THE WOMEN OF LGOC
The Women of LGOC: Empowering Women in Non-traditional Roles
At Liftsafe, we believe in equal opportunities and the power of diversity. We understand that traditionally male-dominated industries can present unique challenges for women pursuing careers in those fields. That’s why we are proud to highlight the contributions and experiences of our remarkable female employees. We want to showcase how women influence every step of our creative process and emphasize our commitment to inclusivity. Liftsafe is a company that recognizes and appreciates the valuable work of women in non-traditional roles.
I understand the importance of my role as a female leader within the LGOC group and take my responsibilities as a leader very seriously. I truly enjoy being able to work with so many great individuals across the group and feel honoured to be in a position where I can continue to influence and advocate for equality for all employees within the group.
I am also proud of all the women within the group who are making great things happen! We have women in all divisions, departments and functions; we weren’t always as diverse, it’s truly wonderful to see.
I am also very excited about some of our upcoming initiatives. We are making a concerted effort to connect with some of the academic institutions in the area to get more involved in encouraging women and girls to enter careers in STEM and trades and are in the very early stages of developing an employee resource group for the women of LGOC to discuss challenges, offer support and mentoring.
As mentioned, the women of LGOC have many allies throughout the group, our President Rob Barrett being one of those allies. To have a President who is leading by example to break down gender biases and remove those silent barriers for the women within the group is fundamental to eliminating those gender biases that sometimes go unnoticed.
Executive Vice President
Meet the women of LGOC that get your project from start to finish
Vittoria Christodoulou, Executive Vice President
Leadership and Ambition. These are words that Liftsafe Group of Companies’ Executive Vice President, Vittoria Christodoulou, knows well. A Kitchener native, she was always a strong leader who found the value in assisting her peers. Eventually, she soared towards her natural career path in management. She was a fresh graduate, coming from Conestoga College in 2001 when she saw an ad in the newspaper for PARCS.
“This is a company that I can grow with,” she had thought to herself.
Since then both her and the whole Liftsafe Group have grown together, finding success together in many different ways, not just as an employee, but as a member of the Liftsafe Family. Vittoria now has a family of her own, an MA in Leadership from the University of Guelph (2018) and is an integral member of the senior leadership group at Liftsafe.
Vittoria did encounter many differences in the ways that women are treated in the workplace compared to men. There are many silent barriers that women have to face, and overcome to succeed, which is why spreading the awareness of these barriers is so essential. Throughout her career Vittoria strived to work as hard as possible to grow in her field and often adapted her approach to problems in the company to account for different personalities and genders.
Vittoria believes that it is an important role for senior executives to raise awareness of gender based issues, through both training and awareness campaigns so that anyone regardless of gender can get an equal start in the working world.
Her advice to the ambitious young women looking to rise up the ranks to a leadership position: Embrace the power of self-awareness regarding hidden biases in your workplace and strive to find the right fit for your professional requirements with the support and growth you need.
Corina Berbecaru, Senior Design Engineer
Sometimes our goals switch tracks to something new and unexpected. Corina Berbecaru, a Senior Design Engineer at the Liftsafe Group knows this well.
She was originally determined to follow the path that her older brothers took by going into medical school, but after three years, she wanted to take a different approach.
Not wanting to waste the knowledge that she gained from her time at medical school, she changed subjects to chemical engineering. However, her plans changed again when she decided to switch to mechanical engineering, a profession which interested her much more.
In Romania, where Corina lived, there was an equal mix between men and women that worked within the mechanical engineering field, but when she moved to Canada in 1995 she noticed this wasn’t the case.
In interviews, she would be asked why specifically she wanted to be an engineer, and when she did become employed, she found that she was very often the only woman in the office.
“When you get started, everyone looks at you differently,” she remembers, “but soon it starts to go away as you get to know everyone.”
Corina started at Liftsafe around a year ago, and even though she is someone who takes a while to open up, she has been able to make good relationships with the people around her.
Since Corina has moved to Canada, she has seen progressively more and more women come into the field of engineering.
The more women who are in the field, the more people will realize that women are just as capable of doing the same job as male engineers, and close mindedness in the industry will falter. As Corina says, “Just be fair.”
For the young women who are looking to pursue their passion in engineering, Corina has this advice, “If it’s your passion, go for it.”
Melanie Gunsch, Welder/Fabricator
A snowboarder from Kitchener, Ontario, Melanie Gunsch’s road to becoming a Welder/Fabricator at Liftsafe started with taking a welding class in her free time. This sparked a passion for the trade inside of her.
She started going to school to expand her knowledge of welding, and with her family’s extensive welding history supporting her, she was able to “kick the boys asses” in class.
“Sometimes it feels like things have been getting better for women, but other times it doesn’t” says Mel.
There are still inherent biases in the workplace that prevent women from accomplishing what they need to, especially in welding.
Mel acknowledges that she has had a lucky advantage compared to other women, working with her father and having her family within the welding industry supporting her. Other women won’t have these support systems to help them succeed in the welding industry and might struggle due to gender bias.
Mel became a valued member of the Liftsafe Group in 2018, and her dedication has made her an integral part of our team ever since. Working here, she experiences the fulfillment of achieving personal success and receiving well-deserved respect from her colleagues.
“Liftsafe gives us a lot to do and is overall a good environment,” Mel says.
Mel’s advice to young women looking to move their way into the welding/fabricating trade: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others.”
Isabella Christodoulou, Engineering Co-Op
Isabella always found that she was interested in science. She went to robotics camps every year and cultivated her affection for engineering at an early age. Her teachers, with their enthusiasm, helped that spark grow and led her to become a student at McMaster University.
However, there are still barriers for women in education today, as Isabella often found herself talked over by her peers in the classroom, forcing her to be assertive to make sure her presence was noted in the classroom.
She helps with the everyday tasks that are needed in the engineering department, using the knowledge gained here to become a great engineer in the future.
Liftsafe sets her up for success by letting her accomplish the tasks that she needs to do in order to maximise her experience to prepare her for future jobs. From what she’s seen, engineering is only getting better as time goes on. Currently, 43% of the engineering students at McMaster are women, and that percentage is only continuing to grow. The advice that she would give to women looking to build their career in engineering is: “Be assertive and do what you like.”
Interested in a career with the Liftsafe Group of Companies? We’re always looking for passionate and skilled people to join our team. Work alongside a talented group of individuals that are driven to deliver the best safety products and services on the market.
Visit https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/The-Liftsafe-Group-of-Companies/jobs to see our current openings.
If none of the jobs listed seem like a good fit, we encourage you to send your resume to email@example.com to be considered for future openings.