Celebrating Women in Costruction

The number of women working in the construction industry in New Zealand is 17 percent, according to statistics NZ.  This might seem like a small number in the grand scheme of things.  However, it’s double what it was 15 years ago, indicating a positive shift towards women enjoying what used to be an almost exclusively male-dominated industry.

Alex Chappell is one of Civtec’s newest employees and has been relishing the opportunity to get her hands on some heavy equipment and learn from the skills and experience of her team members and supervisors.

Alex, a welder by trade, moved from Canada to New Zealand to work on the Christchurch earthquake rebuild.

She hasn’t made it to Christchurch yet, since she got as far as the Waikato and discovered something she enjoys more than welding:

“I’ve been in drilling jobs for about seven or eight months now and I really like it,” she says.  “Having been with Civtec for the past month, I couldn’t ask for a better crew or a better teacher.  Whenever I go out and do a good job they really notice it and it’s a great feeling.  I get lots of support.”

Alex would encourage more women to try a career in the construction industry, as she says it’s loads of fun.

“Sitting on a big piece of equipment and taking control of it is pretty cool,” she says.  “And when you look back at the job you’ve done it’s very satisfying.”

Brock Judd is the Marketing Team Leader at Cleanline Tasman, which supplies workwear and safety equipment for the construction industry.  Cleanline Tasman has provided a pair of women’s Steel Blue Boots as the prize for Civtec’s current promotional giveaway, celebrating women in construction.

“Workwear is often only available for men, who make up the greater portion of the labour industry workforce,” says Brock.  “This can mean female workers are forced to wear ill-fitting protective clothing.

“CleanlineTasman have a proactive approach and stock workwear, corporate wear and safety footwear designed especially for the female body.”

For women who are thinking about a career in construction, the non-profit association NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) holds regular events to inform and up-skill women in construction and promotes networking opportunities for this exciting and in-demand industry.