Building an Amazing Career at PCL

“My dad was an ironworker and he’d always say to me, ‘You should work in construction. You’d like it,’” says Lilianne Dobbs, PCL’s first female superintendent to hit 25 years with the company. “He always knew I wasn’t going to take a desk job.”

Growing up in a family of construction workers, Lilianne remembers always being around construction. When she was four years old, her dad built their family home and she helped by cleaning up scraps in their yard.

After high school, Lilianne thought she wanted to be a hairdresser, until one day when her dad said, “I’m taking your brother to the laborer’s union hall; are you coming?” The next thing she knew she was signing the papers and buying her first pair of steel-toed boots.

“While I was working my first labor job at PCL I discovered how much I loved construction,” says Lilianne. “I joined the carpenters union, went to trade school, and started my apprenticeship here.”

At 30, Lilianne was promoted to superintendent. “I worked hard to prove myself and I always managed to make a good impression,” she says. “My strength has always been my people skills; that’s how I’ve grown my career over the years. I’ve built a good reputation and have earned the respect of my peers, managers, and tradespeople.”

Looking back at her career, she says being a woman in construction never seemed unusual to her. “Compared to when I started, there are so many more woman in construction now,” says Lilianne, who lends her time speaking to young women about careers in the trades. “When I speak to them about construction careers, my biggest advice is to go for it! It’s a career with amazing opportunities.”
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