Montreal’s Turcot project and Kiewit’s Laval, Quebec, office hosted Kiewit’s Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar (WCLS) January 22-23. Kiewit is leading construction on the Turcot project – one of the largest infrastructure projects by the Ministère des transports (Transport Ministry) in the province’s history – as part of the KPH Turcot joint venture team.
Eighteen collegiate female leaders studying construction and engineering attended the event. They represented nine universities from across Canada.
In addition to touring the Turcot site with project management, attendees heard from some of Kiewit’s field and design engineers on topics like operations, curiosity and confidence. A panel of employees participated in a Q&A. Jean Pierre Gauthier, who oversees all of Kiewit’s work in Eastern Canada, joined the group for a discussion on leadership and influence.
Kathy Baig, president of the Order of Engineers of Quebec, provided an industry viewpoint from outside Kiewit. She discussed her experiences and answered questions from the women. Mme Kateri Normandeau, vice president of the Project Management Institute’s Montreal chapter, and Jannick Bouthillette, co-founder of Profession’ELLE, also joined and shared perspectives and encouragement.
After the event’s conclusion, one attendee said, “Seeing all of the high-achieving women at Kiewit validated my ambitions. I walked away from the seminar more certain that I have a place in engineering.”
Another added, “Having a community is an important part of leadership development, so it was both enjoyable and beneficial to meet so many women in the engineering and construction industry. It was great to meet women in the first ten years of their career to gain insight.”
Lead Estimator Anna Canan has worked for Kiewit for six years and helped coordinate the event. She said she was honored to have so much representation – from both within Kiewit and external industry organizations – there to discuss with and encourage the women as they begin their careers.
“It became a great networking event and created relationships,” she said.
Canan’s advice to the attendees and other women planning for careers in the industry?
“Stay authentic, trust yourself, and don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams.”
This was Kiewit’s second year hosting WCLS in Canada. A WCLS event was held in the U.S., too. Read more here.