NAWIC BROADCAST: Building a better future

27 February 2015


Next week the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

NAWIC will be holding events throughout Australia with other organisations that share a passion for our industry to continue the dialogue on equality and building a better future. This year we also find ourselves being asked whether we still need to identify with a special day for women.

NAWIC believes there will be a time in our future where women and men work side by side and are not distracted by issues of equal pay or flexible working arrangements.  When this happens we will rethink the IWD concept, but we are not there yet, gender discrimination is alive and well and the pay gap issue continues.

At NAWIC we want to contribute to the future story of equality and the prosperity of Australia. NAWIC is making a stance on equality issues.  Why?  Because it is important to our members and it is not right that women are not being paid the same as men for the same role.

Last week WGEA released important and insightful findings about the payment of women in senior leadership roles.  In the article, “Where is it worst to be female manager”, the construction industry was identified as one of the top four of the worse industries (based on the pay gaps).  The article stated, “Women don't go into engineering, they don't go into science, they don't go into construction. This sector is part of the heartland of occupational segregation. At least one woman in the sector described the pipeline of women coming into the sector as absolutely tiny”. 

This report confirms a key issue for our industry and Australia’s economic prosperity - women are not generally entering engineering and construction in the first place. When they do enter, they are not paid the same. At NAWIC we will continue to focus on understanding what is stopping us from collectively getting to equality demonstrated through for example, equal pay.  Attraction and retention continue to pose a challenge for our industry and NAWIC is proactively working to improve our programs and develop tools to close that pay gap, attract and retain women so we can change the future story.

There has been progress and International Women’s Day is also a time to celebrate achievements and successes. For example, Daryl Browning, Industry Superannuation Property Trust chief executive officer says the reporting requirements have finally drawn attention to the gap. Daryl is also one of the CEO’s participating in the NAWIC CEO Shadow program in Victoria. This program is an example of how NAWIC is working with industry leaders on improving our programs and aligning them with those who are already agents of change to build a better future.

In this past week, Australia Post announced that women running in the Stawell Gift would be receiving equal prize money as men. The first time in its 134 year history!  International Women’s Day has been celebrated for just over 100 years; in all those years of celebration we have not seen parity. Pay parity for the Stawell Gift is an exciting achievement, yet we dream of a day when women parity if is not a first or considered history making.

As we celebrate our 20th year we will be continuing to build a better future by influencing the dialogue on equality and implementing new programs and tools.  At NAWIC we believe the future is bright and exciting and that we can build an inclusive and thriving industry where everyone is empowered to reach their highest potential.

Make it Happen is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.  What does the future story look like to you, and what do you want to do to make it happen and help us build a better future?


The NAWIC IWD scholarship, proudly sponsored by CULT Design for the past two years, is now in its 7th year of existence. The scholarship contributes to building a better future by the recipient to be able to contribute and participate in the industry from the research side and NAWIC to provide new knowledge to NAWIC members to consider using in their own organisations.

We are pleased to provide the final report, prepared by Michaela Sheahan, “WalkTalkWork - The importance of Pedestrian and public space for collaboration in the hospital knowledge precincts.. Michaela explored hospitals all around the US and Europe as a part of her research.

Michaela set out to “discover how leading and emerging hospital knowledge precincts around the world approach collaboration, with a keen eye in particular on how their public spaces allow pedestrians to get on with the business of innovation”.    She writes, “As clients, administrators, planners, project managers, designers, and builders, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that the potential of public space in each place we work on is realised because great public realm is the key to successful spaces and places”.

What Michaela discovered was beyond what she set out to research. She discovered things about the strength and importance of good support networks, about how motivated she was as her employer, Hassel Studioempowered her to reach her full potential undertaking this research, as well as about herself as she traipsed around the world!

We encourage everyone to read Michaela’s write-up.  You may be surprised what you read!

The 2015 scholarship topic is slightly different as it is focused on the gender equality and exploring the current commitments made from the world leaders at G20 in 2014, the Male Champions of Change outcomes, WGEA Gender Gap reporting, and other current initiatives to provide an instrument for change that supplies our corporate and individual NAWIC members with new information they can use.

The research and recommendations will be presented at the NAWIC National Conference and national Awards in Melbourne (October 8 and 9) as we celebrate our 20 year as an organisation.

The 2015 scholarship award winner will be announced at the NAWIC IWD Events





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3 March 2015


International Women's Day Breakfast

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4 March 2015


International Women's Day: Make it Happen

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5 March 2015


International Women's Day: Glass Ceiling v Gender Pay Gap 

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6 March 2015


International Women's Day: Diversity in Leadership a Global Story 

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12 March 2015


International Women's Day

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16 April 2015


Leading Ladies Seminar 4: Making it to the top

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14 September 2015 


 QLDNT Awards for Excellence

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