Young Multiplex workers inspiring women into construction
The National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC), in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), will host an inspirational session during National Science Week with the goal of boosting female participation rate in the building and construction industry which is currently at 11%.
It will feature an interactive webinar from a group of young female Multiplex workers who are working on Queensland’s largest project, the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. It will look at what’s going on in the world-class precinct and what roles young women can aspire to as part of a project team.
Occurring on 20 August, it’s the second webinar session hosted by NAWIC and QUT, with the first held in May, following a shift to online events in response to COVID-19.
QUT quantity surveying and heavy engineering student Rae Eastern says that the event was a great way for young women, particularly high school students, to consider a career in construction.
“The webinar had a really good mix of professionals from different construction career pathways so it offered good, broad insights,” Rae says.
“This is a really great experience for students because there just aren’t a lot of opportunities to learn about the construction industry in high school, let alone talk directly with people in the field.
“I think there is a misconception amongst young women that working in construction means being on the tools all day and, while that’s true for some trades, there are other roles that offer a mix of field and office work, and some jobs that are purely office based, like project management.
“Construction is a huge industry and is one of the biggest employers in some areas across Queensland, yet there’s still a lack of female enrolment in construction-related courses at university, and we want to change that.”
Rae is also a NAWIC 2019 scholarship recipient and says that the May webinar was well received an led by a panel of current and past students from a range of construction degrees and industry professionals.
QUT lecturer in construction project management and NAWIC Queensland chapter education and mentoring committee chair Fiona Lamari
Fiona Lamari, lecturer in construction project says the webinars were the next step in engaging a broader audience of female students considering a career in construction: “Because this is an online event, students can join from anywhere in Australia. My hope is to get the message out to young women in regional areas who may not have had as much exposure to the construction industry as students who have grown up in larger cities.
“Our first webinar focused on a broad view of the construction industry and, for our August webinar, we’re excited to dive further into the industry by highlighting the various roles involved in a single project.
“There are really no barriers for women entering the construction workforce. I think the lower level of engagement at this stage is because women don’t often have construction at the top of their mind when considering a career, so we need to have more conversations about all the different opportunities available to them if they do choose this path.
“Construction is so multi-faceted that there are roles to suit all types of individuals with different skill sets.
“It’s an enriching, rewarding industry to be involved in, because you are always part of creating something.”