Sylvan Laker Laura Samson was one of 40 individuals recognized in On-Site Magazine’s 40-under-40 list.
The list recognizes the top leaders in the Canadian Construction Industry under 40 years old.
Just being nominated was a very exciting honour, Samson said.
“Being amongst all of those individuals nominated, and then to actually be part of the top 40 is a really amazing accomplishment … I am super proud.”
In the list, 30 men and 10 women were recognized.
While those numbers reflect a change in the space of construction in Canada, the ratio of men and women who were recognized is still not equal enough.
“I think 10 out of 40 is not equal enough, but it’s good progress towards seeing more female representation in leadership positions in the construction industry in Canada. So it feels really great, but we still have a long way to go,” Samson said.
For Samson, embracing the role of a mentor and aiming to inspire young women to go into both the engineering and construction industries is important.
“Being part of this list, I think, just goes to show you that you can be successful in any sort of career if you put your mind to it and work hard.”
Samson is the first female director of infrastructure under 40 at the Calgary Airport Authority.
In this role, alongside her team, she spearheads projects dealing with terminal construction, air-side construction and tenant development at both the Calgary and Springbank airports.
In this past year, Samson has led her team in successfully delivering 35 capital and 182 tenant projects.
And now, her team is working on the rehabilitation of Canada’s second longest runway at the Calgary airport, which is a $201 million, five-year project.
“While it is a very challenging construction project, it also has a lot of stakeholders that will be impacted by the construction; so (its) not just construction focused, but (the) management and expectations of our airline partners.”
To get to where she is today, Samson went into technical engineering at SAIT and then, after graduation, began working as a site inspector on construction sites, building up her knowledge in construction.
“I really was able to then just evolve my career from there, with that knowledge of construction and how construction and engineering relate to one another,” Samson said
Getting her primary education in Sylvan Lake also impacted and fostered the technical side of her skills, she added.
“The teachers that I had at Ecole HJ Cody High School really helped me to get into the direction of a math and science career.”