2024 Women of the Year Awards: Leader – Runner-up Shelley Gray

Shelley Gray, CEO of SkilledTradesBC, is a runner-up of the Leader category of the 2024 Women of the Year Awards


Shelley Gray
CEO, SkilledTradesBC

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Alberta, Shelley Gray headed west to Vancouver, where she got a job as the director of business development at Canada 3000 Airlines. “I landed in a leadership role right out of university,” she says. “The one thing I know how to do is lead.”

Though Canada 3000 went out of business after 9/11, Gray found leadership roles at both Yellow Pages Group and SkilledTradesBC, where she started as director of customer experience and was promoted to CEO in 2018. The organization has about 170 employees and works to advance the province’s trades training system.

“It’s a complex stakeholder environment—I was told that before I came into the role,” says Gray. “There are very diverse opinions about the work we do and you’re always managing those tensions between employers who want people to spend the minimum amount of time in school while getting the maximum benefit and training providers, union folks, multi­ple layers of government. It’s about coalescing, finding common ground, consensus building and moving things forward.”–N.C.