This month, The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) shares news of its awards program and shines a light on the gender pay gap, equality and profit challenges in the construction industry.
By The National Association of Women in Construction.
We are now well in the second half of 2023, which means the beginning of the NAWIC awards season. In each NAWIC Chapter we invite members to nominate themselves or their colleagues across a wide range of categories of achievement in the construction industry.
As part of our You can be what you can see strategy, the NAWIC awards program aims to recognise, celebrate and promote the many significant achievements of women in construction and their allies. Our awards program is proudly supported by our corporate sponsors whose generosity provides a range of financial and in-kind prizes to our pool of worthy award winners. Importantly, our awards program is run by our passionate volunteers who give generously of their time to make this initiative happen, for the betterment of our industry. NAWIC extends its gratitude to both our sponsors and volunteers for their continued commitment to and support of women in construction.
Previous winners say the NAWIC awards program has created new career opportunities, enhanced their CVs and resulted in growth of their network.
Advocacy spotlight: shining a light on the pay gap
NAWIC is grateful for the recent work of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for taking the time to engage and educate NAWIC members and affiliates. WGEA hosted a free webinar for our members to learn about the important work done by the agency and how organisations can pledge their commitment to eliminating the gender pay gap. The insights and expertise provided on gender equality during the session were truly enlightening and had a profound impact on all attendees.
During the webinar the WGEA Act was also explored. The WGEA Act is a law in Australia that aims to promote and ensure equal opportunities in the workplace. It mandates that private organisations with 100 or more employees must submit reports on their efforts toward gender equality. This requirement fosters transparency and accountability as it encourages businesses to address gender imbalances and create a work environment that values diversity and inclusivity. By raising awareness and driving action on gender equality, the WGEA Act plays a role in building a just and fair workforce, for all Australians.
We take immense pride in our ongoing partnership with WGEA, united in our shared mission to achieve gender equality. Thank you WGEA for your commitment to advancing gender equality and supporting NAWIC’s mission. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Corporate Members who have achieved their WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation. These organisations are to be applauded for their leadership and their commitment to workplace equity and equality.
National Construction Industry Forum
The National Construction Industry Forum (NCIF) has taken a monumental step toward promoting an inclusive and diverse construction sector. Through its committee selection, NCIF has demonstrated a commitment to gender equality by achieving an impressive balance of women and men within their ranks. The NCIF consists of 50 per cent women and an equitable mix of industry, government and union representatives. The NCIF committee comprises a mix of industry leaders, professionals and advocates from various sectors within the construction industry. What truly stands out is the representation of both genders, which showcases a thinking approach to addressing gender disparities that have historically existed in this male-populated industry.
NAWIC wholeheartedly commends NCIF’s dedication to fostering a more equitable environment. As an organisation devoted to championing gender diversity and advocating for opportunities in the construction industry, NAWIC is excited about collaborating with NCIF on initiatives that promote gender balance, inclusivity and innovation. We look forward to supporting the initiatives and goals of the NCIF forum and hope to see a big push for changes to the culture of the industry and the experiences of women who choose to enter it.
ACA’s All risk, no reward calls for change
The report published by the Australian Constructors Association – All risk, no reward: Fixing the building industry’s profitless boom, July 2023 – provides insights and proposes practical measures to tackle the concerning financial state of the industry. It draws attention to the rate at which construction companies are entering administration, the decline in profit margins and the growing issues related to liquidity. The report raises concerns regarding the adversarial culture and short-term focus within the sector and identifies the traditional reliance on fixed-price contracts as a key contributor to the sector’s instability.
In terms of addressing the market failure in the building industry, the report outlines the paradigm shift required:
‘Fundamentally, maximising the chances of a win-win outcome on a building project requires that contracting becomes far more relational than transactional. Building is not a spot-marketing transaction; it is an ongoing process of interaction between parties throughout delivery; a relationship’.
Key principle reforms proposed for success include:
- Involving the contractor in the design process at the earliest opportunity.
- Do not set a formal cost at the start – commission a fee for service basis.
- Incentivise collaborative out-performance – painshare/gainshare models to drive commercially viable outcomes for all parties.
The report highlights the importance of government involvement in leading the way toward a more profitable construction industry. As an organisation deeply committed to sustainability, innovation and progress within the construction industry, NAWIC supports the proposals put forth in the report and welcomes further exploration on how these changes can be enacted.