Women excelling in SaskEnergy Operations roles

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Eight women stand in a row in a shop with tools behind. Seven of them are wearing orange and navy work clothes.

More and more women are pursuing roles within SaskEnergy’s Operations team! 

From the most frigid cold to the hottest summer days, around the clock, these frontline employees do their best to serve our customers. 

“Being a farm kid, I always preferred being outside and working with tools,” says Alison Minifie, a supervisor and longtime former Service Technician. 

“I always enjoyed helping my husband complete projects, never being one to just sit and watch him complete anything,” adds Service Technician Amanda King-Dukart.

As Service and Maintenance Technicians, Utility Operators, Operations Leads and District Operators, more women are entering field work roles, which are critical to keeping our natural gas system safe and reliable for our customers. They find and repair gas leaks, flag customers’ gas lines during line locates, repair equipment at SaskEnergy facilities, install gas meters, respond to emergencies like fires and line hits, and much more. 

“Keeping customers safe and helping with emergencies is such a huge part of the job,” says Alison.

Until recently taking on a new role within our company, Gail Oleksyn had served two decades with the Saskatoon Operations team. Having done a few different field jobs throughout her career, she was a Service Technician in 2009 when she attended a customer’s home on a carbon monoxide (CO) call. 

“It was the highest CO measurement I had ever received,” says Gail. “The man ended up on oxygen for hours after he got to the hospital and the doctor told him SaskEnergy saved his life that day. He sent me, SaskEnergy and the provincial government a very nice letter complimenting my professionalism and my insistence of seeking medical treatment.”

As women, all of these employees have met with customers who are surprised to see them. A customer even once asked Alison if he could take her photo! 

A woman in an orange and blue work uniform, white hard hat and yellow gloves stands in front of a SaskEnergy truck.
Jeddalyn Nadeau is a Service Technician in Saskatoon.

“His granddaughter wanted to be a mechanic, but wasn’t sure she was capable of doing the job. He wanted to take my picture so that he could show her that women can do male-dominated jobs. I let him take my picture.” 

Maintenance Technician Kami Turner particularly appreciates when other women are happy to see her. 

“There have been multiple times when I have gone to an older lady’s house and she is so excited that I work in the field because it shows how far we, as women, have come — because all her generation could do was be a secretary or a housewife,” says Kami.

Jeddalyn Nadeau was in an office job at SaskEnergy when a training instructor suggested she apply to the Service Technician Qualifying Program, to train to become a Service Technician “just like Amanda did.”

This was the vote of confidence Jeddalyn needed.

“I had always been interested in the Service Technician role but never really had the courage to apply. I’ve always enjoyed fixing things, helping people and learning new skills. The fact that someone thought I could do it was a big motivation for me,” says Jeddalyn. 

“The first women Service Technicians before me already cleared a path. Now I want to help make that path wider for other women. Some people will say, ‘I didn’t know women could do this job too!’ I look forward to the day that society sees it as normal to see a woman dressed in coveralls come to their door to do the work.”

Kami agrees in hoping that “the efforts that we make today can help those women in the future.”

“I am happy to see more and more women join us field staff,” adds Amanda. “Don’t be afraid to make a change and try something new.”