While women are certainly an active part of the design and build sector, the disparity between the sexes is impossible to overlook.
In most industry sectors, the percentage of male workers far outweighs that of female workers, and those numbers only increase in upper management.
With the University of Melbourne’s research paper ‘Does vocational guidance become gendered when discussing construction?’ suggesting that construction alone as a career choice is handled with a level of gender bias at the level of secondary schooling, there is an ongoing level of ingrained gender bias that continues to surround the industry.
The Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA’s) chief executive Romilly Madew has broken through this gender barrier and was recently named one of the Financial Review and Westpac Group’s 100 Women of Influence.
Madew has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the ‘global’ category for her efforts in creating green building awareness and helping to implement green building standards both nationally and around the world.
“It is a great honour to receive this award, which is acknowledgement of the work the Green Building Council of Australia is undertaking to support one of the world’s fastest growing industries,” Madew says. “I am proud of Australia’s position as a global leader in the green building movement, and of the commitment Australia’s property and construction industry has made to sustainability. Our skills and experience are now helping many other countries to capitalise on the benefits of sustainable built environments.”
Madew has been further praised for her efforts as a board member of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and work as chair of the WorldGBC International Rating Tools Task Group.
“Romilly has been one of the WorldGBC’s most vocal advocates for many years,” says WorldGBC chief executive officer Jane Henley. “She has been a passionate champion of the green building council model and of the power of building rating tools to transform the built environment.”
While gender disparity is a reality in an industry that has always traditionally been male-dominated, women are starting to receive recognition and role modelling necessary to bridge the gender gap and promote the industry as being more equal and inclusive.