Women in Construction Week: Pride in Projects

Women in Construction Week is about raising awareness of the many career possibilities available to women in the construction industry. During this week and every week, we are proud of the PCL women who are paving the road to construction for the next generation of female leaders. We caught up with Carolyn Osadczuk, project manager, Buildings, and asked her how she started in construction, what her dream project is, and how it feels to help transform her city. Read her story:
 

Where did you start your career?
I started my career with PCL in Winnipeg. I was hired as an hourly employee to be a surveyor’s helper on the True North project, now known as the MTS Centre downtown.

What brought you to construction?
A strong work ethic, a desire to learn and luck. 

How did you land at PCL?
I grew up in Flin Flon, Manitoba, and during the summer before my final year of civil engineering I landed a job at the City working for an engineer and former PCL employee named Richard. My hard work, attention to detail and desire to learn, along with our discussions about buildings and architecture, caught his attention and he thought I’d be a great fit for construction. After I graduated, I returned to the City to work for Richard on a temporary basis. That’s when he told me about a great opportunity to work for PCL on a great project in Winnipeg. I thought I wanted to be an architect, so I politely declined, but Richard remained persistent because he saw something in me that I had no idea existed. After weeks of listening to him brag about PCL and what an opportunity this could be for me, I made the call.

What keeps you interested in construction?
It’s so dynamic, fast paced and always changing. No two days are ever the same. I love the endless learning that comes with the industry. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the project is or how many you’ve been a part of, you’ll always encounter a new challenge.

What’s your dream project?
I love being part of projects that transform the city I’m living in. My favorites are the ones I get to enjoy with my family and friends. I feel so much pride walking through a facility I’ve helped build — even the challenges become good stories to share.

What’s your favorite project celebration?
I love the team aspect of construction — over the course of a project you spend more time with your team than your family. You get to know your coworkers and their families through the stories shared around the office. There’s no better feeling at the end of a job than walking your family through your finished project, with the rest of your project team and their families, to show them the results of all your hard work, late nights, and yes, sometimes even tears. That’s my favorite kind of celebration.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
The most important advice is from a video I watched as part a professional development course at PCL. As a mom of three busy kids it resonated in my core: “Set your priorities and hold tight to those priorities, because if you keep true to the things that are most important to you, you’ll make the right decisions.” I wish I’d come ​​across this piece of advice 10 years ago.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I was obsessed with LEGO and wanted to be a professional LEGO builder. That should have been a clue that I was destined for construction; however, until I set foot on a construction site, I thought I wanted to be an architect.​​​

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