The NAWIC International Women’s Day (IWD) Scholarship has been awarded annually since 2009 – aiding research that improves, benefits and empowers women in the construction industry.
Over the past 12 months, Dr Carnemolla, Senior Research Fellow at UTS, has investigated the perceptions of the construction industry by female high school students. Keeping in mind that women entering and remaining in the construction industry remains well below parity, Dr Carnemolla’s research examined how construction is portrayed and perceived by the very women it hopes to attract.
Dr Carnemolla’s research, Why Would I Want To Do That for a Career, found that high school girls can’t visualise themselves working in construction. Furthermore, schools, teachers and parents are not recommending a career in construction to girls. There is a lack of understanding about the diverse scope of jobs and careers that comprise the construction industry.
In addition to exploring high school girls’ thoughts and opinions of the industry, Dr Carnemolla has analysed university data on female students who are interested in a career in construction. Although the construction industry struggles to attract more women, there some positive stories of women in construction to draw inspiration from.
Dr Carnemolla has made recommendations that will enable NAWIC, employer groups, leading companies and broader construction networks, to better engage with high school girls and to communicate the potential for a construction career. This in turn will help lead to a more equitable industry where women fully participate.
“If the industry expects female high school students to aspire to a construction career, it needs to rebrand itself not only to the students, but also to parents and schools, in order to overcome the barriers of lack of interest by students, influence of parents and lack of guidance towards the industry from school networks.”
For more information visit the National Association of Women in Construction website: www.nawic.com.au