Interview with France Sigouin, P.Eng. Principal, National Operations at Cion Corp.
Looking back on Women’s History Month, we’d like to spotlight France Sigouin, P.Eng. who joined Cion’s team last September. France was brought on board as Principal, National Operations to lead and continue to grow Cion’s building science group nationally, as well as establish Cion’s Quebec office.
We would like to thank her for her enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication as Cion continues to establish its business across Canada working on various building envelope rehabilitation, accessibility, sustainability, mechanical and failure investigation projects.
Why did you decide to join Cion and what do you like about working with the company?
After careful consideration, I decided to leave my own business and join Cion for a unique opportunity to help develop the company’s national portfolio, as well as be part of Cion’s success nationally. I love the new challenges that working with Cion brings every day – compelling projects, building the team, and creating good rapport both with the team and clients. I’m a people person and thrive when leading a team to help them achieve their goals. The national potential we have is unlimited and this brings me lots of joy.
What excites you about Building Science industry? What do you think needs to be done to enhance women’s presence in the industry?
The variety of issues that we encounter and finding solutions for them. As I often say, there is a solution to every problem. Every day is different, and it brings its own challenges. The Building Science industry is very vast and being able to touch on almost all of its different aspects is very exciting to me. In the last decade, we have seen more women enter the industry, which is encouraging compared to 1997 when I first started working. I think women bring a pragmatic / logical approach to the table, structure, and good technical references. Women became recognized as good leaders with patience, determination, and perseverance. The reason for it could be that women had to work harder for recognition and to get where they want to be. However, I see the industry getting better as progress is being made.
What do you most enjoy about your role? What has been the most difficult or challenging about your various roles in this field as a woman?
I enjoy working with the amazing Cion team, these people are like family to me. Our clients as well, servicing them in the best possible way and going out of our comfort zone sometimes is an enjoyable part, too. The expectations are very high when you are a woman and there is no place for any mistakes. Women have to prove themselves in the industry and gain confidence fast. It’s not an easy battle, but it’s rewarding.
What do you do when you are not saving buildings?
I’m someone that likes new challenges and loves travelling. I’ve enjoyed trekking in Bolivia and Peru, hiking in the French Alps and Canadian Rockies, and fishing in Yukon. My real passion, though, is 4×4 rally races in various desserts. I’ve competed in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, the Andes desert in Argentina, and the Moab in Utah. My next rally race is in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia in 2023. All these races are women-only and we have no GPS, just good old maps and compasses. We must be independent of mechanical help otherwise we lose points, so in these races I am both the driver and the mechanic. My goal is to better my 2nd place finish in the Andes and take 1st place in the Gobi.