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International Women in Engineering Day 2024

Posted on June 23, 2024

At Clifton, we thrive on diverse perspectives and believe that collaboration among individuals with different backgrounds leads to extraordinary achievements. We’re committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive company that reflects the vibrant communities we serve.

Our Women in Clifton program embodies this commitment by empowering and uplifting women across all areas of our organization. By fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates the unique contributions of all team members, we strengthen our collective ability to tackle complex challenges and create a brighter future for all.

Today, on International Women in Engineering Day, we proudly shine a spotlight on the exceptional engineers, scientists, technicians, and technologists who are making a difference at Clifton and shaping the industry with their passion and expertise.


Ashley Leask – Lloydminster Materials Supervisor

  1. What do you do?

    I am the Lloydminster Materials Supervisor and also an Environmental/Materials Technologist.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I chose a career in STEM because I have always been interested in science and math. I also like being outdoors, so this was a perfect fit.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    What I love about this field is that I get to do something different every day. I never have the same day twice!

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    The highlight of my career is working with the diverse team that we have within Clifton. I get to learn something new from someone all the time.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    What I am looking forward to in my career is going back to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree. I am currently working towards my environmental professional (EP) designation.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    My hope for the future is that more women will choose careers in STEM.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    Something that I am proud of is that I have a great relationship with all the clients that the Lloydminster office works with, and I have the opportunity to go to the field and meet them all. I am also proud that as a company, we are very involved with our communities.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    Some challenges that I have faced being a woman in STEM include not being taken seriously in my position. The way I overcome this is by demonstrating my intelligence and my capability in this field.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Advice that I would give to younger women would be that you are more than capable of being in STEM. Don’t let anyone make you believe that you don’t belong in it!

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    What motivates me and keeps me passionate about STEM is the knowledge and experience I am always gaining. It helps that there is always something to learn. My kids also motivate me; showing them that hard work pays off and that you can have a great career in STEM.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    I don’t have just one role model or mentor in my STEM journey. All the women and men that I work with have mentored me in some way, and I am unbelievably grateful for it!


Brooke Nelson – Environmental Engineer-in-Training

  1. What do you do?

    I am an Environmental Engineer-in-Training at Clifton.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I chose a career in STEM because I wanted a challenging career that would continuously allow me to grow and learn.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    I love how diverse and interesting the projects I have had the opportunity to work on are.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    The highlight of my career thus far has been learning and working in the field in places like Canmore, with the most beautiful views of the mountains.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    I look forward to learning more about my field and gaining expertise in my industry by working on diverse projects that will help improve my community.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I hope that STEM continues to become more diverse and emphasizes inclusivity in every aspect of the industry.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    An accomplishment that I have made recently that I am particularly proud of is completing my drone license as well as my drone training. I’m excited to start using drones more on many different projects as part of our innovation initiative.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    As a woman in STEM, I often found it difficult to find mentors to learn from when I was in school, which I found discouraging. Now, as I’ve started my career, I’ve met some amazing women in STEM that I have had the pleasure of working with and can look up to!

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    I would tell any young women who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM to go for it! A career that you love is what’s most important; pursue your passions!

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    I stay motivated and passionate about my work in STEM by working on many different projects in areas that excite me and by asking to pursue my passions, whether that be with training or learning new skills.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    My mother has always been my greatest supporter of my STEM journey. As a woman in STEM herself, I’ve always admired her passion for her career and her innovation in her field.


Deana Thiessen – Junior Materials Technician

  1. What do you do?

    Junior Materials Technician.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I have always loved science since I was small.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    Understanding the process and background of everyday structures.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    Working on specific projects and knowing I had a small hand in their completion.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    Continuing to learn about the industry.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    Bringing more knowledge and awareness to other women within the industry about continuing to be successful.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    Not one specific project comes to mind.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    Women are treated far differently when in the field and in construction.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Do it. It’s so fun and rewarding to prove ourselves just as worthy as men in the industry.

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    I’ve only just started, so I’m eager to continue.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    A few of my teachers from SAIT. They gave me all the encouragement I needed and were incredible examples of how far women in STEM can go.


Fang Guo PEng – Senior Water Resources Engineer

  1. What do you do?

    I’m a Senior Water Resources Engineer at Clifton.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I liked math and geography courses more than others in school.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    I am inspired by exploring stories and facts about weather, climate, and floods. I am glad I entered the water resource field to learn about this.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    My biggest career highlight was becoming a registered engineer by APEGA after struggling with the application process for 10 years.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    I look forward to staying up to date by learning new technologies and gaining experience to keep pace with the engineering market.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I hope more women have opportunities to work in currently male-dominated industries.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    I am proud of the work I (and the Water Resources Team) completed for pipeline hydrotechnical design for several clients, including Trans Mountain and Pembina.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    As a mom, balancing office work and family commitments was a challenge. Fortunately, I got my parents’ help.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Gender doesn’t determine anyone’s career. A career in a STEM field offers a wide variety of career choices and development.

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    As I became more involved in independent project work and project details, I realized I had a lot to learn and improve on. I am always passionate about gaining new skills and experience.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    Mike Bender has been a significant mentor in my career, even though we have been working together for less than 5 years. I learned a lot from him, including skills, creative thinking, and open communication.


Kathryn Vella-Geldart – Senior GIS Analyst

  1. What do you do?

    I am a GIS analyst. A summarized version of what I do is work with spatial data to create drawings and provide spatial information.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I’ve always loved and been curious about the sciences. When I attended university, my plan wasn’t GIS; I had never heard of GIS before, but I took a couple of classes in it and really enjoyed it, so I pursued a postgraduate diploma in it.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    I love the creative and out-of-the-box thinking aspect of GIS. Technology is always being developed, so there are always new ways to solve problems and do things faster.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    Being recognized for the work I do.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    Seeing how technology develops and the new and different projects I get to work on.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I hope there are more jobs in STEM (especially within Canada) so those who want to pursue it can.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    I worked with biologists to convert the way they collected data from paper maps to digital (through Field Maps and Survey123). This helped save a ton of time for both the GIS and biology teams while increasing the quality of the data.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    Sometimes I don’t feel my voice is heard as loudly or people view me as competent as my male counterparts, but speaking up, being confident, and always doing the best you can speaks for itself.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Be curious, never stop learning, and keep asking questions.

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    Working in consulting allows me to work on many different exciting projects and challenge myself to find better ways of doing tasks.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    I had many role models when I was younger who got me interested in the sciences, but my family, who encouraged me, and coworkers, who have taught me and bounced ideas off me, would be the key people.


Lyndsey MacBride MSc PGeo – Director, Environment

  1. What do you do?

    I manage environmental impact assessments and regulatory permitting for proposed projects. We look for ways to reduce the negative impacts of developments on the natural and human environment.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I have always been interested in sciences so it was a natural choice to take a sciences program in university. 

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    The most rewarding part of my job is working with a team of people towards a common goal. Environmental impact assessments require a large multi-disciplinary team of people with different skill sets. I am lucky to have worked with and learned from many exceptional people over the years. In a team, you always have someone to bounce ideas off or discuss issues with to get clarity.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    A highlight of my career has been having the opportunity to lead impact assessments for major projects with capital costs in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. 

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    I look forward to continuing to evolve and learn as I work on new projects with new people at Clifton. 

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I hope to continue to see more women attain leadership roles in STEM. Twenty years ago, I worked for an engineering company that was owned by 40 employees: 39 men and one woman. The percentage of women in leadership roles in STEM has increased since that time but there is still considerable room for improvement.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    My role on projects is often during the planning phase and many of them never make it to construction. It’s particularly rewarding to be part of a project that actually gets developed. I have been involved in the permitting of several Mosaic Esterhazy mine expansion projects that have been constructed and are in operation today. 

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    My biggest challenge as a woman in STEM has been balancing a demanding career in consulting while also raising two children. The urgency of project demands can often seem paramount, however, we need to prioritize our well-being, including physical, emotional, and mental health. I strive to foster an environment for my team that supports work-life balance. 

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    We all experience situations where a problem or task seems insurmountable. Don’t let those situations discourage you, just learn to reach out to your colleagues for support and take time to research your solution. You will find with a little help and patience you can find a path to solving your problem. 

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    My work is never boring. I am often working on multiple projects at a time and continue to be challenged and learn new things every day.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    It’s hard to name just one. I have learned from and admired so many different people whom I have worked with over the years. I think some of my strongest role models have been people who exhibit accountability, integrity, respect for others, positivity, and commitment to their work.


Pascale Johnson PEng – Principal Environmental Engineer

  1. What do you do?

    I practice in the field of environmental engineering with a focus on regulatory permitting and environmental assessments and management. My educational background is in geological engineering and I also have a particular passion for sedimentary and structural geology. 

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    My parents were in medicine and I grew up around it, so I naturally gravitated towards sciences and knew early on that I would be pursuing it as a career. My interests eventually shifted towards physical and applied sciences over time, and by the time I had to “pick”, I ended up trying my hand at electrical engineering and eventually learned that there was such a thing as geological engineering, which I found appealing due to the outdoors component. I gladly switched. 

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    There is always something new to learn or a new way to relearn something to get a different perspective or application. In terms of consulting, I really enjoy the variety of projects that you get to work on, and also I get a lot of satisfaction from problem-solving. 

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    There have been many, from project wins to realizing significant cost savings for clients. One main highlight is the solid relationships I’ve made throughout. 

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    Continuing to work on a variety of projects of all sizes, as well as gaining more involvement with larger engineering projects and business operations. 

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    There continues to be an appetite for innovation, and diversity of thought and backgrounds, and opportunity is given to everyone who is passionate about making a go at it. 

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    This is always a tough one for me as there are lots of tangible ones to pick from, such as representing my client in court proceedings over a project (we won!), but I would have to say I am most proud of the relationships I have made with colleagues, clients, regulators, staff, etc. 

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    There is usually someone on every construction job who will dismiss you as a “little girl”, and that is always due to their own biases and out of your control. Conversely, there are always people who recognize and value your input. There are good people and bad people to learn and grow from, so make sure you can tell them apart! Don’t lose sleep over the bad ones and keep on course. 

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Do it! And find yourself (and stick with) a few mentors. 

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    Variety, be it working in various roles, different sectors, different projects, companies/collaborators to work with, etc. 

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    My very first supervisor when I was a summer student at the Geological Survey of Canada – he gave me an opportunity despite completely (I think) bombing my interview. I learned a lot from that team as my first work experience and it helped shape my work ethic and approach to projects. I also admire scientists who have held on to their convictions to advance science for all of us (and there are many of those, thankfully!).


Shae Morgan – Saskatoon/Lloydminster Materials Lead

  1. What do you do?

    I am the Materials Lead for Saskatoon and Lloydminster.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I see STEM as a career path that will help and innovate the future for everyone.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    I love being a part of projects and seeing them from start to finish.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    Being able to work on many projects in Northern Saskatchewan.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    Teaching and learning. Watching interns grow with knowledge. Being a part of a team that is innovative.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I hope that one day STEM careers will be more gender-balanced.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    I have had the opportunity to work a lot with Indigenous communities in Northern Saskatchewan. Helping communities raise their standard of living through infrastructure and basic utility needs inspires me to do more things not just in Northern Saskatchewan but within my own community as well.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    Ignorance, patronizing, and harassment are the main challenges that I have come across. Learning to be comfortable and confident in yourself and your work, and knowing that there are other people who have your back when you reach out for help, are crucial.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    Courage, determination, confidence, and self-awareness are skills that cross over from work life to home life.

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    Teaching others and learning from them help give me motivation.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    Chris Lovegrove – He is a great ally for women in STEM. He can see past gender for the betterment of our company and the industry. Chris has always been a great support for myself and other women at Clifton.


Tammy Bundus – Design Technician

  1. What do you do?

    Civil design and drafting – primarily rail and road design these days.

  2. Why did you choose a career in STEM?

    I started my career at Clifton in stenography. I had an interest in the drafting/design group, so I approached Wayne Clifton about taking a chance to put me through training for drafting. I was dedicated to staying at Clifton, so I pursued the drafting education. Best decision I’ve ever made.

  3. What do you love or what inspires you about your field?

    I love advancing and learning more about the design aspect and taking on more complex projects.

  4. What has been the highlight of your career?

    Starting out with drafting for the company and then hands-on learning design of rail and roads.

  5. What do you look forward to in your career?

    Expanding my skills base and taking on more challenging project work.

  6. What do you hope for the future of STEM?

    I would hope to see more women leaders in STEM and mentoring of junior staff by women leaders.

  7. Can you share an example of a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?

    I completed complex rail design projects for PTC Construction, Richard Pioneer, Viterra, and Strongpine.

  8. What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM, and how have you overcome them?

    • The transition from stenography to design. The learning curve was incredibly steep, and the project deliverables needed to be professionally done and on time.
    • Working with men, not the men at Clifton but the clients. I work in a team with mostly men, so at meetings, I feel invisible. The only way to overcome this is to speak up and let them know that I’m part of the process as well.

  9. What advice would you give to young women and girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM?

    My advice is not to give up! It is a male-dominated field, but think positively and be strong. Find other women in the industry to bond with or male co-workers who will advocate for you.

  10. How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work in STEM?

    The team I work with at Clifton is hands down the best team. We all help each other out, build positive relationships, and have fun together. We all like challenging projects and can count on each other. Clifton has always been more of a family-based company.

  11. Who has been a significant mentor or role model for you in your STEM journey, and why?

    My role model is Steve Gardner. He will go above and beyond to share his knowledge and teach design. He has been with the company for 30+ years and is a great asset to the company.

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