March 6, 2023

International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This years theme is #EmbraceEquity. 🙅

All week long, Pennecon will celebrate this important day by profiling some of the amazing women who work in our offices, in our shops, and on our project sites. #IWD2023

To start the week, we will feature:

Maggie Careen, Civil Field Coordinator.

Learn about Maggie in our Q&A session:

What lead you to the career path you’re in?

Since junior high, I have been interested in pursuing a career in engineering. I knew I wanted to be involved in building structures, so civil seemed like the obvious choice. Before completing any of my work terms, I thought I would go the design/office job route, but once I started working in Muskrat Falls, I knew construction was where I wanted to end up. There is truly no better way to learn about design and construction than being hands-on in the field, involved in each step of the process.

What is your role and responsibilities at Pennecon?

I have been a field engineer since starting with Pennecon. Some of my daily tasks include reporting, completing field inspections, reviewing timesheets, material procurement, progress tracking, coordinating field work, and supporting the superintendents and management. Of course, these roles shift as each project progresses. I find that the role of a field engineer is very broad and is constantly adapting based on the type of support needed, which is a huge draw to me as it gives the opportunity to be involved in all scopes of work.

What women inspire you and why?

There are many hard working women in my life who inspire me, however, my mom is who inspires me most. She is probably the hardest worker I know and truly loves her job. She is dedicated to her work and students, in and out of school, and never once has complained about her workload. While pushing me to do my best through school, university, and now my career, she has also subconsciously taught me to pick a career that you really enjoy. She is one of the most respected people I know, as her past and present students will tell you, along with that she was their favourite. She has always maintained the balance between authority and kindness, something I strive to keep in my career as well.

My work term students have also inspired me a lot the past year. My last two projects I have been the only female engineer on site, and in the past year we’ve had 5 female work term students, all completing a civil engineering degree. This makes me hopeful that the industry is on its way to becoming more balanced. A few of my students told me that I was the first female engineer they’ve worked with, and they were glad to have somebody on site that fully understood what it’s like being a female in construction and the small everyday challenges we face.

What advice would you give young women coming up in the work force?

I think all women entering the industry hear “you have to have tough skin to work in construction” and I would tell them to completely ignore that statement. Working in a male dominated field has its challenges but being submissive to anything that makes you uncomfortable is not one of them. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and make boundaries. My biggest piece of advice is to command respect, which comes easily when you’re respectful towards others.

#IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity #WomenInConstructionWeek #WIC2023


March 7, 2023

Penncon is doing a week-long recognition in celebration of #InternationalWomensDay. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity. The goal is to to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all embrace equity.🙅

Our second showcase of some of the amazing women working at Pennecon is:

Jillian Butt, Project Engineer

Learn about Jillian in our Q&A session:

What lead you to the career path you’re in?

Like many, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left high school – I just knew I liked science and math. I enrolled in the Engineering program at Memorial University after some help from my guidance counselor and never looked back. On my third work term, I got a call for a placement that asked if I would be interested in flying to a construction site in Northern Manitoba. They asked if I could start in 2 days – that’s how I got thrown into the fast paced world of construction! Since then I’ve worked all over, I’ve gotten to see a lot of places and meet a lot of different people, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What is your role and responsibilities at Pennecon?

I’m currently working as a Project Engineer for the Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion. We are doing some planning for upcoming work, so I help make sure people in the field have all the right information to do their jobs before they get started.

What women inspire you and why?

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing and hard working women in my career, I always strive to take the lessons they’ve taught with me as I grow and mentor up-and-coming women. I also want to give a special shout out to my mom who has instilled a solid work ethic and has been providing constant support in all my work adventures.

What advice would you give young women coming up in the work force?

You can do hard things, but you don’t have to do them alone. You may feel like you have a lot to prove but remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

#IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity #WomenInConstructionWeek #WIC2023

March 8, 2023

Happy International Women’s Day! #DYK that this day first began in 1911, making this worldwide event 112 years old? It was in 1975 that the United Nations adopted #IWD as an official, worldwide celebration of women’s rights and world peace. ✌️


We are continuing our week long celebration with Danielle Sweeney, Site Office Manager.

Learn about Danielle in our Q&A session:

What lead you to the career path you’re in?

I always wanted to work in an administrative role. I love being busy and keeping everything organized – I have spreadsheets for everything! In 2012, I was working as a Back Office Administrator for a popular communications company, but I wanted a change. I applied for two jobs, with two completely different career paths: A Project Administrator in the Alberta Oil Sands, and a Level 2 Clerk with Eastern Health. When I received job offers for both positions, I chose to go to Alberta. Both my father and my brother worked with the same company, at the same job site, so the transition was easy. I’m incredibly happy with making that choice.


What is your role and responsibilities at Pennecon?

My position with Pennecon has been Site Office Manager – the main duties would be onboarding, travel & accommodations, payroll & document control. You’re the liaison between so many people and departments. You can always expect a busy day – but no two days are the same.

What women inspire you and why?

So many women inspire me: My mother, my Grandma Watson – the village of strong woman I was surrounded and raised by. My closest girlfriends – Amanda who is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner and avid hiker; Maggie who is a Privacy Specialist and Mom of three; Lisa who is an Electrician and delivers food to the homeless. They’ve all shown me, in their own ways, the struggles and triumphs of being a woman. They’ve inspired me to work hard, to be proud of being me, and to always strive to be a little better than yesterday.

What advice would you give young women coming up in the work force?

My best advice would be the same advice that my dad gave me when I fearfully step foot onto my first construction site. First, is to just show up – don’t be afraid to take your place in the workforce and embrace change. Second, do your work to the best of your ability and never be afraid to ask questions. The third, and what he deemed the most important is to never compare yourself to the next person. We are all unique in how we learn and how we accomplish a goal – when you let go of the comparisons, and focus on your strengths, you will be successful.

March 9, 2023

International Women’s Day is a day that “belongs to all groups.” People of all genders, cultures, ages, languages, and religions can take part and not only celebrate the achievements of women but help forge a more gender-balanced world. 🌎 👭

Next up in our week long recognition in this important celebration is Kayla Vandenbroek, Environmental Lead.

Learn about Kayla in our Q&A session:

What lead you to the career path you’re in?

My career path started with the simple statement “I just want to work outside.” Having a passion for the outdoors lead me to Sir Sandford Fleming College School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, one of Canada’s leading environmental institutions. I entered into the workforce straight out of school as and Environmental Technician and have since worked my way up to Environmental Lead on a 154MW wind farm project with Pennecon.

What is your role and responsibilities at Pennecon?

My responsibilities as an Environmental Lead with Pennecon is to ensure that we remain in compliance with applicable environmental Acts and Regulations set out by different governing bodies and ensure implementation of Pennecon (and Client’s) environmental plans, policies, and procedures. This can include a variety of responsibilities pertaining to emergency spill response, wildlife nest sweeps, erosion and sediment control, clubroot cleaning requirements, tree clearing permits, timing restrictions, etc. I am also a CAN-CISEC (Canadian Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control, and in progress of obtaining my NCSO (National Construction Safety Officer) Certificate.

What women inspire you and why?

I am inspired by female botanists and avian biologists. I have an interest in plant and bird identification and both require a great deal of studying, repetition, and retention skills. I enjoy working alongside these women because they help teach me and grow my skills in these fields.

What advice would you give young women coming up in the work force?

Have a voice. Put in the work, get good at what you do, and then be confident enough to have a voice, because that’s how you will succeed.

As we close out our week long celebration of #IWD and profile some of the amazing women we are fortunate to work with, we ask each of you to take a moment to think about the extraordinary women in your life and consider what we can all do to #EmbraceEquity for women both locally and beyond. #IWD2023

Our last, but not least, showcase is Sarah Osmond, Senior Technical Project Engineer.

Learn about Sarah in our video showcase and Q&A session:


What led you to the career path you’re in?

I come from a family of engineers. Not only has engineering been ingrained in me while growing up, it’s in my DNA. However, after much determination, I tried my best to break my family’s engineering legacy and took the road less travelled to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Biochemistry, Chemistry), like my mother. After finishing my degree, I worked for MUN’s and PEGNL’s Future S.E.T. (Scientists, Engineers and Technologists) as the Director and became a strong advocate for youth to enter the world of STEM by providing educational programs. I was surrounded by successful and highly educated engineers at work and at home, and soon after I quickly discovered that my parents and peers were right; I had the problem-solving knack to fix all things mechanical which led me to my true calling, Mechanical Engineering. When I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, I started my career working in the oil and gas industry, specifically in the offshore drilling and exploration industry. I have worked internationally in UAE, Scotland, Faroe Islands, USA, and Brazil before settling down in Newfoundland. As a female in a heavily male-dominated industry, which presented many challenges, it did not deter me from pursuing my dreams and knocking down barriers. I found my true calling in asset maintenance, project engineering and project management.


What is your role and responsibilities at Pennecon?

I recently joined the Pennecon family as the Senior Technical Project Engineer with Pennecon Hydraulic Systems. I’m the Engineer in Responsible Charge of Marine and Mobile Cranes and provide support to our customers in maintaining their periodic thorough examination, inspection and testing certification to ensure their cranes are safe to operate and can return to service. Also, I get continue to support the offshore oil and gas industry by providing equipment maintenance and engineering services to our customers.


What women inspire you and why?

My mother is my biggest inspiration. She defines that women can have it all. She was a successful junior high school educator in the subjects of science and math, admired by all of her students, broke multiple bias barriers, and earned her Master’s Degree in Education while raising 4 children who all became engineers. With her love, support and dedication to her family and students, she taught me to be true to myself and that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

While working offshore, there have always been very few women on the drilling rigs and production platforms; specifically in technical and leadership roles. At the same time, my mother would remind me that it’s a blessing in the fact that you get noticed. People tend to remember you as the only woman in the room ‘who said that’ or the only woman in the room who was an engineer or the only woman who was a leader. She helped me realize my potential beyond gender bias and to see every challenge as an opportunity.

What advice would you give young women coming up in the workforce?

I recently attended a webinar called the Tallest Poppy which focused on Rumeet Billian’s Tallest Poppy Study and provided insight into how ambitious, high-achieving women are negatively impacted by Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) in the workplace. This means that all plants, in this case poppies, are expected to grow at the same speed and height, and those that grow too fast are reduced to average; and it implies knocking down exceptional women to adapt to the average. In her more recent study, almost 90% of women experience gender discrimination, belittlement and undermining as a result of their professional success and achievements, and are penalized for excelling.

So, my advice to younger women coming into the workforce is to keep fighting, aim high and be an ambitious queen. Be the Game Changer and never settle. And for those in the workforce, let’s raise awareness about TPS and support the growth and achievements of all poppies growing at different rates. By supporting each other, we are working towards true inclusion where more women will excel and have a seat at the table.