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Women making inroads in construction

Women are increasingly working in a wide range of construction industry roles, such as engineers, lawyers, accountants and site supervisors, rejecting the stereotype that they mainly work as clerks or administrators, according to the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC).

NAWIC Queensland/ Northern Territory president Marnie Beckett says universities across the country are reporting that courses in engineering, construction and architecture have attracted soaring numbers of female undergraduates in recent years.

“It’s great to see more women forging successful careers in a range of opportunities in construction, trades and mining,” Beckett says. “With more women seeking out non-traditional roles in the industry, the industry will begin to experience the benefits of greater workplace gender diversity.

“Queensland’s building and construction industry is growing and there is an increasing call for trades, designers, engineers, project managers, trainers, estimators, contract managers, H&S, and support services like accountancy, marketing, HR and lawyers,” she adds.

The group points out that The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the number of female trade workers and technicians nationwide has increased 20 per cent since 1996.

Construction is one of Australia’s largest industries, employing nine per cent of the workforce, or about one million people. Women make up only 12 per cent of construction employees.

Beckett says that while construction still has a reputation as a tough industry for females it offers “huge rewards” and provides  “enormous opportunities” for personal and career development.

“Construction employees can utilise their skills all over the world,” she says, “and while the industry is still predominantly male, it’s a lot more inclusive than in decades past, offering a wide variety of work environments and experiences, from large corporations to small, family-owned businesses.”


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