The National Association of Women in Construction called industry associates to join them at their inaugural forum, broadcast on ABC Radio’s Bright Ideas Program in September.

The topic for discussion, Finishing the Unfinished business – Abolishing Gender Bias from the Australian construction industry provided NAWIC, its members as well as industry stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on the discussion and contribute to a solution at a national level.

“There are numerous articles, papers and events dedicated to what the barriers are to attracting and retaining more women in the industry,” said NAWIC National Chair, Kristine Scheul. “After 25 years of supporting the advancement of women in the construction industry, it is high time we start promoting some solutions.”

For NAWIC, this forum was the first step in a planned strategy that aims to bring together industry, government and most importantly, female stakeholders, to bring their collective thinking to solving one long term problem at a time until gender equality throughout the industry has been achieved.

“As we are currently celebrating our 25th year, we have set a goal of achieving at least 25 per cent participation of women across the entire industry by 2025. Through forums such as these, we believe we can work through the last remaining barriers to achieving this goal,” said Scheul.

“The idea for the forum was born out of discussions amongst the Board almost two years ago about the need for NAWIC to start doing more than just discussing the various issues facing women in the construction industry. As the number of women in construction are declining, it’s time to look at what it is about this industry that so many of us love and resolve what is not working.”

The forum panellists included Dr Niki Vincent, Victorian Commissioner for Gender Equality within the Public Sector, Professor Paula Gerber, NAWIC National Chair Kristine Scheul and Acciona Geotech’s Chief Operating Officer Andre Noonan. The discussion was facilitated by Paul Barclay of ABC Radio’s Bright Ideas program.

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