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Mar 10 2022

Celebrating women in construction – Ila Roan builds her success

Posted by TC Energy

Celebrating women in construction

Meet Ila Roan, who was born and raised in Mountain Cree, a small community south of Hinton, Alberta. After starting a family and raising three children, Ila decided to go back to school. In 2014, she completed her heavy equipment training and has been working as a heavy equipment operator ever since. In 2021, she joined our Aboriginal Construction Participation Program (ACPP) on the 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project, where she had the opportunity to see first-hand how we construct a pipeline, identify possible concerns and observe, record and report back to their communities on construction activities.

I think the ACPP is perfect for anyone who would like to experience construction and environmental aspects of a pipeline project.”

Ila Roan
Heavy equipment operator

“I enjoyed my experience very much. I have always wanted to work on pipelines since I could operate [heavy equipment], and this program was perfect for me to come and see the project progress. I've learned a lot from the clearing of the right-of-way, the environmental side and the steps of operation. We've gotten to experience a bit of everything and met a lot of awesome people. The ACPP opened my eyes to the pipeline industry, and other career positions and possibilities.”


Ila is now employed by Tomahawk Energy Services as a 3D Technician on the project.  Seeing her mom’s success, Ila’s daughter is in the process of becoming an equipment operator as well. Programs like the ACPP engage Indigenous people in our work and can help develop the next generation of skilled technicians, like Ila’s daughter.

“I’m actually happy that she’s showing interest in it – she’s getting her tickets and we’re going to go up to work!” says Ila.

This year, Women in Construction Week is held from March 6-12 where we recognize the great work of women who work in construction and empower the next generation. Ila would like to continue sharing her experience and advice, to encourage youth or women looking to explore a career in the industry to take the first step. Ila’s advice for anyone new or looking to enter the industry,

“Sacrifice, long hours, hard work and determination are required to succeed in this industry. Be willing to take a chance, set goals and go out and achieve them. Anything is possible!”

Ila Roan