Engaged with her team: Lt(N) Kayla Bouchard

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Marine systems engineering officer 212, marine systems engineering officer

(Offscreen) Is that you?

(KB) That’s me. Just a sec.

I am Lt(N) Kayla Bouchard and I’m the Marine Systems Engineering Officer in HMCS Vancouver. As the head of department, it’s really working with and enabling my team. So overall, I’ve got 55 people that work for me that are Marine technicians or firefighters. And what we all do as a team effort is making sure that the ship is able to go ahead and astern in the water, to make sure that we are able to turn whenever we want to, and then to the basics of having lights and making water and making sure that, you know, our sewage system works properly and effectively.

The people are the best part of my job, and the challenging circumstances that we often find ourselves in, it’s very impressive to watch my team go because a lot of times, they’ll be faced with unique problems, and they’ll rely on the training that they got throughout their experience or formally throughout school, and they’ll be able to make some pretty impressive things happen with very little resources around them.

We’ve got really great training facilities, the training development centre, spending a lot of time and energy trying to develop these innovative ways of teaching our sailors the information that they need to know to be able to be effective on the ships. Particularly through this new MAR TECH trade, how are we going to be able to use the technology that’s out there. So, let’s capitalize on the opportunity that we have so that, whenever we get home, you can spend time at home with your family and understand that you come back with, you know, a new certification, that that time away was well spent.

In the technical trades now, whenever we look at the amount of women at sea, as heads of departments for Marine systems engineers. It’s really nice to see that we’ve got more than 50% heads of departments that are actually women.

Trying to get more women into technical trades. And so, we’re doing day sails and we’re trying to make sure that we’ve got an environment that is suitable for women, which I would argue we do. I’ve got a number of women that are in my department, and all of which have been very successful in what it is they’re doing. And so, we’ve been trying to recruit them doing day sails. Right? Just exposure to the fact that, one, this is what you can do, because the challenge in being in the Navy is that we only really have two Navy bases, one on either coast, and much of Canada isn’t there. So, we brought people out to visit the ships. In the summer, we often send ships down the Saint-Laurent to tell our story a bit, of what it is we do and why the Navy is great.

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