the ocean and in the forest. My little one has a genetic disorder called Laryngeal Paralysis, and he has a lot of trouble breathing. So I often have to walk him in a wagon, haha— poor little guy. I also love hiking and endless opportunities to explore the mountains. Coming back from the prairies, I forgot how incredible the mountains are here.
How did you decide to move to the community prior to living in Alberta?
I’ve been back and forth between Vancouver and Alberta a couple of times now. I’m actually a born and raised British Columbian (Vernon), but I love Alberta with all my heart— I even have the crest tattooed on my leg. The last time I lived in Vancouver was following a divorce. I wanted to move back to my home province and figured Vancouver would have lots of crane work. It turns out, at that time, it didn’t, and I ended up commuting to Fort McMurray anyways.
I’m here now because my boyfriend has been working in North Vancouver since December 2019 with minimal time to come back home. In September, I finished my crane job at an Edmonton oil refinery, and the classes I am registered in for the fall semester are all online delivery. So we decided to reunite the family (us and the pups)!
What kinds of motorcycles and dirt bikes do you enjoy riding the most?
I love all motorcycles and will ride anything! Haha. I currently have a 2007 Harley-Davidson Street Bob that I bought at Trev Deeley years ago. I walked in to buy a t-shirt and left with a motorcycle. Classic. My other bike is a 2018 Husqvarna FE250. I have been a brand ambassador for Husqvarna for a few years now. I love their branding for adventure, as that resonates with me well. I did my motorcycle lessons here in North Vancouver with ProRide. I highly recommend them to anyone considering getting into riding. Their method of teaching survival riding habits is paramount.
What are some core principles you suggest for people creating content and doing photography?
The biggest thing is getting to know the brands you’re going to work alongside. When I stay true to my values and work with brands that align with me and my lifestyle, I produce much better work. When there’s a moral conflict, my work suffers. I like to take a very personable approach and get to know my clients. When I can deliver what they had in mind, it’s a great feeling!
What are some of your main tips for ladies considering a career in construction?
Advocating for women in construction is my most significant and ongoing passion project. This topic, for me, never dies. I always have something to say, and I use my blog and LinkedIn to say it. As stated on my blog, 15 Tips For Women New To Construction, my main tip is setting boundaries. We can steer clear of many workplace issues when we set our boundaries early and stick to them! Another crucial tip is always to be conscious of our emotional intelligence. There’s a blatant double-standard in male-dominated work environments, and as women, we need to approach conflict with mindful and concise care. I could go on, but readers should check out my blog specific to this topic if they’re interested in hearing more.
If some of our readers want to work with you, what does that process look like?
I get the majority of my work through social media (Instagram and LinkedIn). I’m very prompt with answering my direct messages. I also have a contact form on my website! I’m so down to work with some Vancouver companies!
Who are a few influencers on social media who inspire you to be the best version of yourself?
My favourite influencers to follow on Instagram are @anyavioletuniverse & @ashmore, the founders of @babesrideout in California. The event is an all women’s motorcycle campout, where thousands of women gather for the weekend to ride and have a good time. It’s a very empowering experience! Also, on Instagram, I love to follow @shewhodareswins_. She is an engineer who is also devoted to building up other women in our industry. She had me as a guest on her podcast back in March, and it was an incredible experience.
On LinkedIn, I like to follow Katie Kelleher, who is a fellow female crane operator from the UK. She actively promotes women in the trades and is a STEM ambassador. She uses her platform for positivity, and I love it. Also on LinkedIn, and also from the UK, is Lea Turner. I love following her because she uses her platform to remind people that you can be unapologetically yourself, and you can be covered in tattoos and still be a professional.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like the community to know about you?
I’m very introverted, so blogging and writing is my way of putting myself out there. It’s become a therapy for me and has such a calming effect. My photography is all self-taught from my crane seat, and I will be forever learning. I spend my free time doing LinkedIn Learning courses so I can progress my personal and professional development. I love learning, and I love helping out my fellow woman. If anyone reading this is considering a career in the trades, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. British Columbia is in an incredible growth phase right now when it comes to construction jobs, so there’s no better time to take advantage! Thank you so much for this interview opportunity and for welcoming me to the neighbourhood 🙂
If you would like to chat with her in detail send an email