- Role Model -

Kate McLeod


Name: Kate McLeod

Occupation: Piping Designer

Employer: Wood

Education: Diploma of Technology - Naval Architecture, Marine Institute ; Bachelor of Technology – Engineering and Applied Sciences, Marine Institute

Hometown: St. John’s, NL

Current community of residency: Paradise, NL

What does your typical work day involve?

My typical workday is spent in the office and in the future may include travel offshore. For my job, I design piping for offshore platforms - mainly Hibernia and we use various software to create models of these piping systems. Right now I am working under a mentor as I am new to the piping world which is a great learning experience.

What do you love most about your profession? Why did you choose this career?

What I love most about my profession is how there is always something new to learn within the industry. Originally I went to school to design ships, and now I'm designing pipes for offshore platforms. There is constantly new technology to learn or research, and there is always new information to keep up on. Being in a STEM profession requires me to stay on my toes and keep educating myself. I knew since I was in elementary school that I would enter some sort of STEM career because I always enjoyed learning about the world around us and how things function.

When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?

When I was in elementary school I realized I wanted to work in STEM and my love for this only expanded as I grew up. I would be excited to do new science experiments and learn new information and would watch lots of Discovery channel shows. Growing up math and sciences were always my top classes to look forward to, and as well performance wise.

What were your favorite subjects in school?

Math, physics and chemistry.

What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?

My advice would be to reach out and contact anyone to dive deeper into the subjects you enjoy. Reach out to your teachers in school and let them know that you’re interested in learning more about STEM or skilled trades. There are tons of events that take place within colleges or universities for students of all ages who are considering this type of career. As well, women within the industry are more than willing to help you and answer any questions you may have. I know myself going through a male dominated program was hard and having fellow women to speak with and guide me was a considerable help. Most of all, be confident in yourself and push for what you want.

Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?

Women bring an important perspective to the table which is not always seen in STEM and skilled trades. With this industry being male dominated, all backgrounds and opinions are not always considered. Employers are able to diversify the industry and push for a change in how women are perceived or treated in these fields, and with more women realizing that it’s not considered a “man’s work” this will pave the road for our future generations to break that stigma.

Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?

My role model is my mom. Although she does not have a career in STEM or skilled trades, she has always pushed me to be the best I can be and supported me along the way. Her hard work and determination each and every day is inspiring and has allowed me to take this into my own life and apply it throughout my schooling and now my career.

What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?

I am currently working full-time and going to school part time online, which is part of what I do for fun. Although school doesn’t seem like something to do for fun, I enjoy learning and furthering my education. My hobbies/activities include baking, crocheting, playing video games and hanging out with my friends.

What superhero do you relate to most? Why?

I would have to say Captain Marvel. In order to use her strength, she has flashbacks to times in her life where she was told to give up or belittled just because she was a girl. We still see this a lot in STEM where it’s still looked at as a man’s career. Captain Marvel truly embraces what makes her who she is, and that is how she is able to achieve such strong powers.

Anything else you wish to share?

Reach out and try new things. Attend anything in STEM or skilled trades which your school has to offer, because you may never know what will spark your interest. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and especially never forget that we are all equal and no one should ever make you feel otherwise.


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