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Work ethic, knowledge and experience, not gender, measures true value: Moghani

Dan O'Reilly
Work ethic, knowledge and experience, not gender, measures true value: Moghani
COURTESY ELLISDON — Pegah Moghani at the Novus development construction site in Toronto.

Promoted to project manager by EllisDon in 2021, Pegah Moghani has always been in awe of Toronto’s growth and development, even more so now that she drives by projects she has helped construct.

The Toronto resident is currently the project manager of Bentall GreenOak’s 45 Strachan, a $145 million- 39-storey rental tower being built in the west end of the city.

A construction industry veteran for 12 years, Moghani, 33, has been with EllisDon for just over seven years, starting her career as a professional services manager, advancing to assistant project manager, and then to her present status.

Despite her gender and youth, Moghani says she has never faced discrimination and has always considered herself an equal team member in a male-dominated environment.

“I have been fortunate to work with individuals who have elevated my growth and have always encouraged equality in the workplace.”

She hopes that is the same experience for other women entering the industry.

“Women need to see and work in environments that I have been so lucky to be in—so that we stop the stigma and encourage more women to join the workforce. People need to understand that in this day and age, your value is associated with your work ethic, knowledge and experience and not your gender.”

A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Moghani studied architecture as part of the four-year Architectural Science program which encompasses architecture, building science, and project management.

But she quickly realized that the hands-on aspect of development is where she saw herself excel and by the end of her second year, which is when students have to decide which branch they’re going to pursue, she choose project management.

“Nothing beats hands-on experience and I have never looked back.”

Upon graduation, she obtained employment as a junior manager/project coordinator for Torque Builders with the help of the university.

A couple of years later she became a senior project coordinator with Ledcor, coordinating projects such as a $150-million expansion and renovation of the Oshawa Centre.

Another career move occurred in 2015 when she joined EllisDon as a professional services manager. In that role she set up several projects across Canada and, as well as in Doha Quatar where EllisDon was preparing for its role in building facilities for this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Two years later she stepped up to assistant project manager, assisting the project manager on a variety of developments such as the Garrison Point Preconstruction works, the Seneca College Newnham Campus D Link renovation, the Ontario Place Cinesphere renovations, and Bentall GreenOak’s $157-million Novus Development, a two-tower rental project in Toronto’s Liberty Village community.

“I just moved across the road,” says Moghani, in a reference to the fact, that in her current role as the 45 Strachan project manager, she is still working in the same area for the same client (Bentall GreenOak).

In that position she is responsible for duties such as preparing and analyzing financial data and providing technical engineering information to employees and subcontractors.

Now that she is in her second decade in construction, Moghani was asked about her experiences and lessons she has learned during that time.

“You have to learn from your mistakes and own up to your mistakes. Even though construction is very fast-paced, sometimes you have to step back and assess situations.”

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