Adobe Stock / Stephen Coburn

Robyn'e Garton launched Pink Belts Roofing Company in 2010 to serve the Edmonton region in Canada, and with rapid growth the prospects of expanding the operation into parts of the U.S. is starting to look appealing.

The 47-year-old Garton had worked as a property manager where she routinely dealt with contractors. That gave her the idea of starting her first roofing company, Roof Surgeon. Garton began noticing that women in the trades were always the first to lose their jobs in an economic downturn.

“There’s a discrimination factor there because they’re women," she said. "I started thinking about that and then decided I’d branch out and form an all-women roofing company — and it kinda went through the roof.”

The firm, which has a core crew of 10 to 15, concentrates on residential roofing and at least for now doesn't tackle commercial flat-roof jobs.

“When I started Pink Belts I was the laughing stock," she aid. "People thought I wouldn’t last a year. You just put up with it. You have to have a thick skin in this business. I’ve had death threats, hate mail, my tires tampered with. All that tells me is that I’m shaking up the industry which is what I’m supposed to do.”

Garton has more than just survived. Business has been so good she's considering a move to Hurricane Alley in the U.S., a region where roofers usually have plenty of work.

Read More