SHAPE Perth sponsor NAWIC to accelerate the careers of women in construction

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SHAPE Perth is proud to announce its first year as a silver sponsor of the Western Australian chapter of National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). It joins SHAPE Adelaide and SHAPE Canberra as proud NAWIC sponsors.

NAWIC is an Australian not-for-profit association that aims to increase the involvement and contribution of women in the construction industry. Across its chapters in each state and territory, NAWIC champions and empowers women through advocation, education and networking opportunities.

According to NAWIC, women represent just 13 per cent of the construction workforce. With one of the lowest rates of female participation of any industry, SHAPE has been committed to challenging these trends and gender biases for more than a decade. While SHAPE superseded its Gender Action Plan with its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan in 2021, the DEI Action Plan includes strategies directly supporting the employment and career empowerment of women, along with other underrepresented groups. These include training hiring managers and new starters on diversity and unconscious bias, developing campaigns to recruit women in underrepresented areas of the business and supporting flexible work. This has led to an increase in female participation, with 30 per cent of hires in FY22 identifying as female.

As a proud sponsor of NAWIC, SHAPE Perth will participate in a range of initiatives that help to advocate for increased recruitment, retention, and development of women within the business and wider industry, such as networking events, development activities, mentoring programs, and the annual awards. For two years now, SHAPE Perth has hosted NAWIC WA’s Annual General Meeting.

Jodie Priestly, Business Development Manager at SHAPE Perth, is also a member of the NAWIC WA mentoring committee, the only construction mentoring program in WA that is run by organisational psychologists. As part of the mentoring program, Jodie supports a mentee through career guidance and development while forging relationships across the program’s duration. Ashleigh Brice, Bid Coordinator at SHAPE, will also be joining Jodie in the mentoring program as a mentee. The mentor/mentee matching is conducted by NAWIC’s partner Veraison – organisational psychologists who add a layer of professionalism to the matching process, the training, and the structure of the program to ensure maximum benefit to both mentees and mentors.

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With one of the lowest rates of female participation of any industry, SHAPE has been committed to challenging these trends and gender biases for more than a decade.

Jodie says, “It’s important for me to use my voice, experience and journey to support others in the industry. As a member of the mentoring committee, I have the opportunity to develop new relationships within my local construction community while using my knowledge and understanding of the industry to help guide and support other women.

“At SHAPE, our mission is ‘to be the place where everyone wants to work’ and ‘the partner of choice’. We recognise this is only possible if our people, clients and partners feel valued and comfortable to be their authentic self, share ideas and support each other. By sponsoring NAWIC and participating in initiatives to promote the personal and professional development of women, we demonstrate our commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive culture for the women at SHAPE and our community at large.”

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