Southlake Regional Health Centre journeyperson Brandi Ferenc has been recognized as one of the 2022 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners in the skilled trades category by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).
“I am honoured to receive this award,” said Ferenc in a news release. “It’s been a long journey for me in the skilled trades with many obstacles. But I see change happening, and I intend to continue to be a voice in this industry to overcome stigma and remove barriers for women and minorities.”
Ferenc is a Red Seal refrigeration mechanic/gas fitter 313a journeyperson by trade and is part of the team at Southlake responsible for the heating, cooling and refrigeration systems in the Newmarket hospital.
She has been in her trade for 17 years, which she says has been difficult at times as a woman in a male-dominated field. Throughout her career, she has shared her experience to educate, mentor and inspire women about the career paths in skilled trades.
The Top 100 Awards span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors recognizing outstanding women from across Canada who advocate for workforce diversity and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.
Ferenc joins a legacy of iconic Canadians, including Rona Ambrose, former leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons, Melissa Grelo, co-host of CTV’s The Social, Michele Romanow, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and Susan Aglukark, award-winning musician.
“I’ve been in this field for many years, and the number of women we see in skilled trades is low, especially those governed by the Red Seal Interprovincial Standards Program,” said John Marshman, Southlake vice-president of capital, facilities and business development. “It’s wonderful to see Brandi championing women and diversity in skilled trades. We are thrilled she is being recognized for her hard work.”
Ferenc, who has worked at Southlake for two years, said she loves the supportive community there.
“Myself and the team are so proud of Brandi for being recognized with this incredible award,” said Brent Snoddon, Southlake manager of physical facilities and biomedical engineering. “I feel very fortunate to have Brandi and her expertise at Southlake. She has been an integral member of our team since she joined us, and it is amazing to see her inspire women in skilled trades.”
Ferenc said what keeps her motivated is knowing she and her team are making a difference.
“Working in health care is a unique experience, especially during a pandemic,” Ferenc says. “Being able to make patients more comfortable during a difficult time in their lives, having a chat to help brighten their day while working in their rooms, this makes it all worthwhile. After all, we are all in this together.”
The Top 100 Award recipients will be recognized and celebrated at an awards gala at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Nov. 17.