Build Together: Women in Leadership

4 Feb, 2019

Ashley Duncan started her career with Heat and Frost Insulators, Local 118 back in 2010. Born and raised in Coquitlam, BC, Ashley completed her four-year apprenticeship to earn her Red Seal Journeyperson Insulator certification that included practical training and four weeks of theory and schooling each year at the BC Institute of Technology.

Enjoying her new career, Ashley was teamed up with an experienced journeyperson, to mentor her through her apprenticeship, who also – informally – mentored her to become more involved in her union.

“Bob Barter was the recording secretary for our Local Union, and he asked me several times to come out and participate in a couple of the tradeshows he was doing,” said Ashley. “I finally gave in and thought, I’ll give this a try. I went, I got to talk to young people about the work I love to do and I really enjoyed it.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Ashley became more involved in her local, attending tradeshows to represent the Insulators, volunteering her time, and attending meetings and Conventions. It was at one of these Conventions back in 2015 that Ashley heard a presentation about Build Together: Women of the Building Trades. Ashley is a strong proponent for the advancement and retention of women in the trades and her involvement with Build Together has allowed her to grow her leadership and advocacy. She previously sat as the Secretary Treasurer for the Build Together Chapter in B.C., and was most recently elected as Co-Chair for the Chapter.

As Vice-President of her Local Union, Ashley is responsible for developing a women’s committee, young workers committee and retirees committee, which involve recruitment and internal organizing. She is also tasked with pushing forward the Insulators continuing campaign on sustainability, another area she is passionate about. Mechanical insulation offers a way to save energy, reduce greenhouse gases and lighten our carbon footprint. Check out their website to learn more about the environmental benefits of mechanical insulation: http://www.energyconservationspecialists.org.

“It’s an honour to be in a position to advocate for our workers and our industry,” says Ashley. “We’re the green trade, and the work our members do is important. My new role provides a way to follow my passion and use my voice to speak out for others and make sure there is a space in our industry, for everyone.”

We look forward to seeing the great work Ashley will do on behalf of her members, and all Building Trades members moving forward.