International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. To celebrate this important day we are profiling some of the amazing women who work in our offices, in our shops, and on our project sites. #IWD2020 #IWD
Name: Candace Seymour
Years at Pennecon: 5.5
Describe an average day at Pennecon: Fast-paced, exciting, challenging, and rewarding.
What advice would you give to young girls just starting their careers? Always be yourself and be confident. And remember, asking questions when you are unsure and making mistakes are great things. Without them, we cannot grow and learn.
What women have inspired you or have made a significant impact on your career? Lisa Wheeler, my very first manager out of college, had a significant impact on my life and career. She believed in me right from the start and helped me find my direction in life. Her best advice to me was, “always treat your boss with the same amount of respect you would your father. And treat the companies money like it’s your own, don’t waste it”. Eleven years later and I still live by this.
Name: Stephanie Gruchy
Title: Manager, Offshore & Projects
Years at Pennecon: 8
Describe an average day at Pennecon: On an average day, I manage the day to day services for our offshore and crane divisions. This includes; cost estimating, report generation, sales, management, and coordination of offshore labor support, technical support, and logistics. Additionally, I liaise with clients on all matters relating to technical specifications, as well as contractual, quality, and HSE requirements.
What advice would you give to young girls just starting their careers?
Figure out what it is that drives you and chase it. Find mentors who inspire you and learn as much as you can from them. Ask questions and listen. Understand that change is inevitable, so embrace it.
What women have inspired you or have made a significant impact on your career?
I am grateful to have a plethora of powerful females in my network that include; Teachers, Pharmacists, Analysts, Project Managers/Coordinators, Administrative professionals, etc. These friends, coworkers, and family members inspire me on a daily basis through their work ethic as they create a difference, take risks, and overcome challenges. We empower each other each and every day, as we encourage one another to succeed and excel in every aspect of our lives.
Name: Natalie Tobin
Title: Contracts Administrator
Years at Pennecon: 12 years
Describe an average day at Pennecon: Pennecon Marine Base is a fast-paced and challenging work environment where no two days are the same. From purchasing and arranging subcontractors, invoicing clients, working on a tender submission, or taking care of an array of administrative duties – there is never a dull moment.
What advice would you give to young girls just starting their careers? Reach for the stars! Never underestimate yourself or your abilities, and remember anything is possible if you work hard at it. Have a genuine interest in the career path you choose, be passionate about it, and the possibilities are endless.
What women have inspired you or have made a significant impact on your career? I have been inspired by some incredible women over the years, but nothing compares to the support and inspiration I get from my mom. She has taught me that honesty, hard work, dedication, and a strong work ethic are a must and that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Name: Erin Hickey
Title: Quality Manager, Heavy Civil Division
Years at Pennecon: 10
Describe an average day at Pennecon: As the Quality Manager, I am responsible for planning and coordinating the Quality Management System within our division and at all projects. I monitor and measure the effectiveness of quality activities and take actions for improvement through project involvement and audits. I also support the engineering team with bids and other activities. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work and interact with all departments, which allows me to understand each team’s role.
What advice would you give to young girls just starting their careers? First, do something you enjoy and are passionate about. Project confidence in all that you do and treat others how you want to be treated. Tell people what you want, don’t be afraid to be different and be resilient. Remember, there is merit in the criticism, and through it, we learn and grow. Always be the hardest worker in the room and always remember where you came from. Be who you are….your journey is your journey. There are so many opportunities out there.
What women have inspired you or have made a significant impact on your career? Countless women provide me with inspiration on a daily basis. My mother and both grandmothers, friends, and co-workers are all successful and intelligent women and prove to me day in and day out that incredible things happen when women inspire and support each other.
Name: Janis Byrne
Title: Executive Vice President- Legal
Years at Pennecon: 21
Describe an average day at Pennecon: That’s a tough one as they rarely go as planned. I provide legal advice to the Pennecon companies, which also includes working closely with project bid teams. In recent years I’ve shifted focus somewhat to higher-level risk management and oversight as part of the executive team.
What advice would you give to young girls just starting their careers? It applies to everyone: To yourself be true. The choices you make should be ones that fit with who you are, not who you think you should be.
What women have inspired you or have made a significant impact on your career? In the early 2000s, I served as a director of the Canadian Bar Association and was very fortunate to have dinner with the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. I was seated next to the now-former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, whom I’d always admired. While initially awestruck, the conversation was easy, never forced, and rarely about the law!