Rachel and Mike Thurston own RMT Builders. But the impact they make isn’t only on their clients.

Mike Thurston isn’t known as Mike by his employers. First-year carpentry apprentice Chelsea says they all know him as Cookie, and as a pretty great boss. Cookie’s made more of an impact than he knows on his apprentices’ lives. Just having someone take them on without hesitation, that’s not nothing.

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Cookie first took on female apprentices four years ago, and now has two. “They asked me for a job and I said why not?” He doesn’t see hiring women any different to taking on men. “I’ve got sisters, I know what girls are capable of” he says, and doesn’t put them on a pedestal, “I treat all my staff the same”.


Chelsea says Cookie’s a great boss who’s understanding and chilled. If she has day time appointments for her own house that she’s building with her partner, “he lets us pop away”. If it’s a snow day, “he’ll be like who’s going up the mountain tomorrow”. In summer, “he’ll call it a half day and take us out on his jet boat”. Seems Mike and Rachel are not only building awesome homes, but a pretty happy team.

“There’s a real difference in having a mixed team.”

Get a strong start

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build the door. To help, we’re running BCITO & Mitre 10 Building Women Nights to introduce women who want to get into the trades to local employers who are all about the right attitude apprentice.

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