A series of headshots of women guests on the podcast for International Women's Day.

International Women's Day

Shawna HendersonMarch 08, 2022

This year marks the second season of This Must Be The Place- The Building Science Podcast. Shawna has welcomed a number of wonderful women to the table for thoughtful, engaging conversation in all areas of the sector. Listen to how they inspire change and innovation to help create better building practices, policy, and guidelines that impact energy efficiency.

#BreakTheBias for Women in Construction

Carla Harder 

Shawna speaks to Carla Harder-a member of her Blue House Energy team. Carla is the Program Coordinator and oversees energy efficiency training. Her superpower (among many) is effectively engaging those that are underrepresented in the industry.

  • Find out why she says “drywallers are the ones who know how to ice cakes.”
  • She explains that working in energy efficiency is about problem-solving that has healing and positive outcomes.
  • Find out why we need to intercept girls at a younger age to attract them into the field.

Cindy Gareau

Shawna’s guest in this episode is Cindy Gareau, the Executive Director of CACEA (The Canadian Association of Consulting Energy Advisors). She champions the profession of energy advising, well because it’s pretty important. Yet, not much is known about the work they do. Cindy is here to change that!

  • Find out why she says that Energy Advisors “are really the centre of everything.”
  • Energy advisors can be your partner in moving things forward.
  • How the world of construction and energy advisors are linked.

Diane Snelgrove

Shawna speaks to Diane Snelgrove, Enterprise Development Officer at the Saint John Community Loan Fund. Diane has held many hats in her diverse career but one thing that has been a constant is her natural ability to bring out the best ideas in aspiring entrepreneurs and help them launch and scale their businesses. She is a force. Next Inc. is a new program out of the loan fund and is focused on women entrepreneurs becoming energy advisors.

  • Find out why you are never bored as an Energy Advisor (EA). 
  • How being an EA offers “tons of freedom”.
  • Why she was getting frustrated with the ideas for business that women were bringing her. 

Natalie Irwin 

Shawna breaks it down with Natalie Irwin, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Efficiency Canada -the national voice for an energy efficient economy. Not only is Natalie helping to change the landscape for the better by being a voice and advocate in this sector, she is up to very interesting things! She works full time and is pursuing her Master’s degree and learning to become a sommelier. She joins the conversation from Sweden!

  • Tune in to find out the many things you can do to your home to make it more energy efficient. No, it’s not just installing a heat pump. 
  • Did you know that Nova Scotia is a leader in energy efficiency?
  • Find out why Shawna tells Natalie that she was a “unicorn” when she first started in the industry. 

Angela Bustamante

Attention building science nerds! This episode is for you.  Angela Bustamante is the Director of Technical Services and Quality Assurance at Building Knowledge Canada. Her superpower is delivering guidance to industry on energy efficiency components and systems as they relate to building codes.

  • Why knowledge is the most important commodity in this industry.
  • Why Angela says that “Awareness of what you know and your confidence in what you know” is power.
  • What Energy Star is all about.

Amelie Caron

In this episode Shawna talks to Amelie Caron—both powerhouse women— they dive into their backgrounds in what are trailblazing careers. They both started out at a time when the industry barely existed. Amelie is a Building Scientist at EcoSynergy—a leader in energy performance, they work with homeowners and home builders to create customized plans for highly efficient homes. Tune in to:

  • Find out what Aerobarrier is and why it’s a game changer.
  • Learn why Amelie says that women have to undo “decades of conditioning”. 
  • Hear Amelie explain her Master’s thesis and why she pursued her graduate studies in Austria. 

Anna Gillcash

Since she was a little girl Anna has had an obsession with houses. It was rather inevitable as her grandfather was a building contractor and her mother studied decorating. She can envision everything before the hammer even falls. She has recently hung up her tool belt in exchange for a pencil and clipboard. Now the founder and owner of Revival Home Design, she helps her clients see the vision of their dream home and then makes it happen.

  • Learn why Anna says “gender roles didn’t exist” for her growing up and why that didn’t prepare her for what it really would be like working in carpentry as a woman.
  • Why she’s no stranger to getting her hands dirty. Hint: it involves a dairy farm!
  • How she helps clients build their dream homes. 

Lara Ryan

Lara Ryan has spent over 30 years honing her leadership skills in environmental sustainability. She currently helps clients articulate and demonstrate their social and environmental value as they navigate low carbon economy opportunities through her company, Lara Ryan Consulting.

  • How deep energy retrofits are more about what you don’t see—comfort, health and cost-savings.
  • Why we can’t wait for the demand to be there to drive sustainable change and what will move the needle.
  • How she provides Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) guidance to her clients. 

Stefanie Coleman

Stefanie Coleman is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at Building Knowledge Canada. She is the 3rd woman to be elected as president of the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) in its 80-year history. She is also the honoured recipient of the EnerQuality 2019 Lead of the Year Award.

  • What industry both Shawna and Stefanie began their careers in and how it contributed to their learning.
  • Stefanie’s path to becoming CHBA’s president. 
  • How saying yes to opportunity helps to overcome imposter syndrome. 

Marie Hanchet

Shawna exchanges deep insights on energy efficiency with self-proclaimed “math nerd at heart”, Marie Hanchet.  She is a Project Manager in Net Zero Energy Housing at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).

  • Discover why Marie says, “Let’s all embrace our inner improv artist.”
  • The important lesson Marie shares about non-conformity, integrity and committing to being our authentic selves!
  • Why she says, “Energy efficiency is part of the equation but it’s not the full solution.”

Sonja Winkelmann

Shawna chats with the Senior Director of Net Zero Energy Housing at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), Sonja Winkelmann.

  • Why Sonja says, “Marketing is going to be taking a bit of a turn from production of collateral to leveraging of that collateral.”
  • What she says is her most nerdy, favourite thing in building science and why she says it’s a “quality of life difference”.
  • The important and innovative initiatives of CHBA and what’s ahead for 2022.

Don't miss these upcoming episodes of This Must Be The Place:

10 Mar: Betsy Agar, Senior Analyst in the Buildings and Urban Solutions Program at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading clean energy think tank. She designs policy and programs for the retrofit of B.C.’s residential building stock.

17 Mar: Emma Norton, Director of Government Relations and Atlantic Canada Organizing. The Climate Emergency Unit, a project of the David Suzuki Institute, works with all sectors to find solutions to the climate crisis. She is also Director of Operations for The ReCover Initiative is developing a market-ready solution for deep-energy retrofits that is scalable, repeatable, and efficient.

24 Mar: Megan Bennett, Director, Program Operations, for the Summerhill Group and Host of the Plugged In Podcast, women-led conversations about climate action, energy efficiency, sustainability and low carbon solutions made for Canada.

14 Apr: Gaby Kalapos, Executive Director at Clean Air Partnership (CAP), a charitable environmental organization enabling communities to improve air quality, advance active transportation, and take bold climate action.

26 Apr: Monica Rokicki, Building Scientist and Designer, out of Roanoke, Virginia, founder of Better Building Works LLC to be the bridge between the art of design and building performance for her community.

5 May: Donna Sink, AIA, Architect working out of Indianapolis, Indiana, working to help non-profits ensure their building is supporting their mission, practicing at Rowland Design.


You can listen and read more episode details on the podcast website http://thismustbetheplace.live, or on your favourite podcast host including:





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