On Friday 9 June, we held our third Annual Corporate Golf Day, and it was our best yet.

21 June 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

Work Visa changes continue to dominate headlines but business are demanding legislation changes or industries will collapse.

14 June 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

The world is changing. What were once seen as traditional jobs for men are increasingly attracting females who are breaking down old school stereotypes as they forge careers for themselves in male dominated fields. Read more in Study Gold Coast.

2 May 2023

Publication: Study Gold Coast

Opportunities for women to work in construction have historically been lacking. Whether driven by a lack of suitable mentors and training, gender bias or little to no expansion of traditional recruiting channels, women comprise only 13 percent of the industry’s workforce. Fortunately, the tide is turning due in part to a growing number of companies and organisations taking action to increase diversity and inclusion across the industry.

While they still represent a minority in the construction workforce, women like Amanda Bulow, a procurement and estimating specialist with over 20 years of industry experience, are breaking down barriers. In 2017, she created Awesome Women in Construction, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting women in the industry, providing networking opportunities and advocating for change.

“It started with an email inviting a small group of women to connect over coffee,” said Bulow. “It was such a positive experience that we decided to do it again. Each person brought someone to the next gathering, and within three months, we had 48 women attending a breakfast for no other reason than to connect and support each other. I knew we had tapped into something special.”

Creating Pathways for Women

Although the adoption of technology and its growing pervasiveness are opening up new opportunities across construction, bringing women into the industry hinges on creating awareness that those opportunities exist.

“There was no set pathway for a construction career,” said Bulow. “I didn’t wake up one day and decide to pursue a construction career. I worked for a building company while studying at university, and they offered me a full-time administrative job. It was an opportunity that came to me at the right time.”

Bulow’s path isn’t uncommon. Hannah Corley, an operations manager at Jordi Construct, shares a similar experience. “I always thought of construction as men working on jobsites,” she said. “I unexpectedly fell into a career in construction. I previously worked in government, so I knew very little about the construction industry until someone brought a job opportunity to my attention.”

Construction isn’t typically among the career choices presented to students as they prepare to enter the workforce, which is one reason women don’t often consider jobs in the industry. Raising awareness about opportunities is something Bulow thinks will move the needle in attracting more women to construction. “Most women are unaware of what the industry has to offer them,” she said. “There are multiple pathways to careers in construction, but women can’t be where they can’t see. Intentional efforts to increase awareness of opportunities and pay scales among women will help, but there is still much work to be done.”

Leading construction businesses are spearheading educational programs as a starting point to generate student awareness and interest. Trimble, for example, gifts technology labs to universities around the world, providing educators and students with access to the most up-to-date hardware and software tools that the company makes, as well as the training necessary to be ready for the job on day one of their careers.

It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

Attracting women to careers in construction is only the first step. “It’s okay to do a big marketing campaign to bring women into the industry, but companies need to provide support and reasons for them to stay,” said Bulow.

In many cases, women must work harder to earn the respect of their coworkers. “It can be easy to get intimidated by stereotypes,” said Corley. “Working in construction takes confidence and a willingness to put yourself out there. Instead of walking into a room or onto a jobsite and comparing myself to everyone, I think about what I can bring to the table.”

Along with confidence, connecting women with mentors who can provide advice and inspiration, and create a sense of safety and community, is vital. “When I started in this industry, there wasn’t anyone I could turn to for guidance or advice,” said Bulow. “Early in my career, I had to work harder for recognition and inclusion, but I’ve never been afraid of a challenge. When I didn’t get an invite to lunch with the boys, I invited myself. It takes a lot of confidence, but as a young woman in a male-dominated industry, that can be hard to navigate without support.”

Finding opportunities for career growth and development can also be challenging. Hiring managers often rely too heavily on their own networks to fill roles, which can be limited in diversity. “I’ve worked in the industry for ten years, and along the way, I’ve had to throw my hand up for opportunities,” said Corley. “Sometimes you have to open those doors for yourself.”

Bulow echoes the importance of putting yourself out there and taking chances. “I worked in administration for a while, but it wasn’t long until I was ready for more,” she said. “I met with human resources, knocked on the estimating manager’s door, and asked him to consider me for his next opening. Six weeks later, I was learning how to order materials and labor for residential construction.”

In addition to creating a supportive work environment, flexible working options are critical for making construction a more attractive and progressive choice for female talent. “Construction is fast-paced and demanding,” said Corley. “Flexibility and parental leave can break down many of the barriers to women entering the industry by helping them balance their personal and professional obligations.”

Reshaping the Narrative

The industry’s adoption of technology and changing attitudes toward gender equality are attracting more women to careers in construction with each passing year. With the demand for skilled workers on the rise, now is the time for the industry to inspire and empower young women to pursue careers in construction. “I think the age-old perception that construction is for men has diminished,” said Corley. “People generally are starting to see that the industry is open to everyone.”

5 April 2023

Publication: Viewpoint APAC LinkedIn

Awesome Women in Construction held their sixth International Women’s Day luncheon on Friday 10 March with over 400 attendees! Read more in Ipswich News Today.

20 February 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

As I observed the interviews for the inaugural AWIC Awards last September, I was pleasantly surprised that many of the women who were shortlisted spoke about how their fathers were their first male role models.

13 February 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

AWIC’s Amanda Bulow is headed to Sydney Build Expo this March 6-7 as an ambassador!

02 February 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

There was no one point in my life where I woke up and decided that the construction industry was where I wanted my career to be. Looking back, on some level, I think construction chose me.

I started working in the construction industry in 1998, working in administration. At that time, it was a job that helped me pay my way through university. It was the next pay check in covering a semester of text books.

After finishing university in 2000, it was time to get a job and work out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was fortunate that one of my casual jobs during university had turned into a full-time role with a leading building company. At this point I was working in the maintenance department, and for the first time, I was able to see the opportunities that were waiting for me in construction.

I was good at my job, I gave 110% to each one, but I wanted more. More responsibility, more opportunities and more money. I stopped waiting for opportunity to come to me and I went and knocked on the door of the Estimating Manager’s door (I was incredibly nervous, who was I to ask for a job in his department?). But, three weeks later, I was beginning  my career as an estimator.

22 January 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

I grew up in the small country town of Rosewood in the city of Ipswich.

It was a great time to grow up. Things were simpler. There was no Facebook, no Netflix and no pre-packaged meals that got delivered to your home. We cooked everything from scratch and knew exactly what was in it.

I grew up on a farm, where we all had a job to do and we did  it. There were no boy or girl jobs, just jobs. When the cattle needed to be fed, we fed them. When the clothes needed to be taken off the line because it was about to rain, we did it. When we had to fight local fires, we did that too.

One of my earliest memories from this time was joining  Brownies and then Girl Guides as I got older. Looking back now, this community  was the perfect breeding ground for helping to raise a young, independent and strong-willed young lady.

29 January 2023

Publication: Ipswich News Today

Following the budget being released, AWIC CEO Amanda Bulow reached out to Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo, Chief Economist for PRD Real Estate to further understand the key outcomes of the budget for the construction industry.

“The Federal Budget 2022-23 puts the issue of housing supply at its centre, through the establishment of the National Housing Accord, the National Housing and Homelessness Plan, and a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council,” Dr Mardiasmo said.

“This holds promise and opportunities not only for Australians in general but for those in the property and or construction industry.

7 November 2022

Publication: Ipswich News Today

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