Amandeep Beesla was born and raised in Vancouver BC, Canada into an immigrant trucking family. She is a third generation, heavy equipment operator by trade with over 20 years of onsite field experience in heavy industrial construction, civil road building, pipeline, open-pit mining, transportation and trucking, and oil and gas. As a member in these industries, she has worked in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Washington State and has been on international projects as part of global teams.
Amandeep likes to say that she has “been in dump trucks since diapers”, since her father owned a trucking business. Growing up, Amandeep remembers being the only daughter with her dad at trucking shows. This was hard for her, because she was exposed to the male-dominated side of trades at a very young age. She always felt that if she were to take over her dad’s business, she would not get same level of respect her dad received as a women owned business.
Amandeep likes to say that she has “been in dump trucks since diapers”, since her father owned a trucking business. Growing up, Amandeep remembers being the only daughter with her dad at trucking shows. This was hard for her, because she was exposed to the male-dominated side of trades at a very young age. She always felt that if she were to take over her dad’s business, she would not get same level of respect her dad received as a women owned business. That aside, Amandeep has been rebelling against cultural and North American norms all her life. Her dad always said that he didn’t want her to “end up like him” and wanted her to “have a good government job”. As a female person of colour in the trades, Amandeep knows this is a very common narrative for people like her. That’s why Amandeep was so excited to attend the Regional Representative Program (RRP) training offered by BCCWITT.
Amandeep attended BCCWITT’s RRP training in April of this year. There, she was able to revalidate her purpose as a woman of colour in the trades through a sense of belonging, community, connection, resources, and knowledge. Having a group of like-minded people to connect with, reminded her that being vocal, resilient, and assertive in the trades is important, because the construction industry will eat their young! She learned a lot from the struggles and stories from other women in the program, and says the experience was invaluable. Amandeep left the training feeling empowered to continue to make a difference and advocate for everyone, but especially “little brown girls and women” who may not feel like the trades are a viable career path for them.
Now, Amandeep’s passion about tradeswomen’s rights, equal opportunities, diversity, inclusion, mentoring new and young workers, and mental health has led her to pursue a career path in health and safety. Amandeep is thriving as the Director of Safety Insight & Innovation at SALUS. She is also a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 955, and has roots with Teamsters Vancouver. In her spare time, Amandeep enjoys all things outdoors, as well as reading, cooking, and live sporting and music events. She is also proud to be involved with various boards, committees, associations, and organizations that highlight her education and experience as a visible minority woman in the trades.
“Growing up I only ever saw men on sites that I visited with my dad. By changing that visual, I can show future generations of diverse trades people that if I can do this, they can too! BCCWITT has given and taught me so much that no person or organization ever has in the past, and I want to be a part of all the important work that they do.” – Amandeep Beesla
Thank you, Amandeep, for sharing your journey, and providing a voice for women of colour in the trades. We look forward to seeing all the amazing work you do next!