Women in Construction

Virtual Event
Women in Construction 2023
March 8, 2023 at 11:25am ET

2:25 pm - 3:25 pm
Session #3 – Retaining Women in your Construction Business

Moderator: Rebecca Kragnes, Director, Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement, Bird Construction


  • Monique Buckberger, Vice-President and District Manager, PCL Toronto
  • Asifa Samji, Executive Vice-President, Chief People and Inclusion Officer, Stantec
  • Stephanie Hun, Director, Business Development, Flatiron Constructors Canada Ltd.
You’ve managed to attract women to your construction company, but that’s just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. What are you doing to ensure you retain them?

Our moderator and panelists will share practical advice that you can use to develop plans and strategies for retaining women in your workplace.

Rebecca is a Cree-Métis woman with a passion for improving the Indigenous profile in Canada. A member of the Mètis Nation of Alberta, she was born and raised in Treaty 8 Territory in the Fort McMurray region. She is an advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, focused on amplifying Indigenous and female participation in the construction industry.

She is a Red Seal Journeyperson Electrician with more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry. In her current role, Rebecca provides executive-level support—as well as company-wide education, engagement, and advocacy—to support Indigenous equity within the construction industry. She applies her management and business development background, with a focus on meaningful and purposeful Indigenous community engagement and relationship management.

Rebecca serves as chairperson of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) Board of Directors, a CAF JEDI Committee member, and the Women Building Futures (WBF) Board of Directors and HRC Committee.

By channeling her first-hand knowledge of the barriers women, Indigenous people, and other under-represented groups face in the industry, she works with communities and organizations to promote opportunities for those groups to pursue careers in the skilled trades. She is ardent about improving the representation of marginalized people in skilled trades across Canada, and leverages opportunities to advocate and highlight both the disparity and potential positive outcomes when equity, diversity, and inclusion policies and initiatives are applied.

Within the first few months of joining PCL as a field engineer in Winnipeg more than 27 years ago, Monique knew she wanted to spend the rest of her career at PCL.

While initially drawn to the challenges and dynamics of the construction industry, her client-first focus has defined her successful track record.

Monique is committed to progress and embraces PCL’s value for diversity, equity and inclusion, standing as a leader in our industry to create an environment of empowerment and engagement for everyone.

As an executive sponsor of PCL’s Canadian Buildings Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, she champions the insights and perspectives of individuals from all backgrounds and cultures.

Asifa Samji is accountable for all Human Resources (HR) functions within Stantec, with a focus on attracting, retaining and developing people with strong technical knowledge and skills, and building an inclusive work environment.

She serves on the company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) councils, and chaired the women’s development committee for North America for five years.

Asifa has served as a mentor through the Vancouver Board of Trade, and was recognized with the Women’s Executive Network’s 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.

Stephanie leads Flatiron Constructors’ client engagement and major pursuits across Canada as the Director of Business Development. Her focus is advancing Flatiron’s public and private client strategies, collaborative contract structures, and win-win solutions to complex projects throughout the nation.

She brings diverse lessons learned from over 17 years of professional experience in engineering and heavy civil construction for a wide range of infrastructure projects around the world.

Stephanie is proud to mentor young professionals, as well as creating a firm’s first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework. She serves as Communications co-chair for the Women in Infrastructure (WIN) Awards Committee, celebrating diversity and success among emerging and outstanding women leaders in the engineering and construction industry.