Manitoba's first female backhoe owner has advice for other women: 'Just do it.'
Jacquie McDonald is a tiny woman. She's tough-as-nails and has bright pink hair.
Sixteen years ago, McDonald had what she calls her "mid-life career crisis."
"I was in my mid-twenties, working at Athlete's Wear," she recalled. "Finally, I just said 'I can't do this anymore.' I decided I had to do something different."
"I wanted to run those big machines and I wanted to destroy buildings," she laughed.
Another job became available but McDonald didn't own a backhoe. So she tracked one down, put her house up as collateral, and asked her dad to co-sign a loan to buy it.
"I handed over the cheque," she said. "I'm just shakin'. I'm in tears. So excited.... I see my machine there and I start it up."
"He comes back from the office with the rest of the paperwork," she recalled. "He says to me, 'Do you know you're the first woman in the province to own and operate your own backhoe? You should be proud.'"
"And I was," said McDonald. "I never looked at myself as a pioneer. I just looked at myself as crazy!"