Cheyanne Hammell, project manager for PCL Constructors Canada Inc., says she is committed to making sure her peers have the support they need to progress within their careers.
“The way that I approach my career, and my mindset is, I want to make sure that everyone is successful. I want my peers and proteges to grow as much as they are capable of,” she said.
Hammell is one of the newest members of 2021 Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Championship Team. This year’s inductees were announced by the Urban Land Institute at a virtual ceremony June 24 entitled ULI Toronto: WLI Championship Team Celebration — The Future of Workplace: A discussion to decode the post-pandemic workplace and its implications. This is the eighth annual celebration.
WLI Champions are female leaders and influencers who are selected by the Toronto ULI for their leadership and skill in real estate development, land use and city-building in the Greater Toronto Region.
According to the WLI Champions website, members are selected by a panel of their peers based on a record of exceptional leadership in the real estate development and land use disciplines; dedication to, and success at, building thriving communities across the Greater Toronto region; and capacity to inspire others in the industry.
Hammell has been with PCL for the past 15 years, her entire career. She holds an architectural technology diploma in construction management from Mohawk College and is both LEED Green Associate and LEED AP (BD+C) certified. She got to experience working at PCL during one of her college co-op terms.
“I just fell in love with construction and the PCL family and everything that PCL was about,” she said.
“I thought I wanted to go into architecture. Construction really hadn’t been on my radar at all and I sort of realized this was the place that I would like to be. I’ve always liked the beauty of architecture but I found it extra interesting to be part of actually creating those buildings and being part of that. At the end you get to see the building that is the outcome of all of your hard work.”
Hammell is currently overseeing the design on Lakeridge Health’s new long-term care home in Ajax, Ont. which is being delivered under Infrastructure Ontario’s Accelerated Build Program.
“I’m ensuring that our design milestones are aligned with the accelerated construction model, to make sure we are able to meet both our design and construction milestones and also making sure we are fulfilling the clients’ vision of the project,” said Hammell.
Hammell is a mentor and sponsor to other women in the construction industry, a member of PCL Toronto’s Diversity and Inclusion committee, leads community involvement initiatives with not-for-profit organizations and encourages young girls to explore career opportunities in construction and engineering.
“PCL has a strong mentor mentality. There are a lot of great mentors I’ve worked with and a great group of women that we are building up to support each other and really help each other through any issues we might be experiencing,” said Hammell, adding Lisa Kurina, operations manager at PCL Constructors Canada Inc., the woman who nominated her for the award, is one of her mentors and also a championship team member.
She also had a strong female role model growing up.
“My mom was a big inspiration because she is a pilot and the first female captain for her company,” said Hammell. “Being in a male dominated industry, it doesn’t need to be a factor or get in your way for succeeding. I personally don’t think that I have had any issues because I have never considered it an issue.”
She loves that construction is exciting and ever-changing and encourages young women who are thinking of pursuing a career to go for it.
“Don’t get hung up on the small stuff,” she said. “Try to focus on the big picture and how your role ties into that. You might not think that you have a super important role but in the big picture everyone has an important role to play.”
As part of this year’s celebration, a panel of WLI Champions discussed the trends that are evolving, the implications for a post pandemic world and how individuals as well as the public and private sectors are preparing for what is to come, which will be featured in an upcoming Daily Commercial News article.
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