International Women’s Day was a good day to announce that Master Builders Australia had appointed a women as its new CEO. Denita Wawn has made history being the first woman to hold this role in the Association’s 127 year history and it is a strategic appointment, with a view to attracting more female workers to the $200 million building and construction industry.
Currently only 10 per cent of the workforce is female and Ms Wawn will work with schools, universities and employers to encourage wore women to join the 32,000, mostly male, workers in the industry. Ms. Wawn said that employers should be more proactive attracting women to the industry such as specifying in job ads that female applicants are welcome. She is hopeful that her appointment will help people to see that there’s a cultural shift in the industry and women are welcome. “I would love to think in 10 years if we can get it up to at least 25 per cent that would be fantastic,” she said.
Having held senior roles with the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Hotels Association and National Farmers’ Federation, she has plenty of experience in male-dominated industries and her message to young women is to be yourself and not try to be “one of the boys”.
The Finishing Touch welcomes this appointment and hopes to see more females attracted to the building and construction industry. As suppliers of decorative architectural mouldings to builders, the company has a long association in the industry and sees cultural shifts like this as beneficial.