#EmbracingEquity at SHAPE for International Women’s Day 2023


On 8 March 2023, SHAPE celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) across the nation. In celebration of this year’s IWD theme #EmbraceEquity, SHAPE’s branches organised and participated in initiatives that celebrated women and reflected on the importance of equity in the workplace and wider society.

The aim of #EmbraceEquity is to prompt a discussion about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. Giving everyone the exact same thing to make them equal is assuming that everyone is starting in the same place; however, in a diverse world, everyone has unique circumstances.

Kate Evans, the Group Executive for People, Brand, and Communications at SHAPE, explains, “as a woman and a mother, my professional and personal requirements for work-life balance differ from others.  A crucial factor in my success has been the ability to prioritise my flexibility between work and home.  Some days home needs me more, and other times work becomes the priority.  SHAPE’s supportive work culture allows me to communicate openly and honestly with my team and manager about what’s going on for me.

“I believe that achieving equity requires acknowledging that unequal starting points exist due to various advantages and barriers. To combat these obstacles, I advocate for providing individualised support and resources to mitigate them. Once an equitable environment is established, a diverse and inclusive workplace can thrive.”

In 2021, SHAPE introduced its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan, which superseded its Gender Action Plan. The DEI Action Plan aims to create an environment that values and maximises the contribution of people from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. To do this, SHAPE implements a range of initiatives that ensure equitable opportunities for all, including training hiring managers and new starters on diversity and unconscious bias, supporting flexible work and annual gender pay gap reviews to ensure a zero pay gap for like-for-like roles.

Every individual at SHAPE has their own tailored and unique career plan to provide the resources necessary for each person to succeed. This includes initiatives such as part-time working and job sharing for those who require it, opportunities for secondments, training and development through goal setting, mentorship programs, professional memberships, and access to thousands of learning and training resources. SHAPE has made sure to provide a quiet space in all offices for privacy requirements such as, breastfeeding room, devotion, or reflection. Through this, SHAPE has embraced equity with a culture that supports and respects the values and needs of all its individuals.

These initiatives have resulted in a 30% female participation rate maintained over the past two years, higher than the industry average of 24% (WEGA). In October 2022, SHAPE was awarded certification as ‘a Great Place to Work’, from the global authority on workplace culture, Great Place to Work Institute, with 94% of people at SHAPE testifying it is a great place to work.


The aim of #EmbraceEquity is to prompt a discussion about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. Giving everyone the exact same thing to make them equal is assuming that everyone is starting in the same place; however, in a diverse world, everyone has unique circumstances.

How SHAPE celebrated International Women’s Day?

NSW – SHAPE Sydney hosted a breakfast and Q&A session with SHAPE board member Jane Lloyd about equity and inclusion in the workplace. Jane also shared her experience and advice gained over 29 years in the Australian and US property and construction markets.

Maddie Greenwood, Project Coordinator, who had recently founded SHAPE Sydney’s Sustainability Committee, had the opportunity to attend an intimate 40-person panel breakfast hosted by Green Building Council of Australia. The event invited emerging female leaders committed to a sustainable future to connect and hear from speakers discussing themes such as burnout, mental well-being, work-life balance, and workplace boundaries.

Kate Evans spoke on the Diversity & Inclusion stage at the Sydney Build Expo. Joining a panel that explored building inclusive cultures that last, she discussed SHAPE’s journey to creating a constructive culture that focuses on the individual and the importance of pulse checking through surveys.

WA – The SHAPE Perth team hosted a morning tea in their office to prompt conversation about equity and what it means within the professional and personal space. Members of the team also invited clients to attend Property Council’s Women In Property Signature Lunch, where keynote speaker Hon. Mia Davies spoke about her journey and challenges of being a woman in the political realm.

As proud silver sponsors of NAWIC WA, some Perth team members had the opportunity to attend the IWD Rooftop Movie Event, which included a panel discussion around equity.

SA – In early celebration of IWD, SHAPE Adelaide attended NAWIC SA’s Leadership Lunch and witnessed a thought-provoking panel.

On 7 March, Kara Cursaro, Senior Project Manager at SHAPE, joined the panel at WIDAC’s IWD Luncheon to share her career journey and development.

SHAPE Adelaide finished off its celebrations with a Bake Off in the office on 8 March.

QLD – SHAPE Brisbane celebrated with breakfast for the women and an informative presentation about #EmbracingEquity by Gareth Simmons, Operations Manager , finishing the event with gifts for the women. Following the morning’s activities, a lunch was held with the senior leadership team at a local restaurant.

NT – SHAPE Darwin collaborated with DLG SHAPE to host a lunch at the Darwin Sailing Club. They were joined by Michael Manikas, General Manager of DLG SHAPE, and women across the local industry groups, including Aurecon, Mode Design Corp, NT Property Council, Gabbert Designs, HK Solutions, Knight Franks, Schapel Interiors, Ventia, Rossi Architects and some NAWIC community members.

ACT – The SHAPE Canberra team attended ACT NAWIC’s annual IWD breakfast. They spent the morning listening to diverse perspectives from a panel of industry leaders in STEM, International Development and Construction.

VIC – The SHAPE Melbourne team got together for lunch, followed by a powerful 3-hour ‘Unshakeable at work’ workshop on mental well-being and self-esteem in the workplace. It was hosted by Sue Anderson, a highly sought-after resilience and empowerment expert who has worked with teams for over 15 years.

Kate says, “For this IWD, it’s important that each of us also #EmbraceEquity in our own environments. Everyone is able to play a part in making a more equitable and inclusive environment. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, take the time to recognise and learn from our own biases and foster an inclusive environment starting with your own.”


SHAPE celebrates the recent achievements of our talented women

Congratulations to Keeta Welch, SHAPE NT Commercial Manager – Delivery, who won the NT Property Council of Australia and Hames Sharley Future Leader of the Year Award 2022. This award recognises emerging industry professionals who have made significant contributions to the property and construction industry and community in the Top End.

A huge congratulations to our SHAPE Melbourne team members who will be participating in Property Council of Australia’s 500 Women in Property 2023 program. The program aims to accelerate more women into leadership positions in the property and construction industry through sponsorship of high-achieving talent.

This year’s participants and respective sponsors are:

Maddie Clark, Project Manager – sponsored by Zarko Milakovic, Commercial Manager

Anneliese Jaros, Project Engineer – sponsored by Bronte Kerr, Business Development Manager

Cassandra Lloyd, Design Manager – sponsored by Ben Mamoud, Project Director

Hannah Hoang Lee, Senior Project Manager – sponsored by Anita Brazzale, Commercial Manager

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