I was always interested in working at BCIB. It was their advertisement for diversity, it was just something I had never heard of before in construction. I had heard a lot of great things through fellow co-workers as well, and I was very keen and eager to get on to BCIB projects.
Right now, I am working on the Broadway Subway Project at the Broadway-City Hall site. It takes about 15 minutes to get to work. I mean, the fact that it’s located pretty much in my backyard is also a perk. I would say this is one of my favourite jobs I’ve ever had. I get really excited every day going to work. I love my coworkers. I love the job that I do.
I first started at BCIB as a flagger. Learning on the job, I moved over into general labour and then to waterproofing. As a waterproofer, I install membrane and water-stops. The water-stop contains grout tubes, so we install grout tubes as well. And this is all before the concrete gets poured. We have to waterproof the walls and the floors and even the ceiling if it’s low enough.
I also love the environment I work in, building a subway. The best part for me is the welding. Pretty much our main focus is to weld everything, and it includes a lot of craftsmanship and almost a bit of art. I think that would be the coolest part for me and getting to operate a boom lift. It’s quite amazing.
I would say this is honestly one of the most diverse projects I’ve worked on, ever! I’ve got the opportunity to meet a lot of great women on this project. Believe me, I thought women don’t do construction, and then I came into construction and was surprised to see so many women here. I have even noticed since joining there have been a lot more women coming to work on sites. Every time there’s a new group of labourers, there’s always at least one woman in every group. So, the numbers are increasing, hopefully more and more.
For women who are thinking about going into the trades, I would say, always put yourself out of your comfort zone. You know, great people have been very successful because they went out of their comfort zone.
Alexia is a Waterproofer on the Broadway Subway Project, and a member of the LIUNA Local 1611.