This is us
Mackenzi (she/her) held a welding torch for the first time in an oxyacetylene welding class at SAIT and quickly fell in love with the trade. Even with her unwavering passion, she felt she had trouble fitting into the male-dominated trade and even questioned if she belonged in the field.
Determined not to give up, she took up Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta with a focus in welding engineering. She became a member of the Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining (CCWJ) shortly after to investigate standards in hydrogen testing. A natural teacher and self-starter, Mackenzi led “Introduction to Welding” sessions for women at the CCWJ semi-regularly.
Mackenzi never forgot what it was like to feel out of place and unsupported. She was inspired to found The Red Bench to create a space for women to find themselves in the trades.
In 2019, Jolene became a member of the Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining as an undergraduate researcher to investigate Charpy impact testing. She met Mackenzi and learned how to weld during her “Introduction to Welding” sessions.
In addition to welding, electronics, and carpentry projects at home, Jolene has taken continuing education in welding and studies welding engineering as part of her degree. She was inspired to found The Red Bench to give women like her a place to get their hands dirty and build.