After just one co-op term with PCL Construction, Cheyanne Hammell fell in love with the industry. Within another three student terms at PCL, Cheyanne was sold on a project management career. Seeing the tangible outcomes of her hard work inspired and drove her.
Fifteen years later, Cheyanne has contributed to the success of many transformative projects across the Greater Toronto Area. She’s also passed along many of the leadership and mentoring values that were shared with her.
“Growing up, I was inspired by my mom, who became the first female captain in her company to fly Boeing 757s. It was a career traditionally dominated by men, but she didn’t let that get in her way. She led by example, encouraging me to succeed at whatever I wanted to do,” Cheyanne said.
“Early in my construction career, I had mentors who exemplified planning, dedication and holding people accountable. Those were attributes I aspired to in my own career.”
One of Cheyanne’s favorite experiences was leading the construction of an all-girls school in Oakville, Ontario. While the project was successful and the client was pleased with the outcome, what most inspired Cheyanne was teaching the students about construction and explaining the work being done on their school.
This sparked Cheyanne’s desire to encourage women to consider careers in construction.
Cheyanne has been named to the 2021 Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Championship Team – the only one of this year’s inductees representing the construction industry.
Presented by the Toronto chapter of the Urban Land Institute, the Championship Team recognizes female-identified leaders and influencers in the Toronto region for their contributions to real estate development, land use and city-building.
“Cheyanne is a passionate leader within PCL and the city-building community. I’m thrilled to see her receive this much-deserved recognition,” said PCL Toronto Operations Manager Lisa Kurina, who was also inducted into the WLI Championship Team in 2019 and is Cheyanne’s mentor. “She establishes strong relationships with everyone she works with and prioritizes her role as a mentor for young girls and others in the industry while positively influencing those around her.”
As a member of PCL Toronto’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Cheyanne is leading the development of a partnership with Techsploration, a not-for-profit that empowers high school girls to explore science, trades, engineering and technology careers.
“The goal is to get them to see a non-typical industry for females and for me to act as a female role model,” Cheyanne said. “I want young women to be aware of career possibilities in construction so the presence of women in this exciting industry increases.”
A strong believer in giving back to the community, Cheyanne volunteers for Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build. She is a member of the Women’s Infrastructure Network and regularly attends industry summits and networking events, sharing her experience and knowledge with her colleagues.
Cheyanne has worked on some of PCL’s largest and most complicated projects. She is currently the project manager responsible for design oversight of a new long-term care home at Lakeridge Health’s Ajax Pickering Hospital site, which is being built utilizing a fast-track modular approach as part of Infrastructure Ontario’s Accelerated Build Pilot Program.
“Although she is learning this new delivery method in a high-speed environment, Cheyanne always finds time to mentor individuals who are new to construction,” said Construction Manager Andre Bohren. “Her encouragement has inspired them to become positive contributors to the industry.”
As Cheyanne’s career advances, she is committed to the development of those around her.
“My proudest moments are when my colleagues realize their own potential and rise to the challenges presented to them,” Cheyanne said.