Earthmoving News, Industry Leaders

NAWIC: Fixing the leaky pipeline

 

The National Association Of Women In Construction (NAWIC) says that industry is facing the gradual loss of women as they progress in their careers. 


And to counter it, NAWIC, alongside its volunteers, members, industry and government, is aiming to improve the attraction, retention and career growth opportunities for women in construction – advocating for their rights and safety at work, fostering inclusivity and shifting the culture. 

As NAWIC General Manager Lauren Fahey explains, the organisation takes a strategic approach across the career lifecycle, starting at high school education and exposure to the industry, through to late career stages advocating for equal opportunities all the way through.  

To increase female participation in construction, is it essential to address these ‘leaks’ at each stage,” she said.  

NAWIC’s key strategies include: 

Education and awareness: 

  • High school – Initiatives to raise awareness about construction career options 
  • Apprenticeships and University study – Ensuring safe learning environments and promoting diversity in educational materials
  • Creation of safe workplaces for women 

Workplace initiatives: 

  • Addressing childcare accessibility and workplace flexibility
  • Ensuring equitable remuneration 
  • Providing equitable opportunities for development
  • Establishment of a National Gender Equality Strategy 

Family and work balance: 

  • Development of quotas and initiatives for more female teachers in TAFE/University Environments 
  • Implementation of Cultural Standards by the CICT (Construction Industry Cultural Taskforce) 
  • Adoption of workplace mentoring and buddy systems
  • Provision for female onsite amenities 

Remuneration and career growth: 

  • Affordability and flexibility in childcare for all parents 
  • Childcare options tailored to onsite hours 
  • Introduction of portable parental and long service leave 
  • Encouragement of job share, part-time and work-from-home options 
  • Elimination of the Gender Pay Gap for women in equivalent positions 

Inclusivity and recognition: 

  • Implementation of career pathway and upskilling strategies for women 
  • Introduction of the Male Allies Education Program  
  • Organisational wide D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) training
  • Implementation of provisions for menopause and menstruation policies 
  • Introduction of executive and board quotas 
  • Celebration and promotion of the success stories of women in construction, fostering the ethos “You can be what you can see”. 

“At NAWIC, our vision is to achieve 25 per cent female participation in the construction industry by 2025; we are currently sitting at 12 per cent,” Lauren said.  

While this goal may pose challenges, we are committed to continuing the conversation, breaking down barriers and transforming the construction culture to create a safe and equitable place for women.” 

Stay connected with NAWIC through social media platforms @nawicau, The Leaky Pipeline Podcast and through  membership options.  

Learn more about the group’s initiatives and the impactful work it does at www.nawic.com.au 

 

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