Canadian Contractor

Inspiring her daughter – Rachael Ganson, Canadian Builders


March 5, 2021
By Jonathan Ganson

I would like to nominate Rachael Ganson from Canadian Builders Inc. in Vernon, BC.  She has been a cornerstone in our business and we could not have achieved the success we have had to date without her.  She also happens to be my wife!  Our company builds homes and it was actually her idea in the first place.  One day we were driving and she said lets build a house!  About 20 years later and close to a hundred homes later she is still keeping us going, while also being a “stay at home” mother with our two children.

    Rachael has done everything on the jobsite from foundations, framing, trusses, electrical, laying tile, assembling cabinets, clean up, to all of our design work, paperwork, accounting and meeting with clients to help with their ideas and designs.  As our company has grown and we had children, she has had to scale back on the onsite work, but is still the driving force on our paperwork/back end side, and is also still involved with all our decisions for home design, lot purchases etc.  She has helped in building our social media, website, advertising etc.  She is truly a do it all Woman!  I am incredibly appreciative and proud of her and how strong and capable she is, even in the man dominated world of construction. It is so amazing to see my little 8 year old daughter come on the job sites and talk with the trades with complete confidence, having seen her mother do the same.  Women do have it tougher in construction, as not all men are used to taking orders or direction from a woman.  I remember one time when she met with a carpet installer that was about to begin the install on a project that had all the beautiful hardwood installed and was just starting the install of some high end white carpet and he came in and walking all over with his dirty, outside work boots that had sand and little rocks in the sole, and when she asked him to take off his boots, he replied that he would not, and if she made him, that he would leave, so she told him to take a hike.

  There are many other incredible benefits to having a woman like Rachael be part of our ownership and management.  She has an innate ability to read people, and get a gut feeling if a situation or business deal is good or bad, or if someone is trying to be shady.  She will be onto them long before I pick anything up.  She is excellent at connecting with clients quickly and reading what they want or need even if they cannot express it.  She does not want to go to sleep with anything left undone, sometimes she even wakes up in the morning and somehow while she was sleeping her brain figured out a solution to a problem, or adjusted a design that she was working on.

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  She has an incredible drive to accomplish things and to do our best at whatever we work on.  Before kids she has worked with me doing all nighters to get projects complete on time etc.  She has lived in construction zones, RV’s, basement suites, a commercial building, etc as we have built different homes for us to live in.  She doesn’t complain (unless I am not working as hard as she is 😉 ).

   As a company that sees the value of women in construction we have been able to hire and work with multiple women over the years as well.  We have had 2 women that were journeyman electricians work for us, and multiple others that have varied trades skills.  It also gives us a benefit when we are dealing with suppliers like the flooring company or Plumbing fixtures suppliers that have women working there to have a knowledgeable woman come who relates well to them come and go over details and orders, rather than have to deal with stinky, grumpy men that think a woman’s place is only in the home.  I think Rachael would be a perfect woman to feature in an article you are putting together.