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To celebrate women in the electrical industry, City Electric Supply (CES) asked women in the field to share their journeys and give advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the same vein. In this special segment of CEStv, CEStv Presents: Women in the Industry, City Electric Supply sheds light on their stories of growth, empowerment, and achievement.

After 15 years of experience in plumbing, designing bathrooms and kitchens, CES Ottawa Central Branch Manager Vicky MacKay wanted a new and exciting challenge — and she found exactly what she was looking for in the electrical industry.

Tackling a New Industry

She applied for a position as operations manager at CES with no experience in the field. Not only did she get the job, but she excelled in the role. She learned the ins and outs of the industry so quickly that when the branch manager position suddenly opened, she jumped in as the temporary acting branch manager.

MacKay accomplished so much in the position that her district manager made the move permanent, and the rest is history.

She revolutionized the way CES Ottawa Central conducted business, pushing it to become the number one branch in all of Canada for the past two years in a row. Since 2019, the branch has nearly doubled its profits while supplying and supporting its community.

In her now 11 years at CES, MacKay has made a name for herself as well as her branch, and it doesn’t sound like she’s going to stop anytime soon. According to MacKay, she’s still passionate about the industry and “in it for the long run.”

“My favorite part of the electrical industry is the people and the customer service,” said MacKay. “I have great customers. We know all of their names, and they know all of ours. I love the camaraderie at our branch and that everyone is loyal and accountable.”

Milestones and Memories at City Electric Supply

Throughout MacKay’s career, she has helped her branch achieve many milestones, but she’s the first to admit she’s gotten a lot out of it as well. In the past 11 years, she has jumped at opportunity after opportunity to grow her knowledge, skillset, and confidence.

“I have learned that I am more than capable and that there’s really nothing that I can’t do,” said MacKay. “CES has invested in me and brought to light that I am a powerhouse.”

Despite ongoing supply shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic, CES Ottawa Central continues to beat last year’s sales every month.

And that impressive success can be attributed to a great team and great leadership.

“During the pandemic, I learned how to help all of our customers find success during a difficult time. We’ve been able to keep our doors open for business every day, and we want every customer to have that same fortune,” said MacKay.

And while MacKay enjoys being able to go above and beyond for her customers, some of her favorite memories from her time at CES are moments she’s shared with her team.

“My fondest memories at CES are our staff parties,” MacKay said. “My staff is so much a family to me that we have a Christmas party and a summer party where they bring their families. It’s about seeing everybody together, knowing that they’re friends and that it’s not just work.”

Advice to the Next Generation of Women in the Industry

MacKay’s passion for her work is contagious, and she has some advice for anyone thinking about joining the field — specifically women.

“Believe in yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you something is not for you,” said MacKay firmly. “You are the only person who can prove what’s possible.”

It’s a similar message to the one she would give her younger self if she could — “Vicky, don’t listen to the people who tell you that you can’t do something. You’re a strong person. Just go and do it. Don’t let anybody hold you back.”

Over the past decade, MacKay is proud to say she’s noticed an increase in the number of women in the industry, especially among branch and operations managers. And according to MacKay, there are plenty more opportunities.

“If you go into the trades, you will find endless ways to succeed. There is always an opportunity,” said MacKay. “There’s so much going on in electrical — just be willing to keep learning.”

We hope Vicky MacKay’s story interests and excites you to learn what you can bring to the electrical industry.

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