An Interview with Natasha Ferguson, creator of EthelFox Construct Group
Western Exteriors recently had the chance to sit down and chat with the owner of Toronto-based EthelFox Construct Group, Natasha Ferguson, regarding her history in the construction industry and her journey that has brought her to where she is now.
Natasha Ferguson is among a small group of women in Toronto who are using their work to tear down gender biases and stereotypes that abound in the construction industry. She launched EthelFox Construct Group two years ago – named after her late mother and her youngest daughter – and now employs over a dozen women from various ethnicities and backgrounds. Together, these women have proven that they have what it takes to lead in the construction industry.
The Q&A with Natasha Ferguson
Q: How did you come to be in the construction industry?
I was first introduced to the industry by my father who has been a tradesman for almost sixty years. Years later I would meet my husband where I was further introduced to the industry.
Q: Looking back, what were some of the most important lessons you’ve learned during your time in this industry?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the construction industry is that I need to be constantly learning and gaining more knowledge in order to be able to teach others and create a strong foundation for my organization.
Q: What have you learned as a female business owner in the construction industry?
As a female business owner in the construction industry, I have learned to take nothing for granted and to not be afraid to take on the work. As a woman, it is important for me not to second guess myself, and to face each new challenge with solutions and a “Can Do” attitude.
Q: Why did you decide to launch EthelFox Construct Group?
I decided to launch EthelFox Construct Group because I was unable to get a job with a reputable construction company. I went to several interviews and, although I was very skilled in contracting and design, they wouldn’t hire me. So I decided to start my own company and the rest is history.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with EthelFox Construct Group as it continues to grow in the future?
I would like EthelFox Construct Group to be seen as a company that supports women in the trades and as one of the best renovation and construction companies in Canada. I want to continue to grow my business and to work with amazing clients on unique projects, while creating a safe haven and home for women in the industry. I also want to team up with other construction companies to invite them to adopt the same principles, and to put EthelFox Construct Group at the forefront of this movement.
Q: Why do you think that the construction sector is a great avenue for youth, especially women, to explore for their careers?
I think the construction sector is a great avenue for women because it offers women the opportunity to land good paying jobs so they can support their families. I also think that the construction industry offers women financial stability and independence. Ultimately, my goal is to educate women so they understand the advantages of creating a career in this industry.
Q: Do you have any advice for women in the construction industry wanting to take the big steps in their career, either to get that promotion or to make the leap and run their own business?
The biggest piece of advice I’d give to women is: if you are told there isn’t a space for you, then create your own space to flourish in. Remember, that you can always start from where you are, and as long as you are willing to learn, there is an opportunity for you to excel.
Q: What is something you wish you could go back in time to tell your younger self?
Honestly, I probably would tell my younger self to have started this career sooner.
About the Author
Jenna Collignon joined the Matrix team in 2019, fresh out of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Honours English Degree. When asked what she most likes about her position as an editor at Matrix, she has trouble answering. “That’s because,” she says, “what ISN’T there to like? There is something new on my plate every day, with new challenges and lessons to be learned along with that. It also doesn’t hurt to be part of such a great team.”