Rock to Road

Features Business Women in Construction
2023’s Top 10 Under 40: Dawn Mitchell, Lafarge Canada

December 4, 2023  By Elizabeth Bate

Dawn Mitchell, Lafarge Canada

Dawn Mitchell is bringing Lafarge Canada’s aggregates dispatch division into the 21st century. The customer service logistics manager got the company to trade their traditional pen and paper method to a cutting-edge software platform, effectively taking the whole dispatch process digital.

The new system includes real-time GPS tracking and data analytics that allow dispatchers to see slow-downs and correct them before they become a problem. Mitchell is proud of her team’s accomplishment.

“We have successfully transformed our entire dispatch process. We’re able to see where our trucks are at all times throughout a map of the Lower Mainland [of British Columbia], and from there, we’re able to grab that data,” Mitchell said. “It trickles down to the customer as well, because we’re being proactive, rather than reactive. Instead of having a customer call and say, ‘hey, where’s my material?’ we can say, ‘oh, we already know where it is. We can see that truck.’”

In addition to providing drivers and customers with peace of mind, the new system has resulted in a reduction of full-cycle, on-site and in-pit loading times.


Mitchell’s career with Lafarge started a decade ago, but she’s never imagined working anywhere else because of the opportunities available at the company.

“When I started, I started in an entry level position. I’ve had a really great experience with my managers and everybody in the company being able to provide growth opportunities,” she said. “I’m always intrigued to learn new things. Everybody I’ve worked with has always given me the opportunity to learn new things. And when I’m looking for more things to develop myself personally, I’m able to vocalize that to all my previous managers. that I’ve had beforehand. That’s really what’s kept me interested in Lafarge as a company.”

Mitchell also stays engaged at Lafarge by sitting on several committees, including sitting as the chairperson for her office health and wellness committee and serving as an ambassador for the Women of Western Canada affinity group.

Mitchell says being an engaged part of everything from onboarding to ensuring those in her department have an open forum to address concerns informs her leadership style, helping her to create a good environment for others coming up in the company.

“I always want to be able to foster that open communication and making sure that all of my people feel heard, and that they know that they can bring up ideas, concerns, and just have that kind of like inclusive environment where we can all kind of collaborate, brainstorm, problem solve together,” she said.

“One of the aspects that I really love about this role is that I’m able to invest a little bit more time than I would have in previous roles to my team’s growth and development and making sure that we’re continuing to always grow on a day-to-day basis. I think like little growth leads to big growth.”

That kind of open communication with her team comes from the years of personal growth and development Mitchell has had in her career. When asked what advice she would give her younger self, she says communication is key.

“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and speak up. If you have an idea that you think is something that is impactful to the business, never be afraid to speak up for that because you never know what other people are thinking and how you can collaborate with other people. Always communicate your ideas and just stay true to yourself.”

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