December 2015 – Elizabeth Mary Berry
In Mary’s words:
I realized I had Moxie at a very young age. While other girls were playing with Barbies I learned to shoot and hunt. In high school I took automotives and became a co-op student in the automotive industry and learned to work on cars. Later in life I got my chauffuer’s license and drove trucks to support my children after a divorce. I have strived to show my kids,especially my daughter, never to set limitations on your abilities. I have always worked in a “man’s world”and have never been intimidated, instead I have gained the respect of the men I work with, regardless of the job.
I am always the one that picks up the gauntlet. Challenge is my friend. I come from a long line of military men and their courage and honor helped shape who I am. I have strived to be as brave and unflinching as my forebears and to also be true to myself and have compassion and feminine flair. I may do a man’s job,but I’m still a woman. It is very important to be taken seriously while working in a “man’s world”,and respect has to be earned,it is not easily given. I have worked very hard for that so that there may be more women in non traditional jobs that are treated well and paid accordingly.
I know too well what women in non traditional jobs face,and I celebrate their courage and perseverance. At 5’5 and 100lbs,I have had a lot to prove over the years as to my abilities,but I have learned to smile and dig deep and find big pry bars and say a lot of prayers for help and guidance and I get the job done.
I love Moxie Trades because you support women in the workforce and empower them. You also help us to be all we can be with our love of pink and desire to still look like a woman in a “man’s world” which is of the utmost importance!
Thank You for the opportunity to be considered as a representative of Moxie Trades,it would be a high honour! Regardless, I’ll always be one of your biggest fans because of what you do for so many women and the community. If you ever have any employment opportunities,please let me know! I’d love to work for a company that I truly believe in!
November 2015 – Kim and Leela Copps
Kim’s entry into the Moxiest Work Women began when her 8-year-old son questioned my love of your site and your company history. He began to browse our site and found this contest. Kim was shocked and in near tears when she found her children with their pencils, pad of paper and poor spelling. What they created in an edited and readable version is as follows:
Our Mom is the Moxiest mom around. She worked for a construction union and when they said girls should not be here, she yelled, “yes they should!” and left her job and went back to school to take schooling that mostly boys take. And than she went to work for the Ministry of labour as an officer who investigated employers who were bad. She left there and went to another construction union who says “girls yes you can”! Mom got her moxie back!
In Kim’s words:
Although poorly written and not entirely how it exactly happened it was one of the nicest and sweetest things I have ever read. I worked for a construction union directly for almost a decade and came to heads with its local leader when he did not feel women should be in construction. I left, stomped my feet and let it be heard why. I would go into an Environmental Tech program that was mostly full of men and would find myself supported 100 % be these men, some who became the closest friends in my life at that current time. I would than be offered a position with the Ontario Ministry of Labour as an Employment Standards Officer investigating alleged violations of the Employment Standards Act. After leaving this position I was offered an opportunity to work for a very large trade union directly. And my kids are right they do believe women can! They encourage them in the trades and offer them opportunities that the old boys club would not. Yesterday I turned down an opportunity to be interviewed to return back to the position of an Officer for the Ministry of Labour…why? Because I feel that I can do more good to help women get into trades and to help them locally the best I can by staying with this progressive union. My dream is to be an advocate for women in trades locally and to do speaking engagements to encourage them to get into trades…to let them know that doors have been broken down, will continue to be broken down and that with women in the trades we can never lever let those doors be shut again. I don’t know if I have moxie…..but I do know I have a passion for women in trades……and an appreciation for companies like yours who keep it in the public and help women know they have a place on the construction site right along the men.
October 2015 – Katie Davis
Hello Moxie, my name is Katie Davis and I have what it takes to be the Moxie work woman of 2015. I am a sanitation engineer. I work for GFL environment in Hamilton, riding on a recycling truck.
I have moxie because I am doing a very male dominated industry. Many people thought I wouldn’t last and didn’t want me to work at GFL because they didn’t think I could handle it. Many times I wanted to quit. My hands, knees, legs and back hurt every day, I got home and passed out until work again the next day for months until my body adjusted to the work I was doing. I had swollen fingers and knees all the time. My moxie gave me the spirit to continue pushing myself and not give up. I loved the feeling of being outside and riding on the back of a truck. It’s an amazing experience and I was thankful I was able to get into this industry.
I learned I have a lot of moxie when I was outside in the freezing cold, couldn’t see anything but snow blowing everywhere and dragging myself through snow up to my knees to try pulling frozen blue boxes to the truck. I was able to face a lot of hard obstacles the different seasons in Canada faced me with.
I am outside 5 days a week all day long picking up hundreds of blue bins in rain, heat waves, blizzards or thunderstorms. There are only 4 other females in my company out of hundreds of employees. I love this work and can’t see myself doing any other job in the future because this is what I want to do from now on, all thanks to moxie.
September 2015 – Marilyn DenOtter
I worked in an office for 20 years. Never was I going back to the days of hard work on the farm. Getting dismissed from my job in 2004 left me a wreck.
I found my “moxie.” I had to in order to survive.
I got a job in a block plant burnishing and bull-nosing blocks. Loud, dusty and hot. I got back into shape by the physical work that was required (lost over 100 pounds because I was not sitting at a desk any longer.) The company that hired me had an opening in the lab. Why not? They taught me how to test the aggregate, concrete and asphalt. I lug around the tools of the trade and get out in all sorts of weather.
I love my job. My “moxie” helped me to see I can do whatever the boys do. Yes, I am a Mom and a Granny, but this Granny rocks her work boots and gloves, she IS: MOXIE!!!
August 2015 – Dawn Collins
As a woman (and now single Mom) I have learned to swing a hammer and then some! Having to maintain a home and keep things running, you learn as you go. My tool kit of knowledge and equipment keeps expanding and I love going to Home Depot, Rona, Princess Auto Etc.!
I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for the first time in June and loved it! I would so do it again!
I have also demolished homes, renovated homes and built a cottage without power tools from a recycled cottage.
There is something gratifying about being in the trenches and seeing what you CAN do!
July 2015 – Darlene Biblow
Darlene was born with it.
She has represented, sold and delivered the following products to the automotive, construction and transportation industry since 1998.
Some brands by same distributor: Valvoine,Pennzoil, Quakerstate, Bosch Power Tools Part Time Demo’s, Chevron, Petro-Canada lubricants and bulk fuels, Takeuchi & Gehl construction equipment, Komatsu & Tailft Forklifts, Kubota Ag Equipment, and now Mack Trucks!
Darlene also currently volunteers on the boards with the Manitoba Trucking Association, the Manitoba Ready Mix Concrete Association Associated Trades Divisions and newly with Big Sisters of Winnipeg.
Darlene claims that “On every road by equipment traveled my Moxie steels have protected me along the way. Love ’em!”
June 2015 – Carole Loquet
We celebrate Carole Loquet this month for our Monthly Moxie! Carole has connected with Moxie Trades many times over the years as she has worked as a tile setter in Ontario and Quebec.
“I’m a passionate tile setter; in love with tiles, tools & pink. When I found Moxie I was so happy, OH yes :)”
“I want to share your passion for quality and highlighting women in the construction industry.”
May 2015 – Brandy Switzer
In Brandy’s words…
I am a second year steamfitter app. After years of trying to get into the trade, I finally got my shot. I love my job and all that I do. The guys I work with enjoy working with me because I am like one of the guys. Last fall I ended up rushed to emerg after work. I had a blood clot but were trying to figure out where. Little did I know that while i was waiting for results and what was going to happen, the boys were planning to come see me that night. Not just fitters but all trades. On site I’m like their little sister but work just like they do. Doesn’t matter if we are rigging or fitting or welding, my hands are in there lifting, fitting and rigging just like them. No task is too big, no medical problem will bring me down.
We are hoping that stories like Brandy’s inspire a new generation of young women to enter the trades. There is a huge need for skilled trades workers in Canada. Jobs like this are paid well and are critical to industry in Canada.
April 2015 – Ashley Bell
In Ashley’s Words…
There are four phrases that greet you on the page for the “Moxiest Work Woman”….
“Do you have what it takes? Are you passionate? Do you have Moxie? Do you face fear with spirit and courage?”
I believe, that already at such a young age, I can answer firmly and with every belief in my heart, YES!
My name is Ashley Bell! I am 21 years old, a graduate of Mohawk College and I am an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Apprentice. Usually when I tell someone this it’s followed by “REALLY?!”. Many people are shocked in the career path that I’ve chosen, it’s predominately a male oriented field. In fact, less than 5% of Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors* are female. Never once have I ever let that stop me. A common question that we’re asked as children is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, and ever since the age of 13 my answer has been an aircraft mechanic, never once have I given up on that dream. Now, what in the world would drive a 13 year old girl from Hamilton, ON to become am aircraft mechanic? I owe that to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. They introduced me to aviation and started me on the path to the rest of my life. The passion for aviation grew while in the air cadet program, so much so, that I was able to receive my private pilot’s licence by the age of 18.
No matter how many people told me I couldn’t do what I wanted to because I was a girl, I could never let that stop me. I found the courage within myself to go against the norms, to not let what other people said have an impact on me, and to love what I do. I have a passion for aviation and that fuels me every day. I absolutely love my job, and even if I don’t get named Moxiest Work Woman, I still think I have the coolest job out there.
From Marissa… We are so incredibly proud of Ashley and know that her determination and career choice is and is going to inspire many women who want careers in Aerospace. Thank you Ashley!
March 2015 – Christina Masotti
I have spent my whole life in the trades, and the last 20 years working in the trades professionally, self-employed and running my business Carriage House Ottawa – a furniture restoration company.
I am a self-proclaimed Eco Warrior ~ Earth Keeper! …and I have taken the actions to back this claim. I self-proclaim because my business is that of antique – furniture restorations, and in my perhaps biased opinion, this work is one of the best ways of upcycling, reusing, reducing, and recycling. It is a true passion of mine to save awesome quality pieces that would otherwise end up in the land fill, only to be replaced with new.
In my peak Carriage House years I hired and trained many moxie style women, which I am proud of. Today, my business has come full circle to one of my first loves – design. Carriage House now focuses on Re-Upholstery & Gorgeous Fabrics, Furniture Design & Development, Consulting, and Education & Training. In my new upcoming venture, I aim to inspire people to look at the benefit of re-creating furniture instead of sending it to the landfill, as well teach tricks of the trade to the home hobbyist. These are among some other big goals regarding education and positive changes for this industry. My new venture is a whole new way to share and inspire with moxie! This new site will be separate from my current one, and it will include a campaign to raise awareness and support to make these positive changes. It will take a village, or more like a country. This advocacy will also be delivered partially through my YouTube videos which I can promise will be quirky and fun – at least some of the time. This new campaign will be called Ceres Creative, and will be linked to my current website www.carriagehouseottawa.com
Years ago Carriage House was written about in Ottawa At Home Magazine and in The Ottawa Citizen about our biannual Designer Garage Sales. These sales were aimed to raise awareness about the Ceres Creative Philosophy, and for the Children’s Wish Foundation which these sales sponsored. They showcased dated but quality pieces that were re-styled, re-created, and restored. Many gems that would have likely ended up curbside because they didn’t fit in. I have always been one to stick up for the underdog. J
If there is a new identity begging to be revealed in an outdated piece of furniture, I will see it. Much like the sculptor who allows the stone to reveal the beauty it has within. A good eye for furniture, mixed with some vision, ingenuity, combined with the expertise to get it done, is my arena, my art. In fact, these custom recreation commissions were how I found my own niche within this male dominated trade. It was also how the Ceres Creative Philosophy was born.
If you know Roman Mythology, you may understand and know Ceres as I do. To me she is Mother Nature, the one who determines our very ability to eat, breath, have warm shelter, and medicine. She also brings us much Beauty. Ceres is the ordained who allows the birthing of everything that gives us life. Some of these precious life givers – aka trees, are reincarnated as furniture. J Did I mention I am quirky? I can assure, that my quirks and humor have kept me going through the hardest of times in my life. I highly recommend the quirk factor.
And a little more about what makes me A Moxie Work Woman:
I spent 2 years at Algonquin College 1994-95, for the then full time intensive 2 year Furniture Technician Cabinetmaking Course. This program was only offered to two small groups. We had to learn from the ground up, starting with drafting, rough cutting list. We started our projects from rough milled lumber, from there going to the radial arm saw, jointer, table saw, shaper… I built a roll top desk from scratch in that program among other projects.
Upon graduation in 1995, I apprenticed in Furniture Restorations rather than Cabinetmaking, and officially opened my own business in 1999. I also worked in landscape in my early years before college, drove a Kabota, and even a full on Front End Loader once. I am a hobby weekend carpenter, though I do not do renovation work professionally, only for myself, I do know the various trades well, and can swing a hammer better than most men.
Currently, what I think makes me the moxiest, is my willingness to put myself out to the world to make positive changes in the corner of expertise that I know inside and out. So please check for my campaign, where I no doubt will entertain, illuminate, educate, inspire, all the while wearing some kick ass Moxie Boots to kick some ass! You can help too by being an extension of my voice.
February 2015 – Laurie Lucciola
For 8 paid hours a day, (sometimes longer) I am the Head Custodian of one of our largest high schools in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board servicing Peterborough, Ontario in Canada. This area covers, Peterborough, Clarington, North to Apsley and East to Trenton. We have 110 sites and many students and teachers, parents, support staff and community that we look after each and every day.
Along with my full time job, I am a Union Executive; Education/Conference Chair. I sit on the Social Committee, the Health and Safety Committee, past Women’s Committee representative and the Bargaining Committee. I have organized many workshops and training session for the entire support staff sector.
I facilitate workshops for CUPE NATIONAL. I help organize the Christmas party and send flowers to those who have recently experienced a death in their family. I also am the Education Chair for Peterborough CUPE Council bringing awareness to those in our community to the work that we do. This past May, I won the Sisters in Solidarity award for my achievements on promoting and working daily to encourage and engage women to stand up and be strong and proud of what they do.
I helped to organize the workers in the local Peterborough Pride Parade for two years in a row and will help lobby and canvas at Provincial and Municipal elections.
My greatest and most enjoyable event so far this year was bringing together a bunch of women to help Habitat for Humanity build a home in our community. I have enclosed a pic of our team for this event.
For fun and personal growth, this spring, at age 50, I got my motorcycle license. So on my much needed, but short, free time, I have the wind in my hair and a sole on my face.
I truly enjoy my career as Head Custodian of a high school, keeping students healthy and safe and I love doing the volunteer work that I do to bring awareness and inspiration to women I meet at work, in public and through organizations.
“Most of all, I do this while sporting my Moxie work shoes.”
Never had I had a pair of shoes that keep me going 8 hours a day making it feel like I was walking on a cloud. I promote these shoes as much as I can and let me tell you, Girl, these boots were made for walking…. I love my life, my career and my fabulous shoes.
This post is also available in: French