The construction industry has changed vastly over the last few decades. While it is still a heavily male dominated industry, the construction world is also home to some of the most talented women in Australia, who are actively involved in building businesses across the country.
With the 2019 Queensland HIA Qld Recognition of Women in Building & Construction Awards coming up soon, I wanted to take some time to talk about what being a woman in construction involves and the challenges and successes we face every single day.
For many women, working in a construction company is just one part of our busy lives – we must balance the demands of clients, tight deadlines, family commitments and often, children. For those women who are the primary carer, this can be a challenge and a struggle.
I’ve been involved in this exciting industry for over two decades now. I began my construction career as a personal assistant at BBC Hardware before officially joining the team at McGowan Homes in 2000. As a key member of the McGowan team, I’ve been involved in the construction of many luxury custom homes, renovations and additions for clients across the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Central Coast, Sydney and Newcastle areas.
Managing this role alongside my husband, as well as raising three kids, has been a careful balance with many highs and just as many lows. In my professional life, I’m responsible for the administration, marketing, HR, finance and health and safety needs of McGowan Homes. In my personal life, for the health and wellbeing of three young children.
Over the last 18 years, we have had many successes at McGowan Homes; we’ve created luxury lifestyles for clients, we’ve won many awards and we’ve had clients go from complete strangers to close friends. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding paths I could have chosen.
I’ve been very passionate about ensuring we emphasise open communication and make an effort to stay on top of the latest building regulations and legislations, materials, trends and methods at McGowan Homes. On a wider scale, our mission is to offer a building process based on integrity, honesty, a good work ethic and exceptional customer service, with the hope of changing the perception of the wider construction industry along the way.
One of the ideas we’ve been very passionate about pushing is the involvement of women being actively involved in the construction industry. At McGowan Homes we’re huge supporters of the HIA in particular, who are doing much to support this cause. The Queensland chapter of the Business Partner Network has been of particularly value to me personally. This group provides incredibly helpful industry information, as well as access to training, events and networking opportunities for business partners.
This role can often be quite isolating, so meeting people, often women, who are in a similar situation to share knowledge and create a community is hugely beneficial. The 2019 Queensland HIA Qld Recognition of Women in Building & Construction Awards is another example of the rise of women in the industry. This is a fabulous way of raising the profile of women in the industry, promoting and encouraging excellence.
On top of supplying fantastic resources for those behind the scenes, the HIA have helped to emphasise the importance of women in the construction industry. While traditionally a male-dominated space, I am encouraged to see an increasing number of females joining the industry as carpenters, surveyors and other trades. At McGowan Homes, we took on a female carpenter this year and I hope that she is joined by other like-minded women in years to come.
I am of the firm belief that women are capable of doing anything they put their mind to, and construction is no different. From solving complex problems and multi-tasking, to finding solutions to issues before they even arise, we are a real asset to the building industry – regardless of the role!
It is in this area – supporting women in construction – that I believe HIA are doing some of their best work. Events like their upcoming awards raise our profile and allow us to celebrate our contribution, all while recognising that there are challenges to overcome and stereotypes to prove wrong.
For more information about how my team and I can be involved with your build, get in touch today.