THE INSIDE Construction Expo will be an event tradies won’t wanna miss. As well as trade shows with all the latest toys and tools, the expo plans to tackle many of the issues facing tradies nationwide.
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A particular area of focus for the inaugural event will be growing women’s participation in the sector.
This will include guest speakers from peak bodies such as National Association of Women in Constriction (NAWIC), The BCW (Behaviour Change Wheel) and Empowered Women in Trades (EWIT).
EWIT founder and Chief Executive Hacia Atherton said she was honoured to play a role in such important discussions at Inside Construction Expo.
“I think it’s really great and it shows the shift in mindset that’s starting to happen in this industry,” she said.
“A shift from being an industry that’s exclusively for men to one where any gender can thrive, it’s fantastic to see that.
“I think there’s so much work to do in this space in terms of improving inclusivity – not just gender, but for people from different cultural backgrounds or identity.
“The more voices that are out there supporting each other and backing one another up, the more we’ll see the much-needed change that needs to happen for all.”
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
Hacia comes from a fifth generation plumbing family, with her brother currently sitting as the CEO of the family business. Despite being raised around the trade, Hacia never really considered plumbing as an option for her based on her gender.
“It was because of my own unconscious bias that trades and construction weren’t really for women, so I went off and got my accounting qualifications,” she said.
As soon as she returned to the nest, her father put her on the factory floor rather than a desk. It was here Hacia said she fell in love with welding and realised her potential in the trades.
“If I had this unconscious bias despite all this access and opportunity, how are other women out there going to be able to find their passion for trades?” she asked.
THE RIGHT CONVERSATIONS
Hacia said there’s plenty of discussions to be had around improving diversity in trades, and the Inside Construction Expo will help improve dialogue around the topic.
“One thing I find disheartening is when I go into schools – there’s such a lack of awareness about the amazing career opportunities from trades all the way up to construction managers and OH&S,” she said.
“It’s one of the biggest industries in the country, but it’s not overly promoted or talked about within our schooling system.
“Having events and platforms like this is a really good way of getting the message out for parents and career councillors, inside and outside the industry, about the opportunities.”
GET INTO IT
Inside Construction Expo will have more than 150 guest speakers across multiple stages from companies and associations across the industry.
In addition, there’ll be boat-loads of space filled with exhibitors sporting all the exciting equipment tradies need on the job, from power tools to adhesives.