When it comes to gender equality, there’s still a long road ahead, but thanks to the help of many influential women, progress has been made. At PCL Construction, women are pioneering some of the most prestigious projects for the company, while others are elevating PCL’s commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion; the employee experience; and support for working mothers.
Alison Nykamp is currently the senior project manager on the biggest entertainment project at one of the top resorts in Orlando. The project itself is top-secret, but what can be revealed is how this monumental build is pioneered by a woman who has demonstrated incredible leadership and success in the industry.
Nykamp has a strong ability to influence, create and execute plans, all while motivating, aligning and activating people to work together. Her leadership has generated successful outcomes elevating her as a female pioneer in construction.
“I have worked in construction for many years and PCL certainly sets the bar high in ensuring the employee experience is merited by talent, experience and knowledge,” says Nykamp. “I’m honored to be a part of such a magnificent project and extremely proud to be a part of the PCL family. There are so many women leaders at PCL and I love all that we do to celebrate that.”
When it was time to renovate PCL’s U.S. Head office to encompass more open space and glass letting natural light in, Stephanie McCay, director, U.S. Communications asked, “where will the mother’s room be?”. That question led to McCay spearheading the creation of the office’s first lactation and wellness room, ensuring the room was designed in a way that made women feel comfortable. She also ensures the room is stocked with essential supplies and equipment that pumping mothers need to keep their breastmilk supply refrigerated and stored safely.
One of McCay’s greatest assets is her ability to listen to the needs of others and bring about positive change that ensures everyone has a safe and healthy work environment.
“As a mother of three, advocating for working moms is my passion,” says McCay. Every time I walk by our nursing room, I am proud of this change to better support our women and I am also proud to work for a company that supports change.”
Tiffany Whipple is the senior project manager leading the team for a new corporate headquarters and training facility for a professional sports team in El Segundo, California.
Whipple’s success is attributed to the care and work she puts in to building trust amongst her teams, and upholding transparency through thoughtful communication. She has spent 17 years in project management and while her current focus is leading and mentoring, Whipple still embodies a willingness to learn from others, an approach that she inspires fellow PCL leaders to take with their teams.
“I believe in the old saying that ‘rising tides lift all boats’ and it’s important to me that we create an environment where people recognize the opportunities in front of them and run toward the challenges,” says Whipple.
Her ability to create strong teams and encourage excellence at all stages of the project, are some of the reasons why Tiffany delivers successful projects to our clients and is regarded as a PCL pioneer.
Vanna Hosanny is an assistant project manager with a strong passion for building and has been an integral part of a cultural shift that promotes inclusion of women at PCL.
In a male dominated industry, where some of Hosanny’s best mentors and allies have been men, she pioneered something new for the company and received great support for leading PCL’s inaugural Women in Construction Week Golf Tournament – a women-pioneered event with a panel of female executives who led the discussion on corporate leadership, balancing life and family, and more.
This event received tremendous accolades and resonated with many employees, elevating the company’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion.
“When people feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, they develop a greater sense of belonging and that’s what I took from this experience,” says Hosanny. “We all come from various backgrounds, and when our differences are embraced in a workspace, that is when change happens”.
Marketing Manager, Valerie Hernandez, is a leading force in the construction industry, who has pioneered innovative strategies to develop contract-winning proposals.
From her work as a proposal manager to now a marketing manager overseeing external marketing and communications, Valerie is regarded for her unmatched ability to strategically lead a team of cross-functional disciplines to establish a clear vision forward with every project pursuit.
Much of PCL’s success has been attributed to Valerie’s leadership style and approach to make meaningful connections, build lasting relationships, and understand the needs of her colleagues, partners and clients. The results, have been transformational, resulting in a 165% increase of contract-winning proposals. Valerie is now sharing her methods and teaching others across the company how to ensure a streamlined and efficient approach to lead a team to success.
“I have always been driven to think outside the box, understand the true needs and deliver in the best way to achieve desired results and it has been an amazing ride with PCL’s support along the way,” says Hernandez. “I am a working mom and a wife of a firefighter, and I wouldn’t be as successful as I am here if it weren’t for the flexibility that PCL offers to families. PCL is there for me, so I am here for them.”