In recognition of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8th, we held a week-long campaign to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women in our lives. This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Every year, we look forward to this important time as we profile some of the amazing women who work in our offices, in our shops, and on our project sites. Get to know some of these incredible women below!
Name: Tina Kinnee-Brown
Title: Human Resources / Labour Relations / Office Manager – Quartz Creek, B.C.
What made you choose your career path? While I didn’t intentionally choose my career path, as I have done many things throughout my working career, I feel that I have been provided many opportunities that have combined to allowed me to be a success in this position as Office manager – HR, Labor and Indigenous Relations with Pennecon. I worked on paving crews, summers while attending university, and loved it. I then taught “Indigenous relations with Canada” for decades and when this position as Office Manager at Quartz Creek came up I thought “hey! I would love to go back to construction and working outside, now that my kids are grown and living their own lives so; I applied. I was quickly offered an interview and subsequently the position. I have been with Pennecon since June of 2021 and do not regret taking that chance and applying.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon. My day starts with a Managers meeting that outlines the main goals to get completed on that day. Then I sit with my computer and ensure that all supplies, fleet management, equipment hours and Km’s are recorded and coded correctly, and after those main responsibilities are taken care of there are the HR duties which include ensuring all employees have access and are up to date with Pennecon policies and procedures, as needed and of course there are the many small details of ensuring the site runs efficiently day to day.
What women have inspired you and why? The women that inspire me are those that unapologetically get things done regardless of their position, and or status. These women are those that work, create, share and ultimately ensure that their own self care is done so that they can then continue to support others.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? Take chances and be brave. You will never know what you can accomplish without being brave enough to place yourself in a position of discomfort. Be uncomfortable, this is where you truly discover who you are and what you can do.
Name: Kathy Yarn
Title: HSE Advisor
What made you choose your career path? I choose a career in Safety because I care about people, I am passionate about people getting through the work day without getting injured. I have worked with “old school” types of people and as a people person I have found the right approach to let them know there is a safe way to complete work and new regulations put in place to keep them from getting injured.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon.I start every day with a toolbox talk, attend planned meetings and site tours communicating with the Client safety people. I never know how my day may unfold though. Always dreading a call that there was an incident however that’s when I kick into gear, that’s my priority, taking care of an injured worker and ensuring the work site is safe to proceed with work. It’s always good when I get a call from a Supervisor being proactive and asking me to get involved with a work plan or confirm the safety devises are set up correctly.
What women have inspired you and why? My Mother is a great inspiration to me with an amazing work ethic. She is now retired from the health care sector and was always dedicated to work, as this was how she could take care of her family. I love how Mom took care of people all the same, it didn’t matter where they were from or what kind of background they had, everyone deserves equal kindness and care.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? Take the time to figure out what your strengths and interests are. Choose a career you are going to be good at, not something that’s going to be easy to get a job in or the best money. If you find something you are good at you can succeed and thrive at it.
Name: Courtney Careen
Title: Project Administrator / Document Controller – Pennecon Technical Services.
What made you choose your career path? The Records and Information Management field is central to virtually every organization out there which allows for diverse career paths. I wanted to have the option to explore the different industries to determine the one in which I am truly passionate about.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon. Pennecon Technical Services is a fast-paced and challenging work environment where no two days are alike. From assisting on pre-qualifications, supporting operational management as it relates to project administration to completion of project turnover of final document deliverables, each day is complex and rewarding.
What women have inspired you and why? I am surrounded by strong, independent, hard-working women in life, from my friends to my co-workers. However, the one that I admire the most has to be my Mother. She choose a career in a male dominant industry – as a Heavy Equipment Operator, she had to work hard and prove herself every day. Because of this, she instilled in me hard work and resilience.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? Find a mentor early in your career and, as time goes on, give back by being a mentor to someone else. Work hard, stay focused and ensure you love what you do!
Name: Keri Dunphy
Title: Document Controller, Pennecon Hydraulic Systems
What made you choose your career path? This may sound nerdy, but I love a good spreadsheet! In this role, I’m really able to utilize my organizational skills and attention to detail, which is not only personally satisfying, but a great behind-the-scenes assistance to both my co-workers and our clients.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon.As document controller to multiple Hydraulic Systems locations, I provide support by compiling and providing our clients with documentation packages that meet their formatting requirements as well as the high standard of quality we ensure across all stages of service at Pennecon. Whether it’s tracking the status of hundreds of individual documents for our larger manufacturing projects, or generating certificates for the service work our technicians complete in our shop, I ensure everything is organized and tracked for easy retrievability by our project managers when needed.
What women have inspired you and why? There’s so many incredible women I could name here… I believe we become our best selves by learning from and uplifting each other! In particular, I’m so much of who I am because of my mum and her unwavering love and support.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? Don’t let others’ preconceived notions of your abilities define who you are. Be confident! The knowledge and unique perspective you bring to the table are valid and worthy of being heard.
Name: Cassie Boland
Title: Safety Advisor
What made you choose your career path? Like a lot of young people, I was unsure about what career path I wanted to take. I took some time, did some research, and I noticed that health and safety was becoming more predominant in the workforce. I thought this would be a challenging and rewarding career, that would allow me opportunities to grow.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon. In safety, there is no typical day! Every day is different and presents something new. This keeps things interesting for me in my role as Safety Advisor. My responsibilities each day range from assisting with project tender safety documentation; development and maintenance of project and corporate safety programs; health and safety planning; supporting site HSE Teams; monitoring, analyzing and measuring safety performance; and developing and implementing improvement plans. I also visit work sites to perform safety audits and inspections, monitor compliance, conduct investigations, and anything else that is thrown my way!
What women have inspired you and why? Don’t be afraid to take risks! Have confidence in your abilities and know your worth. Work hard, be brave and don’t be afraid to do things outside your comfort zone. Build a career doing something you enjoy and that you are passionate about. Set goals that will keep you motivated, and take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills, gain experience and participate in training.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? There are many women in my life that inspire me, including my close girlfriends, family, and my past and present female coworkers. Of course, my mother has been an influence on my life by teaching me to have strength and determination. My sister, Maryanne Boland, has made a significant impact on my life. She is resilient, knowledgeable, kind, funny, and hardworking which has made her excel in her career. Being a working mom like myself, she has shown me that you can balance being an amazing mother, while still having a successful career.
Name: Darlene Careen
Title: Contract Manager
What made you choose your career path? My family has been involved in the construction industry for several generations, so it was a natural fit for me. It is very rewarding to be part of a team that can start with concepts and deliver world class projects. The Construction industry has also given me the opportunity for personal and career growth and a competitive salary.
Describe a typical day at Pennecon. Pennecon has a fast-paced environment. There are several divisions, and within those divisions, several active contracts as well as tenders, so there is a great mix of new opportunities and a number of long standing agreements with clients. It’s exciting and rewarding.
What women have inspired you and why? From a young age, I have been surrounded by women who were loving, yet tough and strong and just made things happen. My Mother and my aunts, they were home makers, worked full time, they raised families and still found time to volunteer outside of the home. They expected the very same from their children. I have been very fortunate. Today I look at the women of Ukraine and can not help but admire them for their strength, they have lost their independence and carry the responsibility of leaving all they have built in their lives, to care for and evacuate the children and elderly.
What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce? I have been fortunate to mentor a number of young women, I always encourage education because that is something you do for you and you alone. I also want them to be open to any and all opportunities. Many people talk themselves out of trying new things, I encourage them to go for it, they can do it. One of my favorite quotes is “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right”