Celebrating Canada’s female construction leaders
Nearly one quarter of this year’s 40 Under 40 in Canadian Construction were female. These are their stories.
Increasing female participation in construction has long been an industry goal. According to BuildForce Canada, only 11.6 per cent of the entire Canadian construction workforce are women. Site Partners and On-Site Magazine recently highlighted some of the industry’s best and brightest stars as part of the Top 40 under 40 in Canadian Construction. Here are all the women who made the list:
Cheyanne Hammell – Special projects manager for PCL Construction
Hammell first came to PCL years ago as a student but after climbing the ranks, she was recently promoted to special projects manager. She has worked on some of the company’s iconic projects, including renovating the CN Tower.
“Extremely honoured to be part of this amazing group of leaders and grateful for the opportunities and challenges PCL Construction has provided me throughout my career to get me where I am today.”-Hammell
Katie Dempster – Vice president of industrial relations and development at Graham
Dempster’s focus at Graham is new business acquisition, customer retention and organic growth opportunities. Her efforts are working. she has helped her division build a backlog of business of over $2 billion while achieving $1.2 billion in annual revenues. Outside the office, Dempster is involved in the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA), Canadian Heavy Oil Association (CHOA) and Calgary Women in Energy (CWIE).
Janice Chuang – Vice president of infrastructure investments at Ledcor
Chuang is a financial whiz. She first joined Ledcor as its treasury manager. Her financial strategies helped deliver a series of projects in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. By 2021 she was promoted to her current role where she guides the company’s financial strategy for infrastructure.
“What an honour and privilege this is!”-Chuang
Alexis Barr-Gusa – Partner at Dentons Canada LLP
Barr-Gusa helps negotiate and draft project agreements, including complex multi- phased engineering, procurement and construction contracts and P3 transactions worth billions. Beyond her regular work, she is a coach and mentor, and a member of her firm’s WomenLEAD as well as its Indigenous Inclusion Working Group.
“I am so humbled to be included in this amazing group of people. Thank you On-Site Magazine & Site Partners for this recognition.”-Barr-Gusa
Anya Barkan – Sustainability Manager at Multiplex Construction Canada Ltd.
Barkan was instrumental in helping Multiplex achieve this year’s Green Building Pioneer Award. She joined Multiplex this January after eight years as a construction manager with Toronto Community Housing.
“It is an honour to be recognized among this inspiring group of Top 40 under 40 in Canadian Construction. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you SitePartners and On-Site Magazine for the recognition. And special thank you to the Multiplex team for all the support in getting me here.-Barkan
Agnes Wietrzynski – President and CEO of QM Environmental
Wietrzynski first arrived in Canada as a refugee and immigrant. After more than a decade in the environmental sector, her sharp leadership abilities caught the attention of Wes Hall from CBC’s “Dragons’ Den”. Hall put her in charge of QM Environmental, an environmental and industrial services company with more than 600 employees. She also finds time to serve as a board member of the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA).
Briar Beers – Vice president at Cutting Edge Consulting Inc.
Beers joined Cutting Edge after working as a senior project manager. She developed its safety program and helped it achieve COR certification. She also helped create the company’s project management and estimating programs and fostered its growth over a five-year period from a single employee to a company with more than 60.
“What an honour this has been for me. Thank you SitePartners and On-Site Magazine for this opportunity. Congratulations also to a partner/client of ours Rick Morrison from Quattro Constructors for also being selected.”-Beers
Cayley Van Hemmen – Interiors and special projects division manager at Canadian Turner Construction Company
Van Hemmen began her Turner career as a business unit intern in 2013 and worked her way up to being in charge of a whole division which she helped restructure. She also serves as the co-chair of the mentorship committee at the Urban Land Institute.
“I feel very honored to have been selected for the Top 40 Under 40 in Canadian Construction award this year. It’s been an incredible ten years working for Canadian Turner Construction Company and seeing this company grow from 7 people in Vancouver to the 145+ strong force we are today. Can’t wait to see what the next ten years looks like!”-Van Hemmen
Mi Kim – Senior Commercial Manager at Jacob Bros Construction
Kim, who is also a professional engineer, is experienced in project controls including contract management, schedule analysis and cost control. Kim is passionate about mentoring young female engineers and is active with Women in Engineering at the University of British Columbia.
“Truly humbled and honoured to have been selected as part of this group of talented individuals in Canadian construction by On-Site Magazine and SitePartners. Congratulations to the Class of 2022 Top 40 Under 40. A big thank you to all of those who have guided and supported me along the way and let us all continue to strive for excellence in this beautiful industry.”-Kim