A construction company in Toronto is breaking down barriers for women looking for careers in the industry of trades.

Natasha Ferguson is the owner of the Ethelfox Construct Group, a company whose workforce consists of 70 percent women.

Ferguson had many teachable moments on her journey to owning Ethelfox, which caused her to realize the battles women face in the construction industry.

Before joining the trades, Ferguson worked in advertising agencies. She and her husband started two companies for roofing and landscaping five years ago.

Owning these companies, she was not taken seriously by people she interacted with on a day-to-day basis.

“There would be times where I would hire contractors, and they would mess up my projects on purpose just because they don’t take me seriously as a woman,” Ferguson said.

She also reports that contractors would get frustrated with her projects and leave the site without saying anything to her, Ferguson tells blogTO.

The experience made Ferguson realize how mistreated women, particularly women of colour, are in the industry. This sparked the birth of Ethelfox.

The company has been recognized as one of the Best Businesses in Canada by the Canadian Business Review Board.

Ethelfox won $5,000 from the City of Toronto’s Starter Company Female Founders program to grow their business.

“My team and I are unique. Not just because we are women working in this industry, but because we are women who do viable work,” said Ferguson.

“Each one of my team members is coming from a place of new beginnings. I am excited to continue to provide leadership while we change the ideas around gender bias narratives and stereotypes around women in the construction industry.”

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