Leading the change for women in construction

May 22, 2024

 Leading the change for women in construction

Jemma Walden and colleague pictured on site. Photo : Jemma Walden

Women in construction are taking to social media to share their experiences of being underrepresented in their industry.

In Aotearoa, women make up 15 per cent of the construction workforce.

One Kiwi woman in construction Jemma Walden is a social media advocate for women in construction.

"I believe that diversity is pretty important in any industry, not just construction," Walden said.

Walden has a large following on her @Buildwithjem Instagram account with 19,000 followers.

"Women bring all new views, opinions, and skills to construction.

“I have noticed a huge push from multiple organisations over the past few years on getting women into trades and construction-based roles.

“It seems like more and more women are starting to see themselves as able, and employers seem to be loving having more diversity in their staff.”

Michiko Cooper, a qualified builder with 9 thousand followers @mich_builds from Brogan Builders, is also a social media advocate for women in construction.

Cooper said that there were instances where women expressed judgment upon learning she was a builder.

"Oh, I wish I had pursued that when I was younger, but there weren't any females doing that back in the day."

Copper has witnessed various strategies and initiatives aimed at increasing female participation in construction careers.

Organisations have promoted women in construction by offering scholarships, establishing gateway programs, utilising Instagram accounts, and organising events like female trade nights, such as those hosted by companies like Hire Pool.

Cooper said, “These events provide women with an opportunity to explore the trades sector, experience equipment and machinery firsthand, and potentially spark their interest in the industry.”

LISTEN: Jemma Walden social media advocate speaks on women in the construction industry.

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