On the Rise
Jenna Jamani won’t stop until she’s learned everything there is to know about Fluor Canada
IF YOU ASK JENNA JAMANI WHAT HER JOB TITLE IS, she pauses before answering “construction project engineer.” The hesitation isn’t because Jamani isn’t sure what she does. Rather, it’s because the 31-year-old has held a range of roles in her nine years at Fluor Canada, and sticking with just one title doesn’t seem quite accurate. “I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of things within my short career,” Jamani says. And she’s not kidding.
While studying for a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo, Jamani was hired by Fluor for a four-month internship. After graduation, the company wanted her back and hired her as a chemical engineer. While she liked the work, after five years it started to feel stifling. “It really kept me at my desk with a more cubicle kind of mentality. But I wanted to open up the cubicle doors, my knowledge and my network,” she says. Fluor was happy to help Jamani explore new roles and she transitioned into a sales position. Throughout the following years she went above and beyond the daily grind and spearheaded several internal floor campaigns to raise money for United Way. She even spent four months working for United Way’s city-wide fundraising campaign as a loaned representative from Fluor. She liked non-profit work so much, she almost didn’t leave. By 2013, Jamani was selected as a participant in Fluor’s formal leadership development track, a program that identifies candidates for potential company leadership positions.
Today, Jamani is a construction project engineer at a new upgrader site. It’s a varied role that changes daily due to unexpected twists and turns. But it’s a challenge Jamani is up for. She says it reminds her of one of her favourite pastimes. “I liken it to a soccer scrimmage where one person wears a red shirt and plays for both teams—for whatever team has the ball—and just moves back and forth. That’s kind of what being a project engineer has been like, getting engaged wherever you’re asked.”
The demanding nature of the job suits Jamani’s competitive and goal-oriented nature, and she encourages other women to jump into traditionally male-dominated roles like hers. “I work with so many women who are leaders on this project. I’ve noticed a significant increase in gender balance even from five years ago,” she says. “You learn so much on site. I would recommend it to anyone, but women in particular—come to site. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Working for Fluor provides Jamani with the kind of workplace diversity and personal growth that she craves. “One of the things that I’ve really loved about Fluor is that they’ve been really open to my career aspirations,” says Jamani. While she says she probably won’t spend the remainder of her career as a construction project engineer, she is looking forward to whichever path it opens up for her next. “One of the things that I really loved about my sales position was getting to work with an engaged group of people who talk about the strategy of our business and how we’re going to improve our business. Maybe an opportunity will come up in the future where I can learn more about our business strategy,” she says. For now, Jamani will keep taking advantage of every opportunity she’s offered. “There’s not really one perfect career path. It’s just learning new things and hoping you can utilize that for your company in the long term. I really hope to jump at opportunities, to keep growing and contribute in a positive way.”