women in construction roles
We want you to choose a career in construction. Why? Because there’s a massive skill shortage in New Zealand, and women make up less than 10 per cent of the industry's workforce. It’s not enough! Get a construction-allied qualification and fill that skill shortage gap!
About this campaign
If you’re reading this, you must have seen one of our ads. These ads are a bit cheeky, but they've got to be – challenging society’s ingrained gender norms isn't easy! We're playing with male-oriented themes and connotations, with the aim of flipping common ideas on their heads to change their meaning.
With gender equality the best it’s been in recorded history, women are empowered to grab hold of dominant social meanings and twist the h&#$ out of them!
Subvert traditional thinking about who should and shouldn’t have certain jobs! Don’t be afraid to follow a non-traditional path!
We know that working in a male-dominated field might not be smooth sailing. But if our saucy ads encourage you to consider, or just imagine a career in this industry, we’ve succeeded!
Let’s get people’s attention, make them think, and get them talking. It's the first step to making a change.
Ok ladies, why should you take on the boys?
We’ve listed 4 pretty good reasons why considering a career in construction should be just as relevant to women as it is to men.
Jobs Jobs Jobs
NZ desperately needs skilled workers. We have massive construction projects happening all over the country. Otago alone has long-term civil infrastructure projects planned for the next ten plus years. The two biggest projects are:
Money Money Money
Construction jobs aren’t just labouring and building, they are qualified professional roles. And they pay well! There's a lot of money to be made – construction is a billion-dollar industry.
Along with engineering, construction is listed in the top-ten industries for NZ's biggest salaries. But men are the high earners here. They hold over 90 per cent of these salaries. Why? Here’s what we think: when people picture the construction industry, they picture men.
You can change the way society thinks about the construction industry
Men work in building and construction. Men have the muscles. Men are the qualified builders, quantity surveyors, engineers, construction managers and tradies. Men run the building and contracting businesses. And men hire men because men work in building and construction and have the muscles and the qualifications.
See the pattern? We used to take this gender imbalance for granted because we assumed it was natural. But it isn’t natural, and the industry is starting to recognise this.
Here’s the proof:
- There’s a National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
- Each year the NZWIC recognise and celebrate women in the industry with the annual Excellence Awards
- BCITO (Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation) promotes construction to women as a viable and worthy career choice (because it is)
- Check out the number of women in the quantity surveyor profiles on the NZIQS (NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors) website (and, while you’re at it, watch the video about why you should become a quantity surveyor.)
- This blog by the Group General Manager at OneStaff recruitment highlights research and findings about the skills and advantages that women bring to the construction industry, and why employers should hire them.
There are lots of ways to qualify and lots of career options
Up-skill with an industry-recognised certificate, diploma or degree. Then, you can get a piece of the high-earning industry pie and …
- break ground for women everywhere or
- lay the foundation for women in construction or
- build a better world or
- [insert cheesy but accurate pun and *eye-roll emoji* here].
Jokes aside, employers are desperate for skilled workers – short by 60,000. These positions range from hands-on carpenters to top-level management.
Forget about construction being an industry that requires only strength and brawn. Yes, women can be successful builders (of course). But the construction industry involves so many other types of professions. The below positions are on the NZ skills shortage list, with employers screaming out to hire people in these roles.
The skills required for these positions are often transferable from other industries/professions.
Leadership and team management
Direct your project management talents and experience towards building and infrastructure projects.
Focus your communication and people skills towards managing clients and wrangling contractors.
Organisation, clerical and administrative
Put your budgeting nous to good use by keeping project costs on track.
Dependability and problem solving
Run your eye-for-detail over project plans to produce essential material and labour cost estimates.
literacy, computer and technical skills
Use your maths and science abilities to design safe structures, and your artistic flair to make the structures look good.
Use your hands to construct sustainable homes or artisanal stone structures.