GTA Construction Report staff writer
Faren Bogach has overcome many hurdles as a woman in a male-dominated profession and is making a name for herself in the challenging and engaging field of construction law.
Throughout law school, Bogach found opportunities to develop practical skills in litigation, and then gained exposure to construction through WeirFoulds LLP as the firm’s construction group grew. “Construction law wasn’t a big focus in law school, but through WeirFoulds I was introduced to the industry, began attending events and discovered I loved the challenge and the variety of the work.”
Early on she realized there were very few women on either the client or legal side. And even now, has met only a handful in her daily activities. “The industry isn’t as diverse as it should be and this has certainly meant there are hurdles I must overcome.”
Bogach often feels she has to go the extra mile to prove herself, taking on extracurricular activities to improve her credentials, while her male colleagues seem to get that initial respect without as much effort. “There does seem to be more work required to prove that I know what I’m talking about and that I can provide great service to my client.”
Among her extra-curricular activities, Bogach teaches construction law at George Brown College and is a CAWIC (Canadian Association of Women in Construction) director.
Throughout her career, Bogach has had opportunities to work with both genders and has noted some differences. “Women tend to be more collaborative and more open to new ideas.”
She has also noticed many women in the industry are eager to help other women succeed and says this sometimes opens opportunities that may not otherwise be possible.
Bogach’s biggest challenge is ensuring she helps her clients make the right decision. “People in construction are very passionate about their businesses and about their rights. Emotions can run high and sometimes my job is helping someone resolve a situation instead of resorting to litigation – this is especially hard for me at times, because litigating is something that I love about my job.”
Calling it a fantastic career for a young lawyer, Bogach is constantly meeting new and interesting people, has learned from brilliant clients and has had exposure to many complex projects and situations.
WeirFoulds has provided her with a flexible and supportive environment that has allowed her to explore mentoring, teaching and recruiting.
“The law is a very service-oriented career and you need to be available when clients need you,” she said. “The firm has been supportive in giving me the flexibility I need, both for a work/ life balance and to further evolve and develop my career interests.”
Bogach says she tells the students she mentors that the learning curve at the start will be steep and they should expect to make mistakes, but through perseverance and dedication they will find a challenging and exciting career.