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Construction executives among top women business leaders in Canada

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by Kelly Lapointe

Six women in the construction industry have made it onto the 13th annual PROFIT W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. They are: Gina Cody, President of Construction Control Inc.; Kelsey Ramsden, President of Belvedere Place Development Ltd.; Tamara Barker Watson, President of Whitestone Developments Ltd.; Jane Gowing of Gowing Contractors Ltd. ; Jean (Bobi) Smith of C.W. Smith Crane Services (2009) Ltd.; and Alice Reimer Evoco Inc.’s chief executive officer, which develops software to automate construction projects.

Six women in the construction industry have made it onto the 13th annual PROFIT W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.

Dr. Gina Cody, President of Construction Control Inc., which provides engineering consulting services, is one of the leaders in this year’s ranking.

“As a woman especially in a male-dominated area of construction and engineering practice, it’s quite rewarding to be able to get the company to a level that you can compete and also make it profitable as well as provide the services and the growth that goes with the service as well,” she said.

Cody sits in 11th, followed by Kelsey Ramsden, President of Belvedere Place Development Ltd. in 12th place. Tamara Barker Watson, President of Whitestone Developments Ltd., finished 36th, Jane Gowing of Gowing Contractors Ltd. was 56th and Jean (Bobi) Smith of C.W. Smith Crane Services (2009) Ltd. was 80th. Alice Reimer was 10th for her role as Evoco Inc.’s chief executive officer, which develops software to automate construction projects.

The list features women from across Canada, working in various industries and their businesses range in size from five to 1,300 employees.

Profit ranked the W100 by a composite of the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses. All growth rates were based on a base-year revenue of at least $200,000, and figures were verified through financial statements. To qualify, women must be owners or significant stakeholders who at least share chief decision-making responsibilities. This is a ranking of entrepreneurs, not companies, so some participants are ranked on the combined performance of more than one qualifying firm.

Cody was ranked ninth on last year’s list.

“You always want to see where you stand in your community and are you doing it the right way, compared to your peers,” she said. “It gives you some sort of satisfaction that you are on the right track and your company’s performing comparable to other companies across Canada.”

Cody said she thinks six women involved in construction out of the list of 100 is low, considering how much construction plays into the overall economy. She has been involved in the industry for over 25 years and gives talks to women in engineering at universities because she wants women in construction to see a role model.

“We have passed the era of sexual discrimination. The door is wide open. I know that we do as good of a job as men do and we have the capability and the knowledge to go with it,” she said. “There’s nothing that is stopping us, it’s just the commitment has to come from us and the only way we can get the younger generation into it is by showing them the role models that are there and do it.”

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 rankings.

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